Innes Associates Launches Summer Adventure Campaign

Summer has always been a time for adventures. Whether it was building sandcastles and exploring rock pools at the seaside during your six-week school summer holidays or jetting off from work for two weeks on the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean, discovering something new has always been part of summer.

#InnesAdventures ideas - Scotland

This summer we’re launching something new and have some great prizes up for grabs. Over the next eight weeks we want to come along with you on your summer adventures. We know that you’ll already have your suitcase jam packed, so we’ve something far more manageable for you to take on your travels, an #InnesAdventures card.

What we want you to do is pick up one of our adventure cards and take a selfie with it while you’re on your holidays. Once you’ve taken your selfie upload it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #InnesAdventures and add the location of your snap.

Our competition runs from today – Monday, 29 June – until Friday, 21 August and we’ll be awarding a prize for the furthest travelled selfie and the quirkiest selfie. If you’re sunning yourself in the Seychelles, exploring China’s Forbidden City or heading off on a road trip round Scotland, make sure your Innes Adventures card is packed and then get creative (within reason as we don’t want you doing anything dangerous just to get a quirky picture) with your photography.

#InnesAdventures cardsFeel free to pass on your Innes Adventures card to family, friends and colleagues and get them involved too.

Instructions

  • Pick up an Innes Associates adventure card and head off and visit some sights.
  • Once you have arrived at your destination, simply take out your phone and your Innes Associates adventure card, and then take a selfie with us.
  • Hold the adventure card with the white megaphone facing the camera, get your landmark in the background and smile.
  • After you have taken your selfie, upload it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or even all three. Include our hashtag #InnesAdventures, and add the location of your Innes picture.

#InnesAdventures ideas - LondonSelecting the winners

We’ll be awarding prizes in two categories:

  • Quirkiest Innes Selfie
  • Furthest Travelled Innes Selfie*
    *Miles will be calculated from our office at 1 Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen to the location of your snap.

The winners will be able to choose from a selection of prizes – including vouchers for cookery classes at the Nick Nairn Cook School in Aberdeen and a champagne afternoon tea for two people at Meldrum House.

Remember, your #InnesAdventures selfie must be submitted by Friday, 21 August.

If you have any questions, or want to get involved, contact Bronwyn on bronwyn@charlieinnes.com or 01224 925051.

Innes Adventure ideas - Dunnottar Castle and Pennan

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Augmented Reality (AR)

It’s been around for a while but we’re hearing more and more about augmented reality or ‘AR’ as it is often abbreviated to.  So what exactly is augmented reality, how does it work and how might it affect the way that you communicate with your customers?  Read on to find out more…

What is augmented reality?

Wikipedia describes augmented reality as ‘a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.’ 

A shorter – and perhaps simpler – description is provided by Oxford dictionaries. It refers to augmented reality as ‘a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.’

Augmented reality is different from virtual reality, where the real world is replaced with a simulated one.

How does it work?

The reasonably new technology of augmented reality blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell.  The basic concept behind AR is to superimpose graphics, audio and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment in real time.

Perhaps the best way of understanding augmented reality is to experience the technology in action.  You may have already done so without realising it – particularly if you are an IKEA customer.  The Swedish furniture giant’s 2013 catalogue app was the most downloaded branded app of 2012 and featured an augmented reality viewer that allowed readers to use their tablet or smartphone to visualise furniture from its catalogue in 3D, along with related video and digital content.

A recent Business Insider article highlighted some recent clever AR campaigns that achieved what many organisations strive for: They created a positive ‘buzz’ around the brand.  A couple of our favourite examples are highlighted below:

Ford shows off some of the features of its Grand C-Max via an outdoor AR campaign that offers the next best thing to actually test driving the vehicle.

Food processing company, Heinz, uses augmented reality technology from blippar to allow customers to access a virtual cookbook by scanning their Heinz ketchup bottle. All of the different recipes used ketchup as their “secret ingredient”.

How can I use AR to communicate with my audience?

As smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly sophisticated and their use more prevalent, augmented reality offers organisations another opportunity to bring their brands and products to life for prospective customers.  AR is therefore likely to secure a place in many companies’ advertising budgets in the future. It is estimated that the market for augmented reality in the US will reach $350 million in 2014, compared to $6 million in 2008.

As with many types of technology, there is always the risk that some will use augmented reality incorrectly, or in a ‘gimmicky’ fashion.  When used properly, however, AR has huge potential as part of an organisation’s marketing efforts. By its very nature, it allows individuals to interact with the brand and its products or services.

Augmented reality also offers new opportunities for non-commercial purposes, such as educational or charity campaigns.

Two very different examples below show how a charity has used AR to highlight the serious issue of domestic violence, while National Geographic embraced the technology to introduce members of the public to ancient dinosaurs.

Non-profit domestic abuse campaign

National Geographic’s live augmented reality campaign

If you would like some assistance with your organisation’s communication activities, please get in touch.

Baking goods sales rise thanks to TV

Thanks to the power of television it looks like Britain has fallen in love with baking again.

CakeNow in its third series, The Great British Bake Off continues to attract big audiences on Tuesday nights on BBC2 and it’s whipping viewers up into a baking frenzy.  As a result shops are seeing baking products flying off the shelves as the nation equips itself with spatulas, cake tins and icing bags.

If you’ve not yet seen the show its premise is simple.  Get 12 home bakers, set them three baking challenges each week, sprinkle in a good amount of humour from hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, and once baked let experts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood judge the results.  And each week the baker who fails to rise to the challenge gets sent home.

