We are happy to say we are now open for business when it comes to Layar apps.
Layar is a simple and effective tool that overlays all kinds of information onto your phones camera. Looking for your nearest tourist attraction, bus stop, pizzaria or pub? well just turn layar on, and look at your camera. You will get a visual marker on your screen that shows you the exact geographic location of whatever it is you are looking for, how many metres away it is and useful links to information as well as a pinpoint on Google maps. Sounds great eh?!
So feel free to give us a buzz and we’ll see what we can do for you.
Pixel Lab spent a bit of time playing around in Layar last month to create a handy little app for Dublin based creative agencies. If you ever find yourself a little bit lost then turn on your smartphone, open the Layar app and search for Dublin Agencies. Hey presto you now can view all local agencies through your camera with a link to their site and google maps geolocation tag!
I’ve been following the augmented reality movement for a while on and off over the last few years. With a background in 3D it naturally enough looked like a novel and interesting way of motion tracking content in real time. Other than being a cool gimmick to mess around with though I couldn’t figure out where it was really going. Lately though with the explosion of smart phones and the emergence of mainstream development companies like Layar, aplications have emerged with real commercial applications, beyond being a cool throw away gimmick.
I fell across this great campaign by Mini today and it triggered a few thoughts. First of all that it is a great idea but secondly how effective is it as a valid advertising form. With ad saturation being at an all time high, creatives need more compelling ways to stand out in their target audiences brains, so advertising to their subconscious without them even knowing it has an obvious attraction. If you don’t know you are being advertised to you can’t put up those mental guards. The problem is though it’s an exceptionally hard thing to track.
In our last blog post on search we touched off the basis for search algorithms and a recent high profile case study that highlighted flaws in the system. Over the past couple of years commentators have been pointing to flaws in the way that search works- but we’ve been seeing a lot more of this recently.
Now even the top people at Google and industry leaders like the guys at SEO Moz are openly acknowledging the problems with how search works. People have figured out exactly how to game Google – and now it can be difficult to even find the website of a company when specifically looking for it. A search for any business in most major cities, and increasing numbers of companies in different industries and professions will more than likely return 3rd party directory listings, the sites that have put some work into SEO, and an increasing number of fraudulent sites (depending on what you are looking for it could be mostly ripoff sites). Even Matt Cutts is writing about how Google needs to cut down on webspam.
So – the consensus is that there is something very wrong with search – so what does this mean for business owners and marketing managers? At Pixel Lab clients of ours are getting calls every week from SEO agencies promising to get our clients to the top fo Google rankings (although they are generally there anyway), offering to sell them links or through some other dark arts. Nowadays we advise anyone to go down this road at their own risk – its clear that Google has to sort this out – right now they seem to be doing it manually and who knows how they will automate it in the future. The best approach companies can take is to produce content or initiatives of value that people will be interested in and link to naturally. This can be a lot more fun – and less risky – than black hat seo tactics.
It doesn’t get much better thatn this indredible short film by Charlex from New York. A technically incredible feat it begins like a typical car ad and then morphs into a surreal dream like journey that Carl Jung would be pround to pick apart!
Just stumbled upon this absolutely class animation from Greg Mutt and Busty Kelps (Cant guarantee these are their real names!?). Incredible facial animation and voice over/ background noise. Not quite the internet sensation it should be but definitely the best things I have seen in 2011.
The new Johnnie Walker ad continues one of my favourite tag lines and inspirations for any ad campaign over the past few years. “Keep Walking” . My all time favourite being the inspirational Android advert aired a few years ago. Below is the new Marc Herremens inspired advert as well as a few other gems.
The SEO world – the one in which companies take it seriously and are making serious money from being on the first page of Google for relevant searches – is in some respects like the wild west. As anyone will tell you who has looked beneath the hood of a sample of websites within an industry – especially the ones doing moderately well in competitive markets, anything goes- as far as you can push it – and questionable and unsavory tactics are often employed systematically.
All sorts of stuff goes on. People figure out the rules and bend them as far as possible - because there is a lot of money to be made if you sell products/ services and can game the system. The technology behind search is pretty developed and its clear that a lot of changes are happening constantly to the algorithm. However its also clear that despite the massive computing power and resources put into search, the algorithms haven’t progressed beyond a principle that is in some respects flawed – the value and power of links. Page Rank was developed by Sergey Brin and Larry Page to enable machines to determine the value of a websites content – essentially a subjective, human judgement. This concept underpins all search results and means that the value of a site in relation to a particular search term will be calculated by the number of links coming in from sites, and words within these links (anchor text), the value (or Page Rank) of these sites, and other factors such as whether its a .gov/ .edu site, whether he domain is in a search-term relevant subject area etc. › Continue reading