MiCpicks: Nick Barbuto’s ‘Three Things You Should Know About …’

AR, money phones, and Geico gecko social spoofs are signs of the new and unusual getting a little more comfortable for brands.

Every week MiC invites Canada’s top media gurus to share Really Important Things That Are Happening in the mediaverse for a show-and-tell session, to identify the work they think best exemplifies smart new media thinking.

Today’s guest curator is Nick Barbuto, director of digital solutions at Cossette Media, abetted by a few of his teammates, Andrew Caron and Steven Kim. Here are their top three media-noteworthy developments:

Every day, hundreds of digital announcements, executions and cultural experiences happen around us, and if we are not careful, it’s easy to miss them. Each week, the Cossette Digital group scours the web and documents the best of digital culture, technology and stimulus for our teams and clients to pull from. Here are just a few things that recently rose to the top.

Augmented reality getting tangible

Augmented reality has been on the radar of the technologically savvy for many years now. We have seen amazing demos of this technology in action since the very early part of this decade, and we have even seen a specific execution do very well at Cannes just a year ago. But until now, the versatility of the technology has been somewhat limited. With the proliferation of devices that can view and interpret augmented reality executions, now is the time for marketers to make a splash.

o GE augmented reality

Print out the page, put it in front of your webcam and experience it yourself.

o Topps’s augmented reality baseball cards

o Nokia’s ‘Point and Find’ service (a variation on the augmented reality theme)

o Mini’s augmented reality magazine execution

RFID meets mobile payment

The dreams of paying for something with your cellphone in North America have just become a little more realistic.

o Mastercard and Blaze Mobile team up to offer RFID stickers that can be placed on your cellphone to mimic PayPass functionality from a MasterCard

Brands acknowledge social culture

As the social media space evolves, brands are continually reevaluating the role marketing plays within it. No longer can a brand attain Internet fame simply by being present where social-seeking users are. The burden is on us, the marketers, to figure out what needs to be done in order to authentically contribute to this environment, while at the same time accomplishing brand objectives.

Geico is just the latest brand to spoof viral videos and Internet culture for its own benefit:

o Numa Numa Guy and Gecko sing ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ (To view original video, go here.)

o Otters holding hands, and Gecko (To view original video, go here.)

o Gecko takes a picture of himself every day for two years (One of the many videos featuring this concept.)