Weekly brightness 25/08/14


I'm back. After one month of silence due to very deserved vacations and digital-detox, it's time to kick-off again.
Enjoy reading the most juicy news, articles and cases I've collected from the web in the last week. 

BMW runs the first ads on Medium

The time has come: Medium lost its "adv-virginity" and opened its platform to generate revenue. Indeed, BMW is sponsoring Reform, a collection of posts about design in order to promote its new 4 Series Gran Coupe. The sponsorship will last six months and consists of  a brand mention - "Presented by BMW" - and a video on every article, plus few editorial contents published  as sponsored. The most interesting part of the deal is that it's based on a metric which measure the true engagement of readers:
the amount of time people spend with an article.
Would the sponsorship go to the detriment of Medium credibility? I don't think so, but it depends on how many sponsored articles will flow in the platform in the future.
One thing is sure, BMW made a smart move.

Twitter aims to fire up the "everyday moments"

Twitter is launching - in UK - a new research tool to help brands identify "everyday" buzz-worthy moments based on users' conversations. Basically, the social network is tempting brands to adopt an always-on approach instead of campaigns built around major events. Twitter is working hard to reshape its platform in order to attract more adv revenues and this tool might be an effective trigger, especially if it will have a global implementation.

Heineken launched the unbranded social tool "@wherenext"

As a part of its global "Cities of The World" campaign, Heineken developed a new social tool on Twitter that allows users to "unlock the secrets of their cities" providing bars, restaurants and suggestions based on their location. In order to enhance the tool's credibility, users will benefit from the service without having mentioned the Heineken brand but just "@wherenext".
That's a very clever case of branded utility.

Pizza Mogul: create your own pizza and make money

So smart, so simple. Domino's pizza Australia created an app that allows customers to create a personalised pizza listed into Domino's menu, share it on social networks and "get a slice of the profit". A case of customer co-creation with an effective incentive that could be easily replied for many retailers.  

AT&T’s @SummerBreak campaign spreads across social

Telecoms company AT&T's run a cross-platform social media campaign during the summer break. Tell a story through different social platforms is key to hit Millennials' attention and so the campaign included videos on Youtube as well as contents on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine and Snapchat. The intersting thing is that for the latter, AT&T's garnered 45.000 followers in two months and without any help of paid media.

Push For Pizza

Sometimes you want a pizza but you're just too lazy even to order it. That insight  brought five 19-year old students to launch a one-button app that brings you pizza wherever you are.
"Push For Pizza" might be an app-manifesto for millennials: facilitator, friction-free, un-annoying. The video is brilliant.

Foursquare app changes
skin and turned to be

Foursquare has  gone through a deep renovation in order to find a sustainable business model. The app got rid of its check-in feature and looks more like Trip-Advisor but with push notifications based on places people visited and their current location. Everything looks nice except for the fact that users' movement are tracked even when the app is closed.

Humans need not apply

Scared by big data and their consequence in the advertising industry? Well, that's not even the tip of the iceberg.
Watch this video.

Will hardware startups own the future? 

According to the linked article on Forbes the answer is yes. However, the article will give you a comprehensive overview on the hardware startups' world: context, differences with software startups, business models, accelerators.

Song Exploder

Song Exploder is a SUPERB podcast where musicians and bands - like Garbage for instance - dig into the story of how they made a song. Piece by piece they tell stories about editing,
problem-solving and creativity. I really love this idea and this project, full credits to Hrishikesh Hirway for his work.
Song Exploder is part of a wider podcast network called Maximum Fun: a miscellanea of the awesome podcasts on the Internet. That's not really the usual stuff that I post on this blog but it is absolutely worthy of being mentioned.

The Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique' remixed and
re-imagined from all the original samples 

Remixing iconic elements of passed pop-cultures is often a smart way to touch the hearth of a certain target. But from a musical point of view, DJ Cheeba, DJ Moneyshot and DJ Food made it difficult to reach the same level. These guys made an epic work which took 3 years remixing and re-imaging the super classic Beastie Boys' "Pauls Boutique"  from all the original samples.