Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Nordic Future Makers podcast (by me!)

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share the news that I have started a podcast and I hope some of you will check it out and find it useful and interesting!

I am based in Sweden and there are amazing things happening in this part of the world.  Super fast internet and mobile, cashless society, a thriving start up ecosystem, digital government, amazing design and more, so I thought it would be fun to talk to some of the people and companies who are leading innovation and change in this part of the world.

I call it the Nordic Future Makers and each week talk to people for just over 20 minutes about what they do, lessons they have learned and find out what they are 'curious' about now.

This is the link to ACast, but you can also search 'Nordic Future Makers' on any major podcast platform:

I hope you will enjoy the podcast, I hope you will subscribe to the podcast and I hope you will listen - in the future!



Tuesday, 5 May 2020

IKEA for Zoom / Teams video conferencing!

Backgrounds by IKEA is a new initiative launched by IKEA and I think it's great!  Designed to be used with Zoom or Microsoft Teams, the Backgrounds By IKEA project allows internet users to download IKEA specific backgrounds to use on their next Zoom or Microsoft video.  It's on trend, taps into current behaviours and the IKEA Backgrounds showcase IKEA products in perfect contexts.

IKEA Backgrounds for Zoom and Microsoft Teams
IKEA Backgrounds for Zoom and Microsoft Teams

IKEA Backgrounds How To
IKEA Backgrounds How To

The How To guide shows how easy it is to use Backgrounds By IKEA - just Download, Open Zoom "Settings", in Virtual Background select the background you want to use, now it's ready for your next call!  You can find out more at the website...

The Backgrounds By IKEA video shows how this all works too:

Great work - good thinking, well executed and completely in line with the sort of marketing activity that IKEA is reknowned for!

[disclaimer - I work with IKEA but was not personally involved in this project]

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Marshmello in Fortnite live concert virtual event

Marshmello and Fortnite got together last night.  This week Saturday night Prime time in our house was not based around TV or video, it was based around a real time virtual event live streaming from our XBox!

This was EDM collaborating with gaming and online community to create something new and all over the world people joined in.  Marshmello played a 10 minute set inside Fortnite and Marshmello did live voiceover.  Players could then get up close to the stage, using their Marshmello styled axes and their Fortnite dance moves to join in with the Marshmello tunes:

Marshmello was happy too - claiming on Twitter "We made history today!"

Marshmello Fortnite tweet
Marshmello Fortnite tweet
To complete the 'system' approach, there is also collaborative merchandise for Fortnite and Marshmello too!  (

Marshmello Fortnite merch
Marshmello x Fortnite Merch
So while the advertising industry will no doubt spend hours debating Super Bowl ads, the post-weekend debate might miss what Marshmello did in Fortnite last night.  If you look at all the Twitch activity and the social activity going on,  the Marshmello and Fortnite collaboration may well have just shown us a glimpse of something really significant for the future.

Full 10 minute version of the Marshmello Fortnite set is here:

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Saturday, 28 April 2018

Niall Horan streaming live on Twitter from Amsterdam #FlickerTourLive

Niall Horan is streaming his #FlickerTourLive concert live on Twitter tonight!  Performing in Amsterdam with Live Nation, Niall Horan's concert show is streaming live on Twitter and Niall Horan live streaming is another example of how Twitter are embracing live content and live events.

Niall Horan streaming live on Twitter TONIGHT
Niall Horan Streaming Live on Twitter TONIGHT

TONIGHT Niall Horan streaming live on Twitter
Tonight 9pm CET / 3pm ET - Niall Horan live on Twitter
Niall Horan LIVE NATION concert series live on Twitter
The Niall Horan concert streaming has led to a 'Live trend' with Twitter Trends showing #FlickerTourLive as a Worldwide trend throughout this evening:

Live Trend on Twitter FlickerTourLive Niall Horan
#FlickerTourLive - live trend on Twitter
Twitter search Live Trend - Niall Horan FlickerTourLive
#FlickerTourLive Worldwide trend on Twitter
...and for those who can't see the Niall Horan live stream on Twitter, then you can also see Niall Horan is streaming live on YouTube with 20,000 other people too!

Niall Horan streaming live on YouTube
Niall Horan live on YouTube
Catch Niall Horan streaming live on YouTube here: or on the embed below...

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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Tesla SpaceX Starman Live from space after Falcon Heavy launch

The latest Tesla SpaceX launch this evening saw the Falcon Heavy rocket blasting into space, before the three Falcon Heavy boosters then return to land back on Earth.

Image credit: Guardian

The Falcon Heavy launch was deemed a great success and as part of the show, Falcon Heavy successfully deployed it's payload - a Tesla roadster containing a spaceman mannequin with David Bowie on a loop!

The Tesla Starman is on a live loop from space and streaming now through YouTube - so cool!!!

Tesla SpaceX Spaceman
Tesla Spaceman deployed by Falcon Heavy SpaceX rocket

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

AncestryUK 'Together Forever' Brexit TV ad

AncestryUK have created a new Brexit-themed ad to promote the AncestryDNA product - "the largest global DNA database."

AncestryUK AncestryDNA Brexit Together Forever stats
AncestryUK Brexit Together Forever British DNA stats

Using the old Rick Astley song 'Together Forever', AncestryUK tap into the current UK news agenda by cheekily pointing out that their AncestryDNA product will show that 'the average British persons DNA is only 36% British' and 'the average persons DNA is 60% European'...

