Masala Digital

Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

Mumbai Terror and the role of new media

Mumbai suffered one of its worst terror nightmares these last 3 days when armed terrorists took over strategic spots in Mumbai, leading to a bloodshed yet unparalleled in its gruesomeness.

While the terror attacks received worldwide media coverage, it was no less covered extensively by citizen journalists and common people who used a host of digital mediums to add to the story. Internet, and new media tools, came on the forefront as reliable tools to track the terror drama.

wiki_mumbaiA wikipedia page was constantly updated by vigilant users, providing a single point of reference.

Many twitter feeds contributed to real-time reporting & status update, which were utilzed heavily by the administration, media as well as citizens to get regular updates as well as channelize real-time help.

image

Twitter feed for Mumbai

Twitter-fed list of useful local numbers

Post the attacks, these feeds have become the buzz-ground for discussions, opinions and to plan next steps to solve the problem at its roots.

image A google maps page also became a ready reference guide, especially for people outside India to get a real-life perspective of where and how things were happening.

image Vinu’s photostream was picked up by Fox News & CNN as well as multiple channels to provide real-time updates on all that was happening.

image Over 2000 videos have flooded youtube post the attacks.

image The MumbaiHelp blog has updated lists of all relevant helpline numbers as well.

Launched: India’s own Laptop Community

Through the years, Indian consumers have gotten used to the fact that if they want to find out more about laptops, they only have two options:

1. Read international reviews & opinions, a lot of which may not be applicable to India

2. Tread the dusty Nehru Place (New Delhi) or equivalent lanes in the city and dodge the dodgy hardware shops and hope to get a good deal

Both are impractical and unfriendly options, and more often than not, the only savior is the IT department admin at your place of work or Word-of-Mouth via friends. The only problem is that these routes can only yield limited info and hence, limited results.

Thankfully, India now has its own laptop review site – with Indian content, products that are available in India, best laptop deals and more.

image

http://laptopcommunity.com/ is a community review site designed purely for Indian audiences and their needs. Still in its infancy, and hence beta (!), the site already has 100s of laptop models reviewed including the latest hp laptop, Dell, Apple & Acers of the world..and a list of models rated prominently basis their popularity with users. There is also an integrated discussion board (PhPBB based forum), product videos, Q&A, latest India-specific news & new launch info and some well written & regularly updated articles relevant to the site’s content.

Users who consider themselves laptop experts can join the community as experts to guide others. I am joining for sure…think I have had enough of providing gyaan to all & sundry, and it wont hurt to spread my wings a bit! Brands can look at the site as a niche opportunity to advertise their products to a bang-on TG…makes sense.

Try it out..and do leave a comment here about how you find the experience!

