Red Bull giving wings to Easter

Red Bull has organized an Easter hunt with a twist. It has set out 1000 special trial packages of its new taste products across Sweden, with 25 in Stockholm. The clues are photos of the 1000 locations. The top ten contestants will receive additional prizes.

Sounds like a classic promotion with wings. What is interesting is how imaginative and resourceful the treasure seekers have been. The main tool has been to use Google Maps’ “Street view”. One contestant found seven stashes within 90 minutes; cycling from location to location using his smartphone. He avoided wasted journeys by getting friends to check possible locations. Those at picked sites find a polite sign.

This Easter hunt is another example of Red Bull’s well-established native marketing campaigns. It is one of the best at it. The results? Heightened awareness. Alignment with the brand’s values, associated with competition, adventure, daring, determination and sport. Free media mentions and increased traffic to its website. Finally a cost effective means to ensure trial of its new product tastes by its target consumer segment. Expect to see sales and profits take a lift.

4 chords to the bank – Swedish style

How is it that Sweden is the world’s largest exporter of music (Euro 650 million); after the UK and US?

While it may have begun with ABBA’s rendition of “Waterloo” in 1975, it is the creative energies of PoP, Cheiron and other music producers that have been the visible tip of a musical iceberg since 1992 that now accounts for 40 of the US Top 10 hits (for example; Ace of Base, Backstreet Boys, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna, Katy Perry, etc.).

Danceable rhythms, heavy keyboards and funk mixed with computer and music skills all help to create bankable tunes. It is interesting to consider that just 4 chords are at the heart of most pop music hits – as the ‘Axis of Awesome’ demonstrate (see the YouTube clip).

There is something to the Swedish buisness beat that helps drive its contribution to, if not leadership of, numerous industry sectors. It is an example of a broader culture of successful innovation and commercialization. As the song goes: “Money, money, money…”

Crowdsharing – techniques to assist in MH370 search

The characteristics of Social Media continue to evolve. The combination of Internet and smart phones are allowing for constant and instantaneous interaction.

Some of the results of this dynamic are good, others not so.

The latest manifestation of a good example is the “crowdsharing” efforts by Tomnod to help identify the wreckage of MH370 in the South China Sea.

The specific and more general implications of such sharing are profound.

Is decline to be feared?

All things have their natural cycle of development and decay – even in the digital world.

The observation and research suggests the development is inherent and faster. Their focus is online gaming – such as ‘Candy Crush’. Despite its phenomenal success, with 500 million downloads and being played 150 billion times, it seems to have topped out; (like ‘Angry Birds’). At a broader level a recent study from Princeton University has highlighted the risk of social network epidemics. The researchers see Facebook’s membership declining by 80% by 2017. At a recent London conference a Google representative echoed the company’s fear of remaining relevant.

In short do we understand the forces that drive financially viable innovation? Can we harness them? Or are they just fads.