Friday, August 30, 2013

12 top tips to create a great mobile app

apadmi logo blackI’m just having a read of app development firm, Apadmi’s first white paper. For anyone thinking of embarking on the app development journey, it’s well worth a read as it includes some very sensible advice. There’s also a useful section about finding the right team to work with and managing your code. It’s a free download

(Disclaimer, Apadmi is one of my regular Swedish Beers sponsors, but that’s not why I’m sharing this!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three teenagers tell it like it is

Tim Green talks to teenagers three teenagers about their mobile lives. And very telling it is too. Admittedly, this is a sample group of three, but the swing from BlackBerry to iPhone is obvious in this peer group. I’m surprised at the lack of Android adoption but that’s possibly a fashion thing. And boys are living up to their gender stereotype by being more represented at the extreme end of the scale – either the best or the worst phone and not much in the middle.

One of them says "I'm not addicted to my phone, but I am addicted to my iPad. The school gave us all iPads, and all we ever use them for is Instagram and SnapChat and YouTube. Everyone's connected all the time. They must have thought it would help us with learning but it's completely backfired. They even tried to change us to a new Wi-Fi signal but we knew it would block off lots of content, so we all carried on using the old one."

Now there’s a lesson in there somewhere about mobile devices and education….

Read more here

Friday, August 09, 2013

txt a Monster 2 win! Another one from the archives

I still rate this campaign for its creative use of voice and SMS, especially as it is from 2002. At the time, it was only 12Snap who were running campaigns that combined IVR (Interactive Voice Response) with SMS (text messaging) from what I can remember.

It seems pertinent to share this one with you now as the new Monsters University film is out this summer – 11 years on from the original.

The mechanic of this campaign was pretty simply. You bought a packet of fries from McDonald’s. You opened the door to reveal a special phone number and code. Text the code message to the phone number given. You get a text message to say if you’ve won or lost. If you won, one of the Monsters called you back and screamed at you (which is in keeping with the original film).

This was the biggest mobile marketing campaign ever at that time and was printed on 13 million fry boxes. There was a tiered prize structure with all players being advised whether they had won or lost by text message. Premium winners also receive a “monster MobileCard” (this was using IVR – interactive voice response – and was the monster screaming at you). Intermediate prize winners get a mobile ringtone or logo (those were the days when you could offer these as a genuine prize to customers!). Non-prize-winners got a text message from a monster asking them to play again.

It was run via T-Mobile’s servers and they struggled under the volumes of messages coming through due to the popularity and large-scale of the sales promotion. At the time, McDonald’s was one of the brands pioneering mobile marketing.

The companion website can be seen here on

monsters inc / 12snap monsters inc / 12snap

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Kenco Rappor–mobile marketing from the archives

Below you will find the front and back scan of a sales promotion leaflet that came with Kenco Rappor packs that were new to the market back in 2002. It tied in with the theme of the recent TV campaign that was used to launch the product the previous year. The innovative element of the product was about the new pack format on offer – the fact that the instant coffee granules were in stick format to offer a single serving and designed specifically to appeal to younger customers. More on that rationale about the campaign here. An example of one of the TV ads used can be seen here if you’re interested.

Anyway, it’s fair to say that mid-2002 is still very much early days for mobile marketing. Errors in execution were certainly made – even with the limitations of the time. For example, we already had shortcodes and the mechanic was a bit complicated and fairly meaningless if you hadn’t seen or remembered the TV advert. And the leaflet was folded really really small to fit in the tiny sample size packs they were giving out.

Feel free to discuss what you would do the same or differently.

kenco rappor campaign kenco rappor campaign

You can see larger versions of these graphics on flickr in my mobile marketing set.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lasso slippers: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

I’ve just spotted these slippers. They’re fantastic. What a simple idea, very well executed. They also appeal to me as they’re made from felt which I enjoy making too and I know how lovely and comfortable they will be.