The AncestryUK video production is brilliant, the Brexit-related script is well put together and the 'Together Forever' song fits perfectly. This AncestryDNA film is a fun way of piggybacking the current (continual?) Brexit news stories to drive awareness of the AncestryDNA offer - now watch the view count leap!

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Elton John 360 VR farewell tour video on YouTube

It's no Sad Songs, but it is sad news - Elton John has announced that he will be retiring from touring....

Using a special Virtual Reality VR360 video, Elton John has published a video called "Elton John - Farewell Yellow Brick Road (The Legacy) VR 360":

The 360 VR Elton John video is to highlight the forthcoming Elton John final tour titled "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" which will see Elton embark on a mammoth global goodbye tour.  YouTube users can use their mouse to scroll around in the Elton video if they watch on desktop or can experience on a phone or can even watch with Google Daydream for VR360 - looking around as Elton plays a selection of his most well known hits!

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road VR360 YouTube tour video
Elton John VR360 Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour video
This Elton John 360 VR video is fun, but it would have been even better if they'd made a VR video based on the concert that Elton John did on the pitch at Watford football club in 2005!  My grainy, low res recording where Elton announces "I love you Watford and I always, always will" is a memory of a brilliant night with Elton and I hope Watford Football club is added as a venue to Elton's Farewell Tour, especially if they are filming in VR 360! :-):

Related posts

Elton John - 'The Cut' YouTube video project

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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Manchester United GDPR new email opt-in pitch advertising

In 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in the European Union with the intention of seeking to strengthen data protection for individuals in the EU.  There are a whole range of processes that need to be followed in order to be compliant, including the need for Data Controllers to "prove" that consent was given.

It was therefore interesting to see the pitchside advertising last night during the Man Utd vs Bournemouth Premier League match as Manchester United were telling Manchester United fans to sign up again to their email lists:

" you must opt-in again to continue receiving emails from Man Utd" []

Manchester United v Bournemouth GDPT StayUnited advertising
Manchester United v Bournemouth with GDPR pitchside advertising

The StayUnited website then tells Manchester United fans that "the law is changing, to continue to receive emails from Manchester Untied you MUST complete this form" and offers the chance to win a shirt as an incentive:

Manchester United StayUnited GDPR website
StayUnited - Manchester United GDPR email opt-in

Nothing in this post constitutes legal advice, but are you taking the new data regulations as seriously as Manchester United?

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Elf Yourself 2017 - this year with Augmented Reality!

Elf Yourself is back for 2017 and this year ElfYourself has new dances and Augmented Reality through the ElfYourself mobile app!

As with previous years, the ElfYourself OfficeMax Christmas / holiday fun is based around uploading a photo of yourself (and up to four other faces), then customising to fit the Elf Yourself template:

ElfYourself 2017 make your photo
OfficeMax ElfYourself 2017 - make your Elf

Once everything has been lined up with your ElfYourself photo you can then add other elves, 'Add Greeting' and then this year there are a host of new ElfYourself features including Augmented Reality, Workshop Dance, Dance Off Dance and Dance Management:

ElfYourself 2017 New features
ElfYourself 2017 'New This Season'

ElfYourself 2017 has a long list of dances to choose from for 2017, including:

80s dance

ElfYourself 2017 80s dance
ElfYourself 2017 80's dance
'Feliz Navidad'

ElfYourself 2017 Feliz Navidad
ElfYourself 2017 Feliz Navidad

and even 'Oh Hanukkah'!

ElfYourself 2017 Hanukkah
ElfYourself 2017 Oh Hanukkah

For 2017 there is also an ElfYourself mobile app which offers the opportunity to pay to download ElfYourself dances that have been created in order to share them / upload them to social media etc. 

An additional Augmented Reality feature has been included in ElfYourself 2017 too and this allows users to bring a digital elf into the real world:

ElfYourself 2017 AR instructions
ElfYourself 2017 Augmented Reality instructions

ElfYourself 2017 Augmented Reality elf
Elf Yourself 2017 Augmented Reality elves

It's slightly later than previous years, but ElfYourself is back for 2017 and at the time of writing 1,558, 134, 981 elves have been created - will you be joining in with ElfYourself this year??!!!

Related posts

ElfYourself 2014

ElfYourself 2013

ElfYourself 2012

ElfYourself 2011

ElfYourself 2010

ElfYourself 2009

ElfYourself 2008

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Marks and Spencer Paddington Christmas TV ad

I woke up this morning, checked Twitter and was shown the new Marks and Spencer Christmas ad featuring Paddington Bear in a Promoted Tweet with video - a nice way to start the day :-)

I actually really like this M&S Christmas TV ad and I don't agree that one sentence sounds rude - I actually think it's a great tie in with Paddington and the Paddington movie!

The Marks and Spencer Christmas TV ad is being syndicated on YouTube and social + there is a special Paddington book for sale on the M&S website with proceeds going to the NSPCC's childline.

Paddington Marks and Spencer website
Paddington on the M&S website

It seems Christmas has started and Marks and Spencers Paddington tie in has set the bar high already! Twitter users tonight are trying to #guessthejohnlewisad and TV ad breaks are about to be dominated by wall to wall Christmas retail...

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