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11/01/2012 / loyaltymarketingnews

RFID-enabled watch offers contactless MasterCard payments

Contactless credit cards have been around for several years already through the likes of RFID-enabled offerings such as MasterCard PayPass and VISA PayWave. What we hadn’t seen until recently, however, is a wrist watch offering similar capabilities. Sure enough, Watch2Pay devices include prepaid MasterCard PayPass technology to let consumers pay for purchases with a swipe of their watch anywhere PayPass is accepted.


The creation of Austrian watchmaker LAKS, Watch2Pay devices come with both a standard-sized MasterCard PayPass prepaid card, and a smaller version of the card which is fitted inside the watch. Both are linked to the same prepaid, reloadable account, and both are valid for two years. When shopping at participating MasterCard PayPass retailers, Watch2Pay users can simply hold their watch up to the retailer’s reader and payment is instantaneously made. The standard card, meanwhile, can be used at stores without PayPass technology. Available in numerous colors, each Watch2Pay device is priced at GBP 99. The video below explains the Watch2Pay premise further:

PayPass users spend roughly 25 percent more on their card each month than users of other cards do, MasterCard has reportedly said. What’s your brand doing to enable, support and encourage contactless payments?


(via Springwise)


11/01/2012 / loyaltymarketingnews

iPhone app uses QR codes to track employee hours

If QR codes can help track the mail, it stands to reason that they could be used to keep tabs on employee attendance as well. Sure enough, TimeStation is a system that combines code-embossed ID cards with an iPhone app in order to track employees’ hours on the job.


Employers begin by signing up for the free TimeStation service, which enables them to print out ID cards for each of their employees, complete with unique QR codes. Then, once the TimeStation app has been downloaded on to an iOS device within the office, employees can punch in and out of work instantaneously by scanning their cards on that device, or by entering their four-digit PIN into it. The TimeStation app from New Jersey-based App Impulse is free for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users with iOS 4.0, or later. Once set up, managers can easily track who’s at work and run time and attendance reports, and because TimeStation runs in the cloud, there are no servers to maintain or software to update. The video below demonstrates TimeStation in action:

Just a few weeks ago we also featured technology to help managers track employee morale. App-minded entrepreneurs: what other parts of the manager’s job could you help simplify?

(via Springwise)

11/01/2012 / loyaltymarketingnews

Former Soviet aircraft carrier transformed into luxury hotel


We’ve seen concrete pipes and shipping containers reused to create unique hotel accommodation in the past, but now a former Soviet aircraft carrier, the Kiev, has been converted into a luxury hotel by its new Chinese owners.

Kiev was built in 1972 and subsequently purchased by China in 1996, where it is now part of the Binhai Aircraft military themed park in Tianjin. As reported in the China Daily, the ship has now been transformed into 137 standard hotel rooms, three VIP guest rooms, two presidential suites and a luxury restaurant. Although it is yet to receive any guests, and many of the aircraft carrier’s rooms are reportedly unfinished, the hotel did welcome diners on board for a dinner last month in the on-board restaurant. The ship will remain permanently docked in the harbour while being used as a hotel.


Hotels created from re-purposed materials and structures offer an instant unique attraction, while simultaneously keeping those materials off the scrap heap. Inspiration here for an effort of your own?


(via Springwise)

11/01/2012 / loyaltymarketingnews

Modular outfits created and customized with concealed zippers

BLESSUS offers a modular clothing line that uses zippers to create garments that can be modified by the wearer to suit their tastes.


Last year we spotted Israel-based ze o ze, a modular shoe that transforms into five different styles. Now, in Poland, BLESSUS have created a modular clothing line, using zippers to create garments that can be modified by the wearer to suit their tastes.

The BLESSUS team consists of designers Michael Hekmat and Marta Matuszewska, and economics graduate Marcin Korytowski. In their own words, their garments are aimed at women with busy lifestyles who may want several stylish looks within one day. Concealed zippers enable a casual dress to become a smarter work dress or an evening gown, and BLESSUS also offer a made-to-measure service, allowing customers to further customize with color combinations or additional clothing elements. The company have an online boutique as well as a physical store in Warsaw. The video below demonstrates the BLESSUS range:

As more companies embrace customization of products pre-purchase, BLESSUS have gone further by also offering the opportunity to modify and change items throughout ownership. Could this concept be applied to other fashion items?


(via Springwise)

06/01/2012 / loyaltymarketingnews

IKEA Uses Its Product Instructions As A Hiring Mechanism

IKEA Uses Its Product Instructions As A Hiring Mechanism
In a hiring campaign for an IKEA megastore in Australia, agency The Monkeys decided to focus on the company’s customers and came up with an idea which cleverly suited the brand. Pieces of paper resembling their standard assembly instructions but with “career instructions” to “assemble your future” were inserted into the packaging of flat-pack products sold at nearby locations. This direct marketing channel targeted people who were fans of IKEA and used their products to distribute the materials, so they didn’t have to pay for postage or media. It reached a huge audience, attracting 4285 job applications and resulting in the recruitment of 280 new staff. Check out the video below for more information:

The Monkeys

(via PSFK)
06/01/2012 / loyaltymarketingnews

A Happy, Flourishing City With No Advertising

In 2006, Gilberto Kassab, mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, passed the “Clean City Law.” Citing growing concerns about rampant pollution in his city, Kassab decided enough was enough. But this was no ordinary piece of pollution legislation. Rather than going after car emissions or litterbugs, Kassab went after the billboards. Yes, you read that right: Kassab wanted to crack down on “visual pollution.”

Saying that visual pollution was as burdensome as air and noise pollution, Kassab banned every billboard, poster, and bus ad in São Paulo with the Clean City Law. Even business signage had to go. Within months, city authorities had removed tens of thousands of ads both big and small—much to the dismay of business owners, who said the ban would surely ruin them.

Five years later, have all the businesses in São Paulo gone under? Hardly. In fact, most citizens and some advertising entities report being quite pleased with the now billboard-less city. A survey this year found that a 70 percent of residents say the Clean City Law has been “beneficial.” “São Paulo’s a very vertical city,” Vinicius Galvao, a journalist, said in an interview with NPR. “That makes it very frenetic. You couldn’t even realize the architecture of the old buildings, because they were just covered with billboards and logos and propaganda. And there was no criteria.”

Where businesses are concerned, it turns out some advertisers are actually thankful for the ban, as it’s forced them to reevaluate and improve. “Companies had to find their own ways to promote products and brands on the streets,” Lalai Luna, co-founder of ad agency Remix, told the Financial Times last year. “São Paulo started having a lot more guerilla marketing [unconventional strategies, such as public stunts and viral campaigns] and it gave a lot of power to online and social media campaigns as a new way to interact with people.”

Anna Freitag, the marketing manager for Hewlett-Packard Brazil, said her company had never considered how inefficient billboards and the like were until they were illegal. “A billboard is media on the road,” she told the FT. “In rational purchases it means less effectiveness… as people are involved in so many things that it makes it difficult to execute the call to action.”

If you’re thinking São Paulo’s ad ban isn’t replicable in your city because it’s some South American backwater, think again. São Paulo is the largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere,  and, with about 12 million residents, the 7th-most-populous city in the world. Big cities don’t need to plaster ads everywhere to exist—though you’d never know it looking at Times Square—and even if they did, Kassab and his supporters haven’t banned all advertising. All they’ve asked is for companies to stop cramming commercials down people’s throats while simultaneously ruining their city’s beauty.

Estimates say some Americans now look at upwards of 4,000 ads per day. When is enough enough?




(via Good Cities)