onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s French office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 IKEA brings wireless home

IKEA wireless

Wireless charging is a modern technology that, despite its convenience, hasn’t been widely adopted. You can find it in a handful of Android devices, but that’s only one side of the equation – until now. This week at MWC, IKEA announced it is ready to take us into the future with a new range of furniture equipped with wireless charging. Starting this April, you’ll be able to find floor lamps, table lamps, bedside tables, and desks with Qi wireless charging stations built-in. Prices start at £30 and the range will be launched first in the US and Europe, before a wider global rollout later in the year. We’re sure one day we will wonder how we charged electrical with cables for such a long time…

#2 Jog on couch potatoes

In 2014, the average French person spent 4.5 hours-per-day on their couch, which is far too much time for Vittel, the French bottled water brand. To combat this, Vittel is offering a revolutionary service that transforms your couch into tailor-made sneakers! The new campaign sees Vittel re-enforcing its market position as a leader in healthy living whilst offering a cool, valuable product to its customers.

#3 The Milka Biscuit Saga Challenge

With such a saturated market, one of the key challenges for a brand releasing an app is driving its audience to actually download it. The leading European chocolate brand, Milka, has come up with a clever way to maximise downloads of its new game, Milka Biscuit Saga. The app allows several people to compete at once when their smartphones are near each other. There are nine games for users to unlock and accessibility depends on the number of people playing. Thus, to be able to play all nine games, users must get their friends and family to also download the game. Milka’s strategy is clearly working because the app is ranking first on iOS and Android since its launch at the end of February with one million downloads in France alone and 16.5 million games played!

#4 Fun with words

Strategies, the famous French magazine devoted to media and communications, has created a funny video on life at home for a Dad who works in the advertising industry. He is seen talking to his children using the vocabulary he would usually use when talking to colleagues or clients; words such as ‘brainstorming’ and ‘wahoo effect’. At the end of the clip, the children have already adopted some of the vocabulary. A great comical clip that is sure to resonate with the readers of Strategies.

#5 Mermaids making a splash

Mermaid

Der Spiegel, the German newspaper, recently reported an original example of a career change. After experiencing a burnout, Sabine Schönborn – a former nurse – decided to become swimming teacher. But instead of teaching her pupils to do the crawl or swim breaststroke, she decided to teach them to move in the water in a mermaid tail costume! With only 1,500 Euros starting capital which she used to buy twenty costumes and fins, Sabine established her mermaid school nine months ago. She now trains more than 200 girls every week, helping them to live out their childhood dreams by slipping into the tail of Ariel or of Daryl Hannah from Splash. Although it may seem laughable, mermaid swimming is a real trend; other mermaid schools can be found in Stuttgart, Quebec, Florida and the Philippines.

 

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s French office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 The professional network to shake the big ones?

social tree

Amplement is an early stage French social network which has already had great success, not only with investors, but also users. Indeed, Amplement has raised € 1 million and is positioned as a competitor to LinkedIn and Viadeo. It already has 400,000 active members and some 2,500 recruiters. What do users love? It is completely free – unlike many of LinkedIn’s features – and handy tools such as group chat. We’ll be keeping our eye on this social network and how it progresses; both in terms of funding and user acquisition.

#2 Want to upgrade? Then play with Air France

To mark the launch of its new business class cabins in Asia, Air France conducted a competition amongst passengers to win seats in its business class section for the flight they were about to board. The airline transformed the boarding gates into a gaming arena and passengers were invited to compete using a mobile game called Cloud Slicer that was invented for the competition. Scores were played out in real-time on giant boards in the gaming area to heat up the competition. We love this as a great way to raise awareness of the brand in a new market, whilst giving something back to customers.

#3 The success of Mikado… even without chocolate

Mikado

Mikado, the famous biscuit brand, created a great deal of panic this month as it announced a new biscuit without chocolate. Mikado revved up the product launch by releasing no less than 5 YouTube movies, as well as a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #MikadoStick. However, fans did not need to worry as Mikado is keeping its chocolate; the hype around removing it was simply a stunt in order to launch the real new product, Mikado King Choco. And it worked wonders, with 841,000 YouTube views, 4 071 tweets with the hashtag #MikadoStick and 11,547 mentions of “Mikado”. What a buzz!

#4 Word Lens – the app for world travellers

future

Google Translate is getting seriously cool. It has announced that it will integrate with Word Lens, a science fiction-like app which instantaneously translates written text. You only need to point the phone at signs, menus, recipes etc. (written in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish) to have the translation in English instantly appear on your phone. Even better, Word Lens will work without an Internet connection! The new features are coming to both the iOS and Android versions of Google Translate. Between Google’s update and Microsoft’s Skype translator, the barrier of language is disappearing, thanks to technology innovation. A dream for people who love to travel!