Interesting to see that this year, their Kickstarter campaign was a huge success raising more than 3 times the amount of money they were looking for. So why was it their Indiegogo campaign from last year was a bit of a disaster? Is it a timing issue? Not offering a wide-enough range of sizes initially? Or maybe Indiegogo just isn’t as good? Or maybe they had better visuals and copy the second time around? Or maybe someone just picked up on the Kickstarter campaign and that was the catalyst for success?


“The world’s first hand held visual communicator”

I’m having a bit of a clear-out at home and whilst going through some old magazines, I found that I’d kept a very old issue of Hello Magazine – Issue 638 from November 21, 2000 to be precise. Now Hello is not a magazine I have ever bought or kept habitually so I had a flick through to see why I still had it. Inside was this advertisement feature from Vodafone for the ‘Vodafone Message-Cam’. It’s not a device I remember at all. I was more than a bit sceptical about camera-phones at the time as my focus was on SMS marketing back then.

Bearing in mind this was from November 2000, before we had camera-phones, it was very much ahead of its time. You can see from the advertorial that the girls are having fun taking selfies and sharing them via email (we didn’t have WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter back then). Anyway, I’ve scanned the whole thing in for you to have a look at as I think it’s interesting.

Worthy of note…

Colour touchscreen; selfies, sharing shopping photos, internet browsing (does this make the device the world’s first mobile tablet?), treating a mobile device as fashion, email on mobile – and all this *thirteen* years ago. This device was ahead of its time but clearly they were spot on with many things we just take for granted today with our mobile devices.

I wonder how many they sold….?

Hello 21/11/2000 Hello 21/11/2000


In case you can’t read the copy very well, here’s a transcript of it for you:

Advertisement Promotion.

Girls Night Out

The Vodafone Message-Cam is set to be the ‘must have’ gift on every Christmas wish list

Every season one fashion item always becomes the essential accessory for serious fashionistas. This Christmas, it has to be the Vodafone Message-Cam. Designed by Casio exclusively for Vodafone, this ingenious little device is the world’s first hand held visual communicator with in-built digital camera, which attached to your mobile phone, allows you to send pictures, emails and surf the web. So when Vodafone asked us to test out the Message-Cam, we decided to give it the full paparazzi treatment.

Models are constantly travelling, so keeping in touch with their friends while on jobs around the world can be tough. We asked models Marie and Marit to take the Message-Cam with them on a girls night out in London and give us their verdict.

The girls headed for Zilli Bar, a favourite Soho hot spot, and invited a few girlfriends to join them. They took shots all evening, emailing the pictures immediately to friends around the world and around the corner! It was incredibly easy and a lot of fun. Everyone wanted to get in on the shots, even the waiters.

The Message-Cam’s digital camera has a fully rotating lens so that you can take pictures of yourself or the friends you’re with. You can freeze and edit the pictures on screen,, select the one you want to send, add voice or text message and then email anywhere you want. The screen is full colour and touch-sensitive which makes it ideal for surfing the web. It includes a sound and photo album, voice recorder, clock, SMS editor, calendar and calculator. All this, plus full Internet access and WAP browsing capabilities.

The girls though the Vodafone Message-Cam would make postcards obsolete and would be great for all sorts of occasions, from weddings to parties, or even shopping. Imagine photographing yourself in different outfit and then emailing the pictures to a friend for advice. The over-whelming verdict was that this was an accessory no girl should be without!

The Vodafone Messaged-Cam comes complete with a Siemens C35i WAP phone and data cable. It’s a limited edition and available through Vodafone Stores nationally, priced £349.99. For your local Vodafone Store call 0800 – 10 11 12.

+++++++++ Here's what the device looks like in the flesh Vodafone Message-Cam MC-20-B manufactured by Casio

Want to know a bit more about it? The AnswerBank can fill you in here. And as recently as 2007, geeks have been hacking the device.