Edinburgh Festival comes to MRY

Amidst a brilliant summer filled with the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup, our very own Summer of Love, loads of BBQs and of course the Edinburgh Festival, we were lucky enough to win a competition where the festival came to us! Forth 1 radio station were kind enough to host part of their show in our office and bring along 3 performers - check out the below for a taster:

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Radio 1 DJ, Boogie, starts off a great show.

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Up first for our own Edinburgh Festival show was Justin Moorhouse. A comedian known for TV appearances and generally being a funny guy all round. He was hilarious and was great at getting the crowd involved.

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Singer songwriter/comedian extraordinaire - Johnny Awsum belts out some well written lyrics whilst getting our own Ali to help on the wooden block!

An amazing comedy show brought right into our office and a couple of beers over lunch makes for a very happy team. Thanks again Forth 1!

Social Media Round-up 4/8/14

Read below to get a quick snapshot of what’s been going on in the world of Social Media lately. 

Facebook ‘Buy’ Feature

Facebook has been testing a new feature that they hope will increase f-commerce on the platform. The ‘Buy’ feature will appear on ads and page posts allowing users to purchase a product directly from a business without leaving Facebook.

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We’re sure to see many questions asked over the security and privacy of purchases via Facebook as many users will be worried about others seeing what they are buying. However, Facebook has stated that they have taken steps to ensure ‘payment experience is safe and secure’. 

Monetising Snapchat

A trademark for electronic payments has been filed on behalf of Snapchat who are increasingly showing efforts into monetising the platform. This is not the only update they have pushed through recently that suggests they are trying to push more brands to use the currently free service. 

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A new Geofilters feature has also been added. Currently these filters are specific to San Francisco and New York but if successful, we’re sure to see them pushed out globally. After taking a photo, a quick swipe to the side on the smartphone will show new filters specific to the location you are in. Great for branded logos, colours or places of interest. We’re looking forward to playing with it!

Find out more about Snapchat’s new Geofilters and the Electronic Payment Trademark.

Facebook Mentions

Another update from Facebook, and one that could be focused on trying to muscle in on Twitter’s hold on celebrities and influencers. The new Facebook Mentions app is designed to drown out the noise and let the verified accounts, who are allowed to use it, see a feed of mentions, ongoing conversations and trending topics in an attempt to encourage high level participation from them to their fans.

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To find out more about Mentions, check this post from Facebook.

#BuyMyBarina

Showing some initiative and fantastic innovation, an Australian man has placed his car for sale on-line. Nothing new and innovative about that, right? Wrong. A website, commercial AND a Twitter campaign has been created to help shift the 15 year old Holden Barina. 

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The commercial portrays the car in an extremely sleek and stylish manner in an attempt to entice viewers to bid for it. The campaign, using the hashtag #BuyMyBarina, was also used and users were asked to ‘Tweet Me An Offer’. Pretty good idea to drive some awareness around the sale of a car.

Find out more here.

Kickstarter of the Week: AirDog

This week’s Kickstarter is AirDog. An auto-follow drone for GoPro cameras. 

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With sports enthusiasts, outdoor fans and movie makers in mind, the guys at AirDog have added a new dimension to extreme sports. Normally, you’d need a film crew or at least a buddy to help record the action. With AirDog, a GoPro is hooked up to a quadcopter and is connected to a Bluetooth adapter (AirLeash) making it simple to do it all yourself. 

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The user wears the AirLeash connector on the arm and can manually adjust AirDog’s height, distance and angle.

The fancy gadget also has an app for your smartphone. Through this you can programme it to avoid certain obstacles that it may come across on your ride.

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We think this is an awesome piece of technology and rightly deserves our Kickstarter of the week place!

Find out more about the project here.

Summer Party Part 2

Setting: The River Thames 

On: A boat

Weather: Sunny

Who: A bunch of crazy awesome people

Combine all these factors together and you get MRY UK’s summer party, part 2! And what an event it turned out to be. Check out some of the highlights:

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Our transport down the Thames, the appropriately named - ‘High Society’.

