Daizi Zheng’s Sugar-Powered Mobile Phone

Daizi Zheng's Sugar-Powered Mobile Phone-1

Daizi Zheng's Sugar-Powered Mobile Phone-2

Treehugger reports on an intriguing cell phone concept design that’s powered by sugar. Daizi Zheng’s mobile phone runs on a battery that can generate power using soda, or any other kind of sugary liquid. It’s unique idea, and a potential solution to the environmental problems that come with disposing traditional batteries.

Zheng explains:

Through my research, I found that phone battery as a power source, it is expensive, consuming valuable resources on manufacturing, presenting a disposal problem and harmful to the environment. The concept is using bio battery to replace the traditional battery to create a pollution free environment. Bio battery is an ecologically friendly energy generates electricity from carbohydrates (currently sugar) and utilizes enzymes as the catalyst. By using bio battery as the power source of the phone, it only needs a pack of sugary drink and it generates water and oxygen while the battery dies out. Bio battery has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium batteries and it could be fully biodegradable.

via psfk.com

via Treehugger

2009’s Most Watched Brand Ad on YouTube. Why?

Evian’s Roller Babies is the runaway commercially branded hit having been watched (at latest count) over 30 million times, making it the 5th most popular YouTube video of 2009, and the most watched commercial/ad/whatever you want to call it.

I forget where it was now but one person made a comment that went something like this..

“Beyond measuring the cute factor, can the client actually measure and attribute a boost in product sales to this effort? If so, I’d love to know how they’re measuring it.”

I liked their thinking. But at the same time I think that’s discounting a lot of the great work that has evidently been put in. So let us postulate a bit more about what made it so successful after you’ve had a look at it yourself if you haven’t already.

If we were to deconstruct the commercial, why has this become the most watched branded ad of 2009 and what is it about it that could be then replicated to anywhere near similar success levels?

Well, it’s a bit of fun isn’t it. You watch it and get that cutesy, fun, smiley and warm feeling. It has a backing track that lends to the fun, remember it did pretty well for Honda aswell in the Cog. (Reacquainted myself with the ‘making of’ here.) But then, in this case, you could just as easily have the backing track with nothing compelling in the forefront so credit where credit is due. I just don’t make enough of a link to Evian from the ad. It doesn’t make me want to go out and buy water, Evian water. Much like I’m not going to go out and buy a Honda tomorrow in fact, even though the financial investment and level of decision making associated to the two are complete polar opposites thus there being more chance of me buying Evian..  (Ok, bad comparison.)

I like the ad purely on the merit of the ad, in fact, I don’t think it sells enough what it is actually linked to. But maybe that was part of the trick. Maybe that’s why it did so well. People will share it as a piece of content because it is so subtly branded more than if Evian was plugged all over the place from start to finish. It loses its value as a piece of content if overly branded.

So the question that is left hanging over my head after thinking about and writing this is should brands now be concentrating less on what they are actually trying to sell and from an online perspective at least, be creating content that is watchable, entertaining and shareable in order to sell more of X. Again I think of the Cog ad. And which brings me back to what the commenter asked at the start of this post. Did Evian sell more water? Did Honda sell more cars? Did this achieve the goals set out from the off? What were the goals? I don’t know actually. On any of the above but it’d be good to find out more though to quench my curiosity.

The online integration is however, pretty fantastic and extends the life far further, another contributing factor to its success. Evidently, this was all very cleverly planned and executed.

It isn’t simply a video that has been put up on YouTube and forgotten about. There’s tonnes of content around the video. Some really brilliant stuff like teasers, interviews, wallpapers, where to listen to and download the music and of course, the obligatory Facebook fan page. This isn’t one of those all too familiar cases when a client thinks that by doing some kind of online video to promote something that it is going to automatically go viral. Yes, the dreaded v word. A sterling effort then.

What do you *feel* when you watch the ad? A compelling urge to buy Evian? An enjoyable feeling of escapism for a few minutes? I think i’m with the latter camp. Share the love.

@rorysutherland at TED: Life lessons from an ad man

Now perhaps somewhat of a TED classic, this is definitely worthy of your time, the video that is. Rory is not only someone with a deeply ingrained wealth of knowledge and experience, but I think he’s truly emblematic of our time. Why? Well, along with all that, it would seem he maintains a curiosity for this new world we live in and an enthusiasm to try out all the new tools that have sprung up and become part of every day life. In this TED talk he mentions amongst other things, the skills and creativity involved in creating intangible value, and that’s an important one, especially with social media, creating value that you can’t touch. I like the musings that advertising isn’t getting people to buy stuff that they do not need as much as it is getting people to value what they already own. Fascinating stuff.

“We need to appreciate what we already have, rather than agonising over what we don’t.”

A point is also made that many of life’s problems could be solved by “tinkering with perception”. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do with all these creative, groundbreaking projects on behalf of bold / brave clients? Challenge perceptions, push the boundaries, reach new heights? The Diamond Shreddies are a perfect case study, where something so simple to everyone (in hindsight) as flipping shreddies on it’s side resulted in raising sales by 18%. Truly remarkable. We’re told that the traditional shreddies is old and boring (below) whilst being shaped as a diamond instantly makes them ‘better’, ‘more flavourful’ and ‘crunchier’. Astounding. It’s the same shreddies but the perception we are being sold is of these new experiences to be had with the Diamond Shreddies. And we believe them. Hence why sales rose.

Of course, I digress. There was some criticism of the points Rory made here and then furthermore in the comments.. but I got bored of the arguing and going round in circles in the comments but hey, it’s encouraging some debate and thought around the subject isn’t it.

Close to 100 comments here also, on TED, mostly wildly cynical and dismissive but isn’t it great when Rory himself pops in, says hello and silences a few critics. Truly brilliant.

After all that waffle, here it is.. Enjoy.