Urban Air

There are only four states in the US that do not allow billboards: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont. What do these states have in common? Natural beauty. As a member of the advertising/marketing community, I wouldn’t deny considering a billboard as an option for OOH, but sometimes I would like to look at trees or mountains and the like instead of “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Stephen Glassman of Los Angeles came up with an interesting idea that has the support of Summit Media, who volunteered to donate prominent billboards in LA for the first prototype. The idea: create “floating, globally connected urban forests growing where billboards stand.”

Each billboard/eco-system will also be included with a self-sustaining water and lighting system, so once the initial setup is finished, little maintenance is required. Stephen also has experience in participating in large-scale projects in the public realm.

So, if you think this is a good idea and/or live in a major metropolitan area, like Atlanta, LA, Chicago, New York, or Miami, and wouldn’t mind taking a small moment out of your commute home to take a deep breath of “fresh” air, donate $5.00 because I’m curious to see how this plays out.

Find the link to Stephen’s Kickstarter page here. His goal is $100,000 by December 11. As of November 12, they are at $19,288.

@BCulture_Matt

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Is Technology and Data Spooky?!

Let’s be real. Technology is getting creepy. It’s the scary teacher from grade school that somehow always knows what you’re doing even when she isn’t even looking at you. It seems to be watching our every click spanning the vast universe of the Internet. Companies are focusing on developing technology that processes all of our data to make inferences that could help them turn us into customers, or more importantly, into advocates for their brand. Recently, a brand we’re all familiar with, Netflix, held a competition that rewarded a million dollars (no one we knew won to note) to the group that could create an algorithm that could create better movie suggestions for their members.

It is becoming more and more noticeable to all of us we know; the advertisements on Facebook are generated by endless data based on your profile and pictures posted. Did you notice if you’re wearing a certain brand or piece of clothing that you’ll somehow get an ad with that same information in it? It’s all about targeting, but that’s almost scary targeting! (They’re watching you)!

We have now a developed generation that focuses on individuality, and this evolution inspires us to publicize ourselves on social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, among others. The science behind this data as stated above is rapidly growing due to the high demand of how to use it despite how complicated it is. Going back to the Netflix competition, out of the thousands that entered their competition, only two teams were actually able to create algorithms that improved movie suggestions by ten percent. Acquiring data is easy, but making successful inferences from all of that data is the hard part. But even the smallest improvement can make a large difference by using data properly, which is why companies aren’t afraid to invest.

We’ve been thinking about that a lot on our end here at B Culture Media. How can we help the industry understand what to extract, or more importantly, what to put in place to make that extraction of data all the more usable from the get-go? And, how can we help them understand to the ‘T’ what their target audiences’ want so that all those ad monies are spent wisely. We feel it’s a bit like being Beauty from “Beauty and the Beast” and you have all of this amazing food enticing you to “be their guest”, but instead of that cute dancing cake, now it happens to be advertisements for billions of things you can put into practice to give you lots and lots of data…but, at the end of the day, what does that all translate into? Sales? Growth? Advocacy? What are you Mr./Mrs. X Brand actually searching for?

That’s what makes us understand that we’re circling around back to the technology/data days that existed before the Internet craze started. We need to fully understand the depth of a business, what they need to accomplish, and put into place strategies and metrics to ensure that the “cool” marketing recommendations using innovative technology will actually help an entire organization meet their business goals. Big data is useful, spooky targeted ads are useful, but you have to understand first as to why it’s useful and what you want out of it. I mean, of course besides tracking traffic to a website and the numbers of fans on social channels… those are easy!

@natbdold

@claudiavon

Don’t Get Scammed on Facebook

You’ve probably seen them appear in your news feed. Offers so good, they can’t possibly be real. Or, maybe the old “they’re going to start charging to use Facebook…” Or maybe the shocking celebrity sex tape. OMG! As Facebook now has over 1 billion users, the temptation for criminals, scammers, and hackers will only continue to rise.

On the other hand, companies sometimes do offer great deals or contest entries to win an iPad, so how can you be sure of which is which. A suggestion from The Bulldog Estate, where “we take pride in exposing scams,” double check the retailer’s main website or Facebook page before clicking the offer. If it isn’t there, or there’s no mention of it all: Beware.

Usually, fake celebrity gossip videos turn out to be survey scams, where the user must complete a survey, then can view the alleged shocking tape, only to realize the video doesn’t play. Words like “Shocking” or “OMG” usually are good indicators.

