Thursday, May 27, 2010

Glö Launches Paperless Invitations and Wedding Websites

London-based start-up Glö offers paperless wedding invitations, save the dates, and wedding websites for brides who "didn't say 'yes' to addressing envelopes." Glö provides brides with designs and functionality that enable them to save time, money, and trees while maintaining the customized look and feel of traditional invitations.Glö offers a broad range of designs to choose from or allows users upload their own designs, giving couples the option to work with a favorite designer or coordinate their online communications with other paper stationery products.

Glö enables couples to create e-invites or save-the-dates that mimic paper communications. They can also create a matching wedding websites and add unlimited pages of information, events and RSVP questions. Glö has an RSVP system where couples can select which guests are invited to each event (such as the rehearsal dinner, brunch after the wedding, etc.) and the Glösite will only display the relevant events & RSVP questions to each guest. Guests can view and edit RSVP responses for everyone in their household or party. 

According to founder Taryn Westberg,“Glö was born from a need we had for our own wedding.We had lots of out-of-town guests and numerous activities taking place, so we needed to collect a slew of RSVP information like arrival/departure date, attendance at various activities, dietary needs, babysitter needs, accommodation choice, etc. to help us plan.We wanted to send online invitations but couldn’t find anything that looked sophisticated enough for a wedding, plus had the website and RSVP functionality we needed. Ultimately, a web-professional family member created our invites and website as a wedding gift, and we had such a tremendous response from our guests and other engaged-couples that we decided to start Glö.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Women Comfortable with Targeting but Want Value Adds from Advertisers

A recent eMarketer report featured research from Q Interactive revealed that women 88% of women would like to see more targeted advertising from brands they trust. Only 11% of women said targeted online ads were "weird" and nearly two-thirds of women said targeted ads were "cool."

According to Emily Girolamo, VP Marketing and Corporate Communications at Q Interactive, "Women...are creating new expectations of brands, agencies and marketers. They are past any fear or suspicion when they get a targeted ad online—and now just expectwant and seek out brands online with meaning for their busy lives." 

The types of targeting women seek are those that add value. Almost two-fifths of respondents said brands were “good partners" if they sent relevant information that women needed and used, while another one-fifth said good partners were those who were straightforward about deals and offers. Deals and discounts were a tactic that almost 60% of respondents said they would want to see more of. David Hallerman, an eMarketer senior analyst, said, "Offers such as discounts and deals appeal to most consumers." However, he cautions that, "A number of surveys reveal significantly divergent perspectives among consumers about the intersection of privacy, data collected about them and their relationship with targeted online advertising."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Microsoft's Project Natal Enables Users to Virtually Try Clothing

Microsoft announced Project Natal, 3D camera for Xbox 360, last September. Project Natal tracks people's motions in three dimensions and has a microphone capable of voice recognition. It is to be used as a controller-free method of playing video games, tracking the player's body movements and voice and transferring that information directly to the gaming console.

Natal's hands-free applications and high quality sensors will enable Microsoft to create high quality games that incorporate users' body movements. However, one of the more unique applications of the device is not related to gaming but fashion. Natal allows individuals to scan items, such as their skateboards, for use in the console's games. It also enables users to scan clothing, such as dresses, share them with friends, and have them virtually try them on. Many companies are trying to get into the virtual scanning space in order to improve online shopping experiences, and it will be interesting to see if Natal can inadvertently enter the space.

For more information, check out the video below. The clothes scanning application shows up at around 2:20:

*Special thanks to Juanita Ochoa.