John Roach
for National Geographic News

September 12, 2008

A multibillion-dollar atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border may help scientists treat diseases, improve the Internet, and open the door to travel through extra dimensions, according to physicists.The first half of the inner tracker barrel for the Compact Muon Spectrometer, an experimental device at the Large Hadron Collider, is seen in an undated image. In addition to solving big mysteries of the universe, the massive atom smasher—which was "turned on" September 10, 2008—may help treat disease, improve the Internet, and open the door to faster-then-light travel, scientists say.
On Wednesday scientists cheered and champagne flowed as the first beam of protons lapped around the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground tunnel at the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, was designed to solve big mysteries in science, such as the nature of dark matter and what the universe was like just after the big bang.
The massive machine could also lead to medical and technological advances, some experts argue.
Such potential breakthroughs are often an “ancillary benefit” of big science projects like the LHC, said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and author at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Still, Krauss said, these benefits are a misguided way to justify building the atom smasher.
“It’s like trying to argue that manned space missions were useful for Tang,” he said, referring to the powdered drink mix popularized in U.S. households by NASA in the 1960s.
“Our job as scientists is to explain that these esoteric things [such as dark matter] are not completely unrelated to humanity,” he added. “Ultimately, we address the questions of how we got here and what we’re made of.”
Already Providing Benefits
In the months ahead, scientists will use the LHC to ramp up opposing proton beams to nearly light speed and smash particles together, breaking them into smaller components.
Monstrous detectors will pore through the detritus, helping scientists examine the conditions of the very early universe.
The computer network set up to process the mountains of data generated by each collision is already inspiring spin-offs, noted Andy Parker, a professor of high energy physics at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, who helped design the grid system.
Parker is also involved with a Cambridge-based company that is using the grid technology, which links together thousands of computers, to better index images on the Internet.
Such a system determines the task to be done, the processing power required, checks for availability, sends the task out, gets it done, and ships it back to the scientist—all while the person sits at a desk.
“I don’t have to do anything to achieve [all] that,” Parker said.
Technologies developed for earlier atom smashers—such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider that booted up in New York in 2000 and the Fermilab Tevatron started in 1987 in Illinois—are today ingrained in mainstream society, Parker noted.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, for example, are common at most major hospitals to make images of the insides of patients’ bodies, often to look for cancerous tumors.
The technique stems from general studies of antimatter and the use of particle detectors, Parker said.
And more medical professionals are turning to proton beams similar to those used in the LHC to blast away tumors deep inside bodies.
“What you can do there is send a beam of protons into the patient, which does essentially no damage at all to the tissues on the way in,” Parker explained.
“All the damage is done at the point where the protons stop. And by tuning the energy of the protons, you can make them stop inside the tumor.”
As scientists working with the LHC learn to better focus and control proton beams, the improvements will likely trickle down to the medical profession, he added.
Faster Than Light
Future spin-offs from the LHC are less certain.
“We don’t know what we’re going to find out,” Parker said.
Though admittedly far-fetched, one sexy idea is that the LHC may find extra dimensions of space/time. If so, the discovery could open the door to technologies that allow people to travel faster than the speed of light.
In a sense, Parker explained, scientists may discover an ability to move chunks of space-time from one place to another through those extra dimensions, effectively bypassing the known laws of physics.
“If you went to the 23rd century and there were people flying around faster than the speed of light, you would say, What is it you found out that enabled you to do this?” Parker said.
“And the answer might be, It all started when we discovered there were these extra dimensions.”
Krauss, of Arizona State University, said that even without such advances, curiosity-driven research is fundamental to maintaining our current standard of living for generations into the future.
“It will help create innovation and enhance the economic future of our children in ways that we don’t know,” he said, adding that the chance to work with machines such as the LHC often attracts students to the sciences.
Krauss added that the big science questions being probed with the LHC are also personally relevant and practical for all members of society.
He explained that just as people are made of stardust, the origins of those particles in stardust stretch back to the beginning of the universe.
“If it all works out, you’ll get a better understanding of what you’re doing here,” he said. “And, to me, that is the greatest benefit of science.”

Smells like lunch!

Check out this KFC Press Release about a really innovative marketing campaign!

In a marketing first, KFC is highlighting the launch of its $2.99 Deals by placing the mouth-watering aroma of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the halls and offices of corporate America.

Forget television integrations or corporate naming rights, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s first-ever “scent-focused” pilot program teamed KFC with corporate mail rooms nationwide. Along with carrying inter-office mail, overnight packages and bills, mail carts in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Dallas delivered the aroma of freshly prepared Kentucky Fried Chicken during pre-lunch mail drops.

Through the pilot program, KFC worked with an online company, a business-to-business consulting firm and a non-profit, to include a $2.99 Deal – a plated meal including KFC’s world famous chicken, a side item and a biscuit – on the actual mail carts that pass the offices of hungry workers.

“There is truly no better brand ambassador worldwide than the signature aroma of freshly prepared Kentucky Fried Chicken,” said James O’Reilly, chief marketing officer for KFC. “And we couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the value of our new $2.99 Deal than to inject the mouth-watering scent of Kentucky Fried Chicken into the corridors of corporate America.”