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Barbershop… sextet? (Charles, Kris, Will, Gareth, Greg and Jakub)

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Top dogs in Social - Analytics and Operations. Alex gets to work on Darcie’s war paint.

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A fusion of cultures. Gav, Gareth and Will portraying what MRY means to us.

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Don’t care where it goes, he just wants the alcohol… (Alex G, Gareth and Gemma)

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The Edinburgh team showcasing some of their best Blue Steel poses. (Emily, Ash and Jakub)

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Fantastic shot on the Thames with Charles, Gareth, Nads, Greg and Calvin.

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Thanks for the party Anil, Gareth and Nads. Same place next year, can’t wait!

Summer Party Part 1 

We tend to do things BIG here at MRY and our company parties are no exception; we decided to have a few summer parties and not just one! London represented, Edinburgh represented and one massive bash for both! This one had a solstice theme with a mixture of white clothes, paint, photo booths, dancing, playing with fire and some of our male colleagues in some female attire!

Check out what we got up to:

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Tony and Nads showing some leg with Gareth and Cirine getting in on the action.

We had a pretty fantastic day for it too.

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Three of our top ladies Liza, Nads and Jacqui, all looking fab!

Quote of the day from Liza: “Are you using Prosecco as a mixer?

Gav and Darcie hanging out, enjoying some Mojitos and good company!

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Playing with fire at the Edinburgh party.

imageA painted up Calvin, about to get up to no good it would seem.

Roll on the next one - we’re all excited to see what it brings.

Watch this space!

Wonder where to look to find all the top news and technology innovation updates? Well, Tech City News is a great place to start; a leading resource of news, events and information for technology innovators. The magazine covers various technologies, why it matters to our lives, and the innovative businesses and people behind them. We particularity enjoy their weekly tech update video and the Elevator Pitch series

The subscription to the print magazine as well as all the online resources is free -  Enjoy!

techcitynews.com

Social Media Round-up 11/7/14

What’s been going on in the world of social lately? We know! Check out the below to find out.

The Great Manipulator?

It has come to light that in 2012 Facebook ran an experiment gauging the effect positive and negative content had on suspecting but also some unsuspecting users. The idea was to find out if users who were exposed to mainly positive content in their news feed were prone to posting positive statuses due to their happier mood. The same was done for negative content and the result, says Facebook; not that much difference between users receiving more or less positive or negative content. 

Social interactions define who we are. Social, in the non-digital sense of the word, is about how we understand and react to the complex environment of relationships and interactions around us. However, in social media people often post positive content even if they’re not feeling, well, positive. Creating an image of having a fun and happy life for others to see and essentially in turn, post their own content in response - the circle of social interactions one might say.

Everyone has their own opinion of this Facebook experiment and we’d love to hear yours. Let us know!

Vine Loops

Have you noticed anything different about Vine lately? They’ve added a counter for the number of loops each Vine video has had. Fantastic news for the egotistical among us. As with other social networks, we’re constantly looking to validate ourselves with the high numbers of engagement from our followers.

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Find out more here.

Facebook Multi-Product Ads

Another one from Facebook. This time, less controversial. With the Custom Audiences feature enabling brands to really deep dive into their target market, now Facebook has introduced ads that allow a brand to showcase up to 3 of its products in the single ad display. The ad scrolls between the products each offering an image, link to product page and a description. This is great for retailers and one such brand Nomorerack has seen great success already.

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Check out more about the new feature here.

#LikeAGirl

When you hear the phrase - “Like a Girl” when someone refers to you doing something like a girl - what is your initial thought? Take a second to think about it…

Yes, we thought so. And that’s exactly why the brand Always created a campaign to try and rid the world of this common misconception. 

In the video, 6 participants are asked to act out a set of activities “Like a girl” - run, throw, fight etc. All of them, including 4 females, depict an exaggerated feeble attempt to perform. Fast forward a little and up steps 6 pre-teen girls asked to do the same actions. The results are awesome, check them out in the video below.

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A fantastic, emotional campaign from Always.

