admin, Author at Noise Digital | Vancouver & Toronto Advertising Agency

Social Media-Activated Discounts

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A social media trend we might be seeing a lot more of is Social Media-Activated Discounts. It would be great to check-into a business with your smart phone and get a discount by using your credit card. You don’t have to mention the coupon or discount to the business or staff personnel that are waiting on you. How easy would that be?

automatic socil media picGone would be the days of finding, downloading, printing or waiting for coupons to arrive in the mail. I think extreme couponers would be very happy.

American Express, Twitter and Foursquare have joined up to do just this. If you make a purchase using your AmEx card and that business has an AmEx special, Foursquare will verify your check-in on Twitter and will credit your AmEx statement. See the video below for more information.

I think this is a great idea. I am sure you could use Visa which has more customers than American Express and tap into Facebook’s 900 million users to reach a larger audience.

#KONY2012 Sheds Some Visible Light

Posted by | Events & Conferences, Uncategorized | One Comment

Regardless of your stand on KONY2012 it’s hard to ignore. Whether you care about the capture of Kony before December 31 or not what’s really interesting about this campaign is how well this non for profit, Invisible Children has executed their message.


By now it’s fairly well accepted that social media is a powerful tool. It can help brands drive a message, inform people of timely events, and in this case, introduce people to an idea. Long have we been hearing now about storytellers influence others by connecting them to a common thought or goal. With the KONY2012 campaign, Invisible Children has clearly recognized a few key things about social media and managed to combine them with a story based on basic human values. This made it worth sharing.

The story they tell in their 28 minute video leverages a few key tools:

1) A Connection to Basic Human Emotions: Including caring, belonging, and love. The video begins by telling a story we can all relate to. It helps us set the framework of how life might have been different had we been born under different circumstances.

2) A Story You Can Relate To: It tells the story of a boy which at first, starts off as nothing new to anyone who has seen a World Vision commercial. What’s different about his story is the moment where he says he would see more value in his death than life. And that’s how you know the situation is desperate.

3) An Expiry Date: This organization not only points out the positive things they have done to make change already, but recognize point blank, the importance of keeping the momentum of an idea going. This is a difficult task. Critics have already pointed out the obvious, within the next 18 hours this will start to fade. But whose to say it wouldn’t have made a pinprick of an impact? At the end of the day, we are all trying to be influencers of something. To at least mention the barrier of time is an honest approach to making people care.

4) The Multiplying Effect of Key Influencers: Another key part of this video viral campaign is that the organization recognized the value of lining up popular influencers. The pop culture icons are meant to be a platform to drive this message through their networks and the political figures are there to set policy in motion.

5) A Simple Call to Action: The video ends with ways to get involved. Most of which are nothing new. Sign up for a kit, get a bracelet and some posters. What sets this campaign apart from others is that it’s hard to ignore the simplicity of their plea: Make Kony Famous. By having people recognize such a simple call to action connected to such a strong message ie: Give the opportunity for others to choose life over death, it’s hard to sit back and not at least click “share”.

Despite how this campaign will end, it has caused a notable splash in our world and of course, anything worth sharing will have its critics. The fact that people are talking about it is an accomplishment that has put Invisible Children on the map. Regardless of your stand on this topic, it holds true that it has made us think. It’s tricky to answer the bigger questions such as: “Should public opinion drive international intervention?” Time will tell how the story unfolds but for now, it’s clear to see this organization has created a social media success.

For those of you who haven’t seen the video yet, take a look and decide for yourself:


Privacy policy – a marketer’s dilemma or utopia?

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20 day’s old now since Google’s policy changes took effect (March 1st) and with the initial public outrage subsided, it’s still worth noting a shifting reality in terms of how companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft will continue to use privacy policy changes to gain market share and position. And how that will change how marketers value them.

As the reality that data continues to provide brands the thread to opportunity that informs real-time digital communication plans and campaigns, policy changes will continue to shift and morph.

google article pic

Not the most mind blowing radically future forward thought leadership topic of the year, but we should be reminded to pay attention to these behind-the-scenes mega competitive business play’s once in a while. Like Moneyball – these competitive moves are played out in the background – collecting, assessing, and assigning the value of Data – or in other terms – value of you; the user. Google’s changes are but the beginning and “remind us what it’s really selling: Us”

As said in the Feb 20th Fiscal Times article “In Google’s New Privacy Policy, a Push for Profits” Shawndra Hill, a Wharton operations and information management professor, says Google had little choice but to make better use of its data. “Strategically, if they want to compete against Facebook, they have to take advantage of the data that they have.” By combining the information collected across its various platforms, Google has increased its value to advertisers”.

