Instagram wars: Nike vs Adidas

Adidas Originals. That’s the first tag line that struck me when I saw this new Adidas campaign on Instagram. How not original it is for me and here’s why.

NIKE – Nike PhotoiD Powered by NikeiD for Instagram – featuring the Airmax

Nike has already kicked up a super cool and simple idea involving Instagram, which preserves their product and extends the NikeiD aspect of allowing users to select their best shoe color configuration.

How it works?

Choose your Instagram photo and a Nike shoe. Check out the design configuration the algorithm serves and share your favorite shoe online with your friends. Not just that, it also shows the image you selected in the background and what Nike shoe color selection you finally ended up selecting.

The Photo ID Microsite has a Gallery where you can filter images using the following parameters e.g. by Color and the Airmax model 1, 90 and 95 models. Not just that, it also allows you to see what your followers have shared online, besides checking out the entire Instagram community and the featured ones. It is as simple as it can be in terms of hooking up your Instagram account and getting involved and also a simple UX on the site to engage with the community.

Nike_Instagram

Adidas, on the other hand, is trying too hard and creating a buzz on its upcoming app.

How it will work?

Adidas Photo Print App for ZX Flux will launch this August for the iOS and Android users. Customers will have to buy a pair of the ZX Flux sneakers on which the Instagram photo will be printed.

What we need to question here is the fact that what audience is Adidas actually trying to engage here and what do they really think of their products?

Seriously this is original in terms of the amount of unique designs that will come through, but not sure how many of these iPhone and Android users qualify as characters who would want to walk around with a ‘shoe’ imprinted with their Instagram image.

Imagine how ugly it can get in cases where the users don’t know what ugly pictures they are taking and how it can actually damage the product in the long run. Imagine the Adidas marketing manager walking around the high-street and looks at some cool kids wearing the ZX Flux showing pizzas, sushi, burgers, selfies, random psychedelic stuff. What is worse is when these images show the logos of any other brands on the shoe. Free advertising for them on a shoe they would probably never want to be seen on and Adidas in return ending up with a cheesy product among chavs with no taste on the streets of Britain at least.

Internet is calling this a game-changing app – yes of course, an app that will change what Adidas stands for, for the current generation on Instagram for the first time and sneakers just became the cool thing for them and also generate a not-so-positive-with-awe word-of-mouth for Adidas by their loyal customers all these years. Thanks to the ‘photo print app’ shoes that no one wanted all these years, irrespective of the fact that Instagram made them do it. Kodak has been printing pictures on many objects and there is a reason that shoes have stayed from this category among the masses.

Waiting for the action to kick up in August 2014 and see how the Internet reacts to this. Brace yourselves, some really ugly shoes are coming!

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Car configurators – can we ever get it right?

‘Irritating’

…..That’s the word I am sure Steve Jobs would have used to define ‘Car Configurators’.

Car Configurators and their problem online

I simply fail to understand why car brands investing so much time & resources in their products fail to do the same on their websites and also on what we call ‘lead generation’ tools online. Innovation – it is what everybody is talking about and showing off in their products but why is it only there? Why cannot innovation be taken solely from the point of the birth of an idea without an end to it. You create a beautiful product and leave it out there to die a slow death online at the mercy of UX. It is certainly very time consuming and painful to innovate a product but for god sake when it comes to marketing online, we have tools and talent available at a much less margin of that price you invested in making a great product. But the sad truth on a majority of configurators is –

They. do. not. deliver.

Neither on desktop. Nor on mobile. Forget about dealerships touch points online, that is another story where Audi and BMW are trying to set some benchmarks here to lead the industries.

Recently I spotted a decent enough effort by Audi to show some edge in car configurators. The revamp of their US site is a huge step forward and their recent initiative of showing a ‘Car Park’ online with the real-time configurations takes it to a really exciting level. Is ‘Truth in Engineering’ being taken a bit too seriously here by Audi? Yes may be. We will see more such inspiring stuff hopefully in years to come and then as soon as it becomes a standard, we will see something else. Better. Faster. Stronger!

Currently, a perfect car configurator is an unclaimed territory where there is still room to shine. Lots of it. Audi has built a car park online out of it.

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But why automotive? Why is the car buying behavior or online purchase decision making suffering when they are backed by such solid funding and large scale investments.

Take a look at Nike iD configurator. Of course a shoe is not as complex as a car but at the end of the day Nike try to serve a shopping tool online to ‘simplify decision making and help our customers to personalize the product’ and make their own.

It looks amazing on the site, clean – clear – simple – fast and a good design compatible with desktop and mobile,

Nike

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A car configuration would have a lot more steps compared to a shoe but a good design will eliminate the monotony of going through numerous steps and add excitement to personalization process even more.

The best car configurator in my opinion ever made was done by Bugatti for Veyron and is unfortunately offline now. As you can see below how neat and clean the UX was and built specifically for Veyron.

bugattiVeyronConfigurator

bugattiVeyronConfigurator2

There are some decent configurators and they all work but do they deliver in terms of shopping experience, personality and design? I cannot think of any and this Bugatti Veyron one was done way back in 2008 and still stands tall.

#Makeitcount – Adverfilm by Nike & Casey Neistat

A beautiful film by Nike featuring Casey Neistat. Apparently Nike asked him to do a movie for Fuel Band and he spent all the money travelling around the world for 10 days – America, Europe, Asia & Africa – and returned with an adverfilm for Nike on the message of #makeitcount.

The video has some great quotations and shares the energy that the Nike brand surrounds itself with! A great film in general and not even a mention about the products…well they are trying to make life count in this one I guess wearing a Nike Fuel Band.

For more films on Casey go to http://caseyneistat.com/#83a/youtube and you can also see tweets from his 10-day-trip on his twitter https://twitter.com/#!/CaseyNeistat and photos on his Facebook http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.354313687939965.68850.210351389002863&type=1

Little Printer by BERG

The Little Printer is a compact, thermal, ink-less printer. What makes it special is its cloud based nature and that you can connect to it with your iOS/Android to print great useful content from Nike, Google, Foursquare and The Guardian. BERG is probably going to add more services to it in the near future I suppose.

The Little Printer uses BERG Cloud to wirelessly connect to the internet. These snippets can be handed out to friends, stuck on the fridge or boards as reminders,  keep it handy in case your phone runs out of battery and you need your To-Do list or Google Calendar meetings schedule, play Sudoku on the train when you want to save your phone battery or something. I reckon we’ll find more things to do with it as we use it.

It will be launched in 2012. To find out more and sign-up for updates visit http://bergcloud.com/littleprinter/