Throughout the series the bakers are tested on every aspect of their baking skills, from pastry to sponge, bread, biscuits and puddings.  If you thought baking was a relaxing, therapeutic pastime, then think again.  For the bakers it’s an emotional rollercoaster of wondering if they’ve got the recipe correct, worrying if the sponge will rise, hoping their pastry bottom isn’t soggy and praying that the bake doesn’t land on the floor before it’s judged.

It’s this mixture that is inspiring viewers at home to crank on the oven and get baking.  Debenhams has reported that sales of its traditional tiered cake stands have risen by 207% compared to last year and since the start of September sales of baking accessories in its stores are up 38%; there’s also been a 50% increase in sales of a new teatime range.

The department store is not alone in witnessing a rise in baking product sales.  Supermarket Morrisons says sales of baking trays have increased by 25% and sales of ingredients were up 10% since the show returned to our screens.

And it seems baking isn’t just for the girls.  Men have been arming themselves with electric whisks and oven mitts as well, which is thanks to the ‘Hollywood effect’ of the show’s co-judge Paul Hollywood.  When a recent international football match fell on the same night that the baking series is aired, droves of men took to Twitter to discuss which programme they should be watching!

It’s not just TV programmes that are helping to drive up product sales, books are too.  Fifty Shades of Grey has been one of the huge literary hits of 2012 and it has been reported that hardware stores are doing a roaring trade in duct tape, rope and cable ties.  Perhaps people are just doing more DIY than normal…

If you are inspired to get your pinnie on and the mixing bowl out, then here’s Innes Associates favourite chocolate cake recipe for you.  Mix 4oz of margarine with 4oz of caster sugar, then add 2 eggs and a little vanilla essence and mix well.  Sift in 4oz of self raising flour and a little baking powder and then 1oz of cocoa powder.  Combine it all together and then spoon it into a lined baking tin and bake at 160ºC/180ºC or gas mark 3 for 30-40 minutes.  Once cool slice the cake in two through the middle to leave you with two rounds and ice with butter icing – mix 4oz of butter with 4oz of icing sugar, a little vanilla essence and a 1oz of cocoa powder – on the top of each half.  Stick the cake back together and decorate with some chocolate sprinkles.  Enjoy!

Olympic Round-Up from Innes Associates

Regardless of whether you are a big sports fan or not, the success story of this summer certainly has to be the London 2012 Olympics.  The performance of Team GB surpassed all expectations, the venues worked well and the public simply couldn’t get enough Olympic action.

In the wake of the closing ceremony, other countries were quick to send their messages of congratulations to London for their handling of the Games.

But what of the companies behind the Games? Surely any sponsors’ association with such a global triumph will reap positive rewards? Not necessarily, it would seem.  Consumers are increasingly savvy and difficult to impress – and will be quick to criticise those efforts that fall short of a place on the podium.  Innes Associates takes a light-hearted look at what worked, what didn’t – and what sneaked in through the back door to be a surprise Olympics success story.

Gold medal performances

The team at Innes Associates were so impressed by British Airways Home Advantage campaign that we featured the link to their ‘Take a Flight Down Your Street’ movie on our website in the run-up to the Games.  The movie, which cleverly used Google Streetmap technology to allow viewers to taxi down their own neighbourhood in a BA plane, was part of the company’s wider campaign, which was underpinned by the perhaps controversial but catchy strapline: “Don’t Fly. Support Team GB.”  Missed the movie? You can still catch it here at http://taxi.ba.com.

Sports giant, Adidas, claims to have already recouped the £100m investment it made in London 2012.  Their ‘Take the Stage’ campaign struck an exceptionally successful note – ending with a fun and quirky twist by way of a YouTube movie featuring the sporting stars of the GB team miming to the Queen anthem ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.  To feel inspired, click here.

Failed to qualify

Visa raised the hackles of many with its “proud to accept only Visa” slogan and associated action of denying Games goers access to any other ATMs within Olympic venues.  The inconvenience to potential customers was compounded when their systems crashed; the company’s decision to use Olympic venues to test a new ‘cashless’ form of payment using mobile phones was always risky and, in this case, proved disastrous.

Meanwhile, Visa’s rivals at Mastercard produced a master stroke by despatching branded vans round London to hand out free whippy ice cream – raising smiles rather than frowns among Olympic visitors.

Surprise stars

Mastercard were not alone in achieving PR success as a non-sponsor.  Viewers – even those who recorded the action and skipped the advertisements – could not fail to miss the many athletes and swimmers sporting Dr Dre headphones as they waited to compete in events.  By setting up a shop on the edge of the Olympic Village and inviting competitors to collect a free pair of headphones, the brand achieved maximum return from a minimal investment.

Also hard to miss were the flourescent Nike trainers sported by many Olympic runners during the Games; a further success on the back of the company’s ‘Make It Count’ campaign, featuring Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe.  Nike engaged further with the public during the Games via its ‘Find Your Greatness’ sports featuring everyday athletes from locations around the world named London.

An opportunistic PR stunt was pulled off with aplomb by SpecSavers.  The company capitalised on the gaffe at the start of the games, which saw the South Korean flag displayed during a football match involving the team from North Korea.  SpecSavers were quick to chime in with their well-known slogan: ‘Should’ve Gone to SpecSavers’.

Parting thoughts

London 2012 has been referred to as the first ‘social media’ Olympics and American broadcaster NBC came in for criticism for failing to broadcast events live as Stateside viewers had often learned the results online prior to watching the events on TV.  The volume of Facebook fans following Team GB throughout the duration of the games, with people desperate to hear of the latest home successes.

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, therefore, the most successful sponsors will be those who think beyond the ‘traditional’ options and extend their efforts to incorporate new media platforms.

That said, Channel 4 – official broadcaster of the Paralympic Games – used traditional billboard advertising to great effect in the run-up to the event launch.  Their message? ‘Thanks for the warm-up’. Advertising genius.