By combining and consolidating its various platforms and their separate privacy policy’s, making one blanket policy so that if you as a user agree to share more of yourself on one of their platforms than another – they can make sure marketers can access your “whole” behavior set.

So by making one broad policy, Google effectively can now offer more insights through collecting consumer behavior data across its entire network of owned properties, making it that much more valuable to advertisers.

Certainly not to be trivialized, and I am by no means suggesting they are breaking laws, or disseminating any information that consumers don’t already offer up (although debatable). Some say “Google actually deserves credit for being transparent about the fact that it’s changing its privacy policies and offering its perspective on how it’s still being fair to users”.


Reserving judgment on the Google Monster, I am simply calling attention to the way businesses are going about competition through policy changes as another means of competitive advantage. Significant in that access and a greater understanding of how to use consumer behavior data is how marketers will win in 2012. And how those companies that most effectively and efficiently (fairly) collect and offer access to that data will be the go-to for marketers. It ain’t about “click-throughs” anymore – but we knew that already right?!

NFC is on its way…

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You have probably heard NFC being talked about like it’s the next big thing but what is it and what can it do? Near Field Communication (NFC) is a high-frequency, wireless technology that allows smartphones and similar devices to communicate with each other by touching them or bringing them in close proximity to each other.

NFC has become a hot topic recently due to the expanding trials and interest in mobile payment. It allows mobile phone users to ‘tap and pay’ in store with their phone. We have all seen the PayPass readers at checkouts where you can simply tap your card to make your transaction. NFC mobile payment is similar to this where you can tap or hover your phone over the reader and hey-presto, item paid for. However, in order to see NFC mobile payment adapt into the mass market it needs to hold more value. As Ken Miller, VP of Strategic Risk Services at Intuit said at the GigaOM’s Mobilize conference, currently the well-established leader in payment is cash or plastic, which only takes two seconds to use. We need to offer something better for mass consumer and merchant adoption.

So what is better than cash or plastic?

Because we are so accustomed to cash and plastic, NFC mobile payment is not going to excite the average consumer or merchant. However, paying for items with your phone is not the only thing NFC technology can offer. It can also host a variety of content such as coupons, loyalty programs and promotions, all of which can be downloaded and redeemed in store. An NFC Chip needs to be installed on your phone and also somewhere in store or in smart posters for them to communicate with each other. This real-time engagement can offer countless opportunities for both the consumer and marketers.

How can marketers use NFC?

When Google Wallet was released, Google stated one of their main goals is to combine Google Wallet and Google Offers. This will help marketers and merchants reach consumers with personalized offers that can be redeemed via their mobile phones.

NFC marketing will focus on behavioral targeting determined by data rather than simply targeting by age or location. NFC has the ability to target consumers by their shopping habits or purchase history; it can be extremely personalized and tailored to each consumer. NFC has the capability of tracking consumer behavior in a very unique and highly detailed way which is an incredibly valuable resource for marketers. Think of it as Google Analytics but for the offline world!

Is NFC really going to take off?

With the rise in smartphone usage and the vast number of sophisticated apps available, NFC has huge potential. IDC estimates smartphone sales in 2011 to reach 472 million worldwide and rising to 982 million in 2015. However, in order for NFC to take off we need to overcome some hurdles standing in the way.

Currently, only a small number of mobile phones have the NFC Chip installed. The Galaxy Nexus is the latest from Google which also offers the Google Wallet. However, the NFC Chip is not installed in the majority of phones which is quite obviously the biggest hurdle of all! In addition, we need to see merchants installing the equipment in store. According to Brad Greene, the Senior Business Leader at Visa at the GigaOM’s Mobilize conference, only 2% of merchants currently have the equipment installed. It seems we have a long way to go before we see any kind of action with NFC.

I look forward to seeing some new and exciting interactive marketing initiatives. NFC will allow brands to reach consumers through real-time engagement at the most crucial time of decision making. However, we are a long way off from seeing NFC emerge into the mass market so let’s hold tight for now …

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