#5 Regifter

Now that the Christmas season is a distant memory, you may be wondering what to do with that itchy, comedy jumper and those Pat Butcher-esque earrings. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone; according to research, after Christmas 2013, a staggering £1.5 billion worth of presents were thrown away in the UK alone Based on this observation, the communication agency, Rehab Studio, decided to create an app, Regifter – available both on iOS and Android – which allows users to swap unwanted gifts with others. The app finds matches in your area and you can meet to swap in person, or arrange a delivery. If you can’t shift your gift, there is the ‘donate to charity’ option, which shows you the nearest charity shop for drop off. Handy!

#6 Hacker’s List

hacker

With 2014 being dubbed ‘the year of the hacking scandal’ it’s fair to say that data breaches and security scares are all over the media at the moment. However, we were still surprised to stumble upon a website called Hacker’s List, which offers to connect customers and “professional” hackers. The price of the services depends on the level of difficulty and varies from $100 to $5000. The website includes more than 500 posts from users seeking hackers. Among them, a man from Sweden who will pay as much as $2000 for access to his landlord’s website, and a woman willing to pay $500 to hack her boyfriend’s Gmail and Facebook accounts in order to find out if he is cheating on her.

This sort of hacking seems to be for very mundane compared to the huge cyber attack against Sony Pictures. However, it’s scary to see how vulnerable our online identities are, and what lengths ordinary people will go to find out information.

 

 

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s Paris office have selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events…

#1 Go viral with Dubsmash

Chef ! Oui chef ! @adeleexarchopoulos

A video posted by Jeremie Laheurte (@jlaheurte) on

Following the worldwide success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, let us introduce you Dudsmash, the new viral phenomena. This new app, created by three German guys, allows you to record yourself dubbing a famous quote or song through a selfie video. Once the video is recorded, you can share it on your social media platforms for all your friends to enjoy too. The phenomenon began in Holland and Belgium and is currently taking France by storm. Even stars are getting in on the act! In the video above, actress Adèle Exarchopoulos and her boyfriend, Jérémie Laheurte, imitate a cult scene from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”. Just hilarious!

#2 The eyes of a child

To mark the the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in France, the Noemi Association has produced a video to fight prejudice against those with disabilities and aims to improve their day-to-day lives. This video confronts us with the two-fold reality of disability; seen through the eyes of children and through the eyes of their parents. We love this poignant clip that may well challenge the way you see others with disabilities.

#3 Six degrees of separation

The six friends theory – or six degrees of separation – claims that only six people separate one human being from another. Mercure, the international hotel network, has created an original competition campaign based on this theory. A winner from around the world will be selected and taken to meet an Aboriginal man from the Bundjalung tribe in Australia, but on the way, will stop off to meet six friends that are between him or her and the aboriginal man. At each stage, the candidate will be hosted by the Mercure hotel and the brand will reveal where to find his/her next friend. To take part in this unique experience, Internet users will be invited to post a video on Mercure’s Facebook page, describing their personalities, passions, motivations and projects, etc. A worldwide casting will start this month and the trip is scheduled for 30 days in March 2015.

#4 Sleepover in a fashion temple

sales

To launch the winter sales with a bang on January 7th, iconic department store Galeries Lafayette has teamed up with Airbnb  to launch a contest designed to get fashionistas in a froth. The purpose of the competition? To offer six people the chance to spend an unforgettable night within the temple of Parisian fashion and to enjoy the sales before anyone else. The guests will have unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the January sales; they will receive a tour of the department store, a first look at sale items, receive help from a personal shopper, as well as receive a 200 euro gift voucher to shop the sale. To win, participants needed to send a short text explaining why they want to spend the night in the mall. We love this original idea to revitalise retail sales, which have been running out of steam in France lately.

#5 Wearable tech combats theft

With 2014 being dubbed the ‘year of the data breach’, we’re constantly being warned that hackers will be developing new and more sophisticated ways to steal personal information. One of these ways is ‘digital pickpocketing’, which uses RFID scanners that can steal data from over 30ft away. To combat this, Symantec’s Norton and Betabrand, a retail clothing company based in San Francisco, are producing jeans and blazers which will be able to block radio waves to shield a smartphone or credit card. This innovative, futuristic clothing will probably be a real asset for the future!

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onechocolate loves

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 #Skeletakeover

Honda Skeletakeover

We love a bit of nostalgic marketing, so this week we had to feature Skeletor (yes, the character from the ‘80s cartoon programme, He-Man) and his ingenious takeover of Honda’s Twitter account. At first, the takeover – which ran for an entire day – was mistaken by many as a genuine cyber hack. It was, in fact, used to promote Honda’s offering to a younger demographic and will be followed up by adverts featuring Skeletor and other nostalgic toys such as Strawberry Shortcake. The stunt was a great way for Honda to inject humour and personality into the brand and appeal younger audience, whilst gaining a great level of engagement on social.

