STATE OF AMERICA
New Phobia For Cellphone Addicts – Nomophobia, the shortened form of No-mobile-phone-phobia, refers to the the fear of being apart from one’s cellphone. According to a study by SecurEnvoy, a company that deals in mobile phone technology, Nomophobia is on the rise with 66% of responders admitting to a need to have their cellphones with them at all times. This number is up from a similar study conducted four years ago, where 53% of people admitted to a fear of being without their cellphones. If not having access to your smartphone stresses you out, or if you feel anxious after your phone battery dies, then you may have Nomophobia. Other behavioral symptoms may include: using your phone while in the bathroom, sleeping in bed with your phone, and using text messages to talk to people who are physically in the same room as you.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Ordinary People Trump Celebrities In Brand Endorsements – Companies are moving away from celebrity endorsements and turning to real customers to represent their brand. In a society of overexposure and celebrity scandals, consumers are paying attention to brