Monday, 20 August 2007

Wish you were here?

Ok, I feel everything’s been a bit industry focused recently so I thought I'd put down some more creative thoughts to see what you think.

One of the accounts I run is a travel client and you can probably tell from what I've written about previously that I'm quite into the idea of using social networks more effectively. My idea is basically an 'Out of Office' application that users on Facebook could install so that whenever they receive a message from one of their friends an automated message is sent back which would look something like this:

(big thanks to Ed for his Photoshop skills. Cheers bud!)

I feel it's wrong for a brand to pretend to be anything else other than what it is, especially on social networks so the branding would be clearly stated. What I suggest as a way of defusing the obvious branding would be to include interactive feeds from the sender such as video and photo updates from their mobile which, as well as going into their profile pictures/videos they would automatically be updated on the OOO alert. There’s also scope to incorporate a twitter feed which I haven’t included in the mock up. The weather feed would act as an incentive for the recipient to book flights, (using the handy link at the bottom of the page) to the destination after seeing how great it is!

There is potential to develop this further by adding a competition element which could use the feeds to guess where their friend is (although you're probably not their best friend if you don't know where they were on holiday!) and guess at the bottom of the page with the prize being a free flight of your choice for example. I think this would be a really good way to launch it and create some buzz around the application.

As with all things on social networks I think it's very important to keep things simple and the installation would have to be very easy to upload and add to. I'm hoping that by including as many personal aspects in the application, it will minimise any potential backlash from users who fear the involvement of pushy brands in this environment.

I've currently got a couple of people helping me develop this and I really hope to get some sort of prototype together shortly, however I'm about to go on holiday myself ironically so you will have to watch this space...


erin said...

Sounds super cool Ashley!

I think you're on the right road with a focus on simplicity to prevent backlash from fearful users.

A brand needs to know how to fit within a user's lifestyle and this little application seems to do that quite nicely. :)

Have fun on your VacA/Holiday. I love how you guys call it Holiday, much more celebratory-a-word than vacation. Vacation implies work. Holiday implies fun. Yay!

dead insect said...

that is a really nice idea. terrified by travelling on MonkeyAir though - sounds even worse than hed kandi airlines....


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