To bring the sweet-smelling promotion to life, KFC collaborated with Chemistry.com in Dallas; the Trade Association & Society Consultants of Washington, D.C.; and the Chicago offices of the Salvation Army.

 

More Smelladvertising:

 

image

VIA (the washing powder) ran a poster campaign in Stockholm and Malmö which..er..actually smells!

Push the little spout at the bottom of the poster and you’ll sniff a sample on how the washing powder smells. Or how clean clothes smell after being washed with Via.

HOT!

So, smell some fried chicken, and if it gets too much, there is always the refreshing detergent smell to wash it off! Anyone for coffee beans?

More examples? Look at how newspapers are using smelladvertising to regain lost commercial revenues…here

Piclens is now Cooliris

Remember our post on Piclens? Well, things have changed a bit over there…and we have a quick update from the Piclens Team at Cooliris:

Luna Yang wrote:

Hi Masala Digital Team,My name is Luna and I’m a Stanford intern at Cooliris. You posted about PicLens recently – thank you! Since you use and enjoy PicLens, we thought you might appreciate an update on our product as we’re releasing some exciting new features today.

One of the biggest changes is that PicLens will now be known as Cooliris. Not only is the brand of our product undergoing change, but so is our product. We are very pleased to introduce Cooliris 1.8 with a few new additions that will make the lives of our users easier.

 

 

  • Sharing: Interact more within Cooliris by sharing cool content you find in Cooliris with your friends. All you need is their emails to send them the images and videos you find interesting. Your recipients don’t even have to be PicLens users to receive your content. And now with our new international content and Olympics channel, there’s even more to play with – share the gift of a 3D Cooliris Internet experience!
  • Cooliris for Developers: Enabling websites has just become the work of less than 10 minutes with Quick and Simple! Even sites with complex media are now better served with Full-Featured Cooliris support. Our new Developer Forum is a quick way to find the answers to all of your enabling questions. We’ve got you covered for all of your enabling needs.

You can download Cooliris 1.8 at http://cooliris.com and find out more about Cooliris for Developers at http://developer.cooliris.com. We hope you and your readers enjoy Cooliris. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and look forward to hearing your feedback.All the Best,
Luna and The Cooliris Team

 

 

Piclens

What is Piclens? 

It’s a free browser plug in from Cooliris, which provides astonishingly good image browsing facilities on the web. The best way to describe PicLens is that it’s a like the slideshow feature in Picasa or a similar photo viewing tool, but applied to web pages. Clever use of zooming, panning and 3D style presentation not only improves your ability to scan, but is also visually stunning. Piclens provides full screen immersive picture browsing of web sites that support Media RSS.

How and where it works 

To use PicLens, a user clicks a small translucent icon   that appears atop the image of   interest once the plugin is installed. The PicLens slideshow interface appears and the user can move from one photo to the next or press play and enjoy the show. A user can intuitively browse images within search results, photo albums, and Media RSS enabled websites.

Support is currently provided for Flickr, Facebook, Friendster, Picasa Web Album and image search results from Google and Yahoo. Site owners can add support to any site with photos by including Media RSS support.

 

What you can do on Piclens.

3D Wall

Transform your browser into a full-screen, 3D experience for online photos and videos

3D Video Search

Fly through 1000s of You Tube videos faster than you’ve ever imagined possible

 Discover

MSNBC, ESPN, movie trailers…Get the latest news, photos, and video feeds

Shop Amazon

Browse products from Amazon in a new virtual window shopping environment

 

Conclusion

The full screen rendering does require a decent internet speed when displaying large photographs, but visually the results are stunning. This Firefox plugin is going to find a lot of fans very, very quickly

 

Resources

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/06/26/full-screen-web-photo-browsing-with-piclens/

www.greatapps.blogspot.com

www.piclens.com

About MD

Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.