Bridging the Gap Between Digital, Mobile and In-Store Experiences

This post originally appeared in our January '13 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

In the mid-’90s I was a teenager just entering high school. I loved computers, and the emergence of the Internet simply astounded me. I would spend hours on Prodigy, then AOL, chatting away and browsing every corner of the emerging web.   

My big prediction was that there would come a day when we’d go to the mall online. We’d walk a character through the mall, entering shops where we could buy real items. Turns out it wasn’t that bold a prediction, as I wasn’t far off.

Today e-commerce has become a formidable challenger to brick-and-mortar stores, which rely on customers getting dressed (it’s harder than you think), leaving their houses, driving to the store, finding parking and dealing with store employees who are too eager or absent to be of any assistance, only to realize the item is out of stock. But in the early days of the web, it wasn’t clear that anyone would ever buy anything online. Who would you be buying from? How would you pay, and would it be safe? Did you need that item now, or could you wait six to 10 days for shipping? Why buy online when you could get everything at the mall (or so you thought) in one day? What if the items didn’t fit? What if they never arrived?


LOCOG & Cadbury Strike Social Media Gold at the London Olympics

Last week we suggested a top pick for Social Media Week London: a talk by Alex Balfour of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). We weren’t disappointed. Alex shared with us some impressive statistics and insights learned during LOCOG's digital adventure during the Games, so we wanted to share them with you, along with a very interesting case study on Cadbury's social media efforts during the Games.


Isn’t It About Time Your Brand Adopted a Mobile Strategy?

I received a sobering yet enlightening Facebook message from my aunt two weeks ago. After getting over my shock that she even knew how to use Facebook Messenger (she is not a technophile), I read her message: 

Aunt: Guess what I got today?
Me: What?
Aunt: The iPhone 5
[cue jaw dropping]

I was reading this on my iPhone 3Gs, yet I’m the one who works at a global post-advertising agency. That’s when I knew it: Mobile has reached significant penetration and can’t be ignored by brands.


Will Mobile Rule the World in 2012?

You know Grandma Mildred’s annual holiday proclamation "Everyone is using them dang cellular telephones!"? You can say that again, Grams. And while she may still be resisting the constant influx of newfangled tech and software, almost everyone else has embraced mobile with open arms. A while back, predictions had Internet usage on mobile devices overtaking the same on desktops and laptops by 2015. We happen to think that at least for millennials, mobile may already have usurped more traditional devices, thanks in part to a number of key apps and events.

Join us as we take a look back at mobile’s massive growth this year as a way to forecast 2012: the year in which mobile takes over and rules the world.


Mobile Consumers to Brands: Ads Must Inform or Be Ignored

A recent survey from Yahoo and The Nielsen Company has revealed information that comes as no surprise to those of us who subscribe to the post-advertising ideal. According to the survey, which polled US mobile internet users, being informative and being relevant are the two most important criteria in advertising on mobile devices. This information comes in conjunction with findings from Advertising Age and Ipsos Observer that 63% of internet users surveyed "somewhat and strongly dislike" mobile ads. There's no doubt that now, more than ever, self-serving advertising is no longer acceptable in any medium.

Screenvision Capitalizes on the Most Excruciating 20 Minutes of Your Life

Few things in life are more boring than sitting through the hackneyed advertisements that precede the dimmed lights, trailers, and eventual feature presentation of the movie theater experience. Sure, there are some yucks to be had memorizing the looped trivia about rom-coms of the recent past and pretending to be a human IMDB when your buddy returns from a bathroom and popcorn run, but for the most part, this is an excruciating slice of life. And therefore it's a tremendous advertising opportunity for anyone up to the task of creating quality content! We're talking about a captive audience with no remote control to fast forward and a painful aisle exit process standing in their way. They are, quite literally, waiting to be entertained. For the love of all that is good, will someone please help these people? Timbaland, NASCAR, and Paula Abdul to the rescue! Wait, what?