#2 #Traindeer

Virgin Trains caught our eye this week with its very cute #Traindeer activity. Two little girls won a ‘design a Christmas card’ competition, run by Manchester Piccadilly Station and local charity Riff Raff, with their drawing of a reindeer train. Virgin Trains caught wind of this and decided to make the girls’ creation reality by wrapping one of their trains in the ‘Rudolph’ design. The girls had no idea until they were invited to the station to be met by the transformed train pulling in, driven by none other than Santa! Not only does this make a heart-warming (and more importantly, PR-able) story, but the fantastically simple #Traindeer hashtag is likely to spread like wildfire throughout December as people excitedly share that they are on the way to visit loved ones in a novelty train. A straightforward but inspired partnership.

#3 Blink and you miss it

stareoff

Here’s one to throw you back to your childhood … when was the last time you had a staring competition? To introduce Alcon’s Dailies Total1 contact lens brand to consumers, passers-by are being invited to take part in stare-offs against virtual opponents all over the capital, with the tagline; “Don’t let anything make you feel uncomfortable”. The installations use high-tech facial recognition technology to determine who blinks first, and print off a free trial voucher for you if you emerge victorious. You’d think we wouldn’t care too much about beating a pre-recorded opponent, but eight installations have recorded a huge 160,000 engagements so far. We love this innovative idea which appeals to the competitive streak in all of us.

#4 Flea Reads

While Zoella might be cool, there’s a new generation in waiting – meet the new, even younger vloggers and bloggers. One of our favourites is Flea of Flea Reads who is just amazing!

Not only is Flea brilliant (and cute), but her key messaging skills are awesome. Of course, she’s probably taken a leaf out of her mother’s book. If you don’t know Sally Whittle (@SWhittle) of whosthemummy fame, responsible for the Tots 100 list of parenting bloggers (and also the foodies 100), you really ought to check her insightful and often hilarious stories about motherhood and all that it involves.

#5 A snapshot of 2014 from Instagram

Poppies

The social app, Instagram, has released its top pics of 2014 from the UK and around the globe. The Tower of London and Tower Bridge have become the most Instagrammed locations in Britain due to the stunning memorial ceramic poppy display. On a slightly less cultural note, the most popular photo of the year was from Kim and Kanye’s wedding, which has received 2.74 million likes! Check out some of the other images that made the list for a nice snapshot of the trends and tastes of Instagram users in 2014.

#6 ‘Appy New Year

best apps of 2014

At times it can be hard to keep up with the number of apps being launched. What’s even more difficult is knowing which ones are worth downloading and which would simply be a burden on your phone’s memory. This is why we’re grateful to Mashable’s Karissa Bell for compiling 2014’s best apps for iPhone and Android. Check out the lists to see if there are any gems you’re missing. We’re excited to see what will be the hot picks for 2015!

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s Paris office have selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR & digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events…

#1 Movember

Movember

As November comes to an end, we had to take our hats off to the men who have been participating in Movember. In case you’re not familiar with the phrase, each year during November men are encouraged to grow their moustache to raise funds for medical research to fight prostate and testicular cancer. And it’s working; with 4 million participants having raised 409 million Euros so far to support 800 programs in 21 countries, the initiative is a huge success. Even French cats are getting in on the act! 

#2 Monoprix over the rainbow

Monoprix, a leading French retail chain, is promising to brighten up your day through the world’s first rainbow-generating billboard. The smart billboard waited for the sun’s rays to shine and then sprayed recycled water to generate the rainbow. The billboard was actually installed over three days in April 2014 on la Villette esplanade, in Paris North-East, but Monoprix waited for the grey November days to unveil the video.

#3 Paris from a bird’s-eye-view

Ever wondered what Paris looks like from a bird’s-eye-view? Well, now you can find out! Victor, a white-tailed eagle, was released from the Eiffel Town with a mini-cam strapped to his back. Check out the video to see him glide over the Trocadero and then plunge at 180 km/h to the ground. The film, shot by French falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers, is one of a series of eagle-eye views. There are also spectacular videos of Victor’s journeys in London from City Hall, St Paul’s cathedral and the Olympic park’s Orbit ‘sculpture’.

#4 #StopFryTheft

If, like us, you hate people stealing food off your plate, then you need to download McDonalds’ new app, Fry Defender. The app addresses the issue of fry theft or ‘frime’ by turning your phone into a frime fighting machine. The app takes the thief’s photo and publishes it on social networks using the hashtag #StopFryTheft. Ingenious! 

#5 Challenge VVF

The holiday resort brand, VVF, has launched an original social campaign, running until the 12th December, which allows its Facebook fans to challenge the VVF teams. Each time a Facebook fan sends a challenge to the VVF employees the flashing lights installed in the premises will light up and the first of the employees to push the buzzer wins. We love this fun campaign as its objective is not to just boost its number of Facebook fans, but also to strengthen internal cohesion.

#6 Midpic

Midpic

This week, we spotted a cool new dating app, Midpic, which allows users to share half a selfie with others nearby. Once the half selfies have been exchanged, you can decide whether to accept or decline the picture. If accepted, you will then be able to see the other half of the photo. The app is available to download now in English and French for both iOs and Android.

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