Facebook will be charging for their services if you don’t click here or sign a petition. The gist of this scam has been floating around for years, but people still bite to this day. Instead of threats, like being charged for Facebook, scammers also try sweeter approaches. In September, the website Facecrook, who exposes Facebook scams, reported on a post that offered to change the colors of your Facebook layout. “WOW!!! Hello PINK Facebook!!! Goodbye BLUE Facebook! You can now change your Facebook color to 8 different colors using color changer v1.3 here.”

Odds are if you are skeptical about a news story, offer, or newly updated Facebook feature, it’s best not to click.

@BCulture_Matt

A iPad App That Stops Time #TourneauMinutes

Okay, so it doesn’t really stop time, but you can get lost in this app!

Tourneau, the U.S.’ largest luxury watch retailer, has joined the ranks of some other luxury marketers by creating an exclusive iPad experience for their target market of users. The Tourneau Minutes publication is delivered to customers’ mail boxes in magazine form, but now, is delivered via an app as well.

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Online, Donald McNichol, said, “The strategy behind the app was the editorial content integration into the watch world. It started with the magalog, and then through the iPad app, we could further integrate that storytelling and experience.”

Magalog is code for a magazine-catalog hybrid. App users can explore editorial content, read articles, interact with the watches, and learn more about specific timepieces. Mr. McNichol stated, “Now it is not limited to the one dimension of the print page and brings in more interactivity of the community. It is building a lifestyle community around certain topics”. The most significant words of this statement are interactivity, community and connectivity.

He said, “In the app world, you get great connectivity within the community.” The goal is to develop a niche community where users feel as though they can connect with others, in a way that is stimulating.

With interviews from watch collector William Rohr, several getaways including to Paris and the North and South Poles, and the timing of baseball, users are intertwined in the mix of browsing watches, learning more about them, and reading interesting articles.

Users also can link the App to their social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr) and post updates directly from the App. The App features 12 different time zones from LA to Hanoi to London.

Download the App from the iTunes store here. What do you think of it? Is there something missing? What is your favorite feature? Have fun with it, and enjoy!

@BCulture_Matt

*Disclaimer: The Tourneau Minutes iPad App was developed by B Culture Media.

Back-To-School Mobile Fashions

With millions of students heading back to school, lets take a look at school themed phone cases. From favorite toys to your favorite subjects – see how technology, education and creativity collide.

1. Relive your Etch-n-Sketch days with this Iphone case courtesy of iFoolish. Having a dull moment? Flip your mobile to have a full functioning Etch-n-Sketch toy at your fingertips. But put it away before the teacher confiscates it!

 

2. Never forget those masterpieces you made in art class with this creative Iphone cover. Available on Etsy for around $10, the case is also available in black and white.

 

3. Kate Spade joins in on the back-to-school craze with this composition IPhone 4 case for $40.00.

 

4. Getting hungry? Maybe this cover will satisfy those mid day chocolate cravings. Featured on Etsy, this phone cover is perfect for snack time!

 

5. Make your mobile a dual device with this $20 Etsy retro cover. Flip your phone over for a fully functional calculator – just in time for math class.

 

6. Stay ahead of the class with this pencil box inspired Iphone cover from Etsy for $15. Never have to borrow another pencil – just a pencil sharpener.

 

7. This adorable cover is perfect for teachers. Order the customizable cover at Zazzle to express your love for children’s art and your students. The stick figure is also available as a man or woman.

I just realized – school was not this fun when I was growing up.

@BCulture_CourtB

Solar: Weather App Adding Color to the Forecast

 

Hollr Inc. takes weather to a whole new level with iOS app, Solar.

The app presents the forecast in an array of vivid colors and animation that is meant to make the user ‘feel’ the conditions. The beautiful color display is the standout feature and lies at the core of Solar’s growing popularity.  It’s easy to find and common to find oneself endlessly staring at the screen.  For a simpler way to get the day’s forecast, Solar also features icons.

Just want to enjoy the app’s color display? No problem. Tap the device to hide text and tap it again for the text to reappear.

Select locations and save them for future reference. With a swipe or double tap, view chosen locations simultaneously or individually. Switching between locations is an ease with Solar.

The app is receiving is picking up a lot of steam in the mobile world but the common complaint is the app’s temperature inaccuracies. But give or a take 10 or so degrees – Hollr, Inc. has set a new standard in terms of app innovation and creativity.

@BCulture_CourtB