Creative Happiness In The Workplace

Creative people, gotta love them. Any why not?! They always seem to be so happy, going about their lives with a smile on their face. Well, according to a new study by Adobe there’s a reason for that smile and it could very well be work! According to designers, photographers and illustrators, a whopping 96% of 1000 people of the artistic nature state they are happy and fulfilled at work. So, happy in work, happy in life.

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Infographic by Co.Design, Design Editor Lily Tidhar

Here are some of our favourites stats:

  • 79% primarily trust their gut
  • 93% feel valued in the workplace
  • 88% believe the creative industry’s best days are yet to come

It’s all good and well reading an infographic, but we wanted to find out what makes our designers so happy at work, so we asked our Illustrator, Emma:

"I love the satisfaction that comes from having produced something visual that other people can engage with."

Fantastic optimism, but did you expect anything less? We LOVE our creative team and we’re lucky to have them!

Kickstarter of the Week: ODIN

Today, we’ve been checking out some cool projects on Kickstarter. Check out the below for our favourite this week.

ODIN

Described as the “First Mobile Device Focused on Social Interaction.” The ODIN is a pocket sized projector, powered by Android that directly projects on-line content from a battery powered device - anywhere and any time. Imagine the possibilities. From office presentation to at home workout to in-garage party! 

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We think this is a pretty cool gadget with tons of uses. Let us know what you think and check out the Kickstarter project here.

Meet The Team: Charles’ Inspirational Go-Tos

Today we asked our Creative Art Director to share some of his go-to places for creative inspiration. 

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Best ads on TV - my creative indulgence - great for the latest ad productions and interactive campaigns. 

Mashable.com - where I go for regular tech updates. I also subscribe to Financial Times tech email - great for the latest scoop.

Creativeapplications.net publishes the latest projects where art meets tech. Incredibly beautiful, bizarre and innovative ideas can be found here, some of which have inspired my ideas for digital campaign solutions. 

TED lectures app - love perusing this at the end of the day. Some unbelievable talks and performances and a LOT of inspiration.

This weekend we visited Google’s new London ‘Basecamp’ to try out Google Glass. At the unsurprisingly slick event we enjoyed several different demonstrations of Glass features, from translating text in a foreign language to taking photos/video and learning about the sky’s stars.

Glass seemed like a very promising advert for the future of wearable technology but something that doesn’t currently justify the £1,000 price tag, in that the majority of functions are already possible on most mobile devices.

Glass is light to wear, though the arm featuring a processor seemed to get very warm quickly, and after a solid week of safe practice in the home, probably isn’t as dangerous to use out and about as we initially feared.

Meet the team: Aisling’s top 3

Aisling Thornton is our Senior Community Manager and is based in the Edinburgh office. Aisling shared with us some of the latest standout campaigns.

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Pets At Home launched a heart-warming social campaign to collect some of the best pet clips from owners around the UK. They received a whopping 13,000 photo/video clips to create their very first crowd sourced TV ad crafted entirely from social media uploads from fans. I absolutely adore this campaign not just because of its simplicity but because it truly reflects the relationship between owner and pet and ultimately embraces the Pets At Home customer. Check out the video here. Great job, Pets At Home!

Marks and Spencer’s Instagram account will knock your socks off as it’s another stunning example of highly visual content which was created with their audience in mind. Their #Eggsperiment campaign was utterly fantastic, mainly due to their enticing content and creative competition approach. This campaign asked fans to either upload an image of an ‘eggsperiment’ they created or upload a drawing of an ‘eggsperiment’ on M&S’s social channels. If you were in doubt as to how to enter, they even created this little nugget to clarify how to decorate an Easter egg! Don’t we all love a bit of baking DIY, high-five Marks and Spencer’s!

Lastly, Greggs rolled out a pretty unique campaign earlier this year with the main aim being to promote their new coffee blend. They took to the streets in their #TopSecretCoffee van, holding blind taste test with participants who were asked to guess the coffee brand via Twitter using #TopSecretCoffee. The next day Greggs were revealed as the brand. It was truly a creative, imaginative and brave campaign to try to alter consumer opinions about the brand. It’s also a great example of a fun way to integrate social and develop brand ambassadors. Have a look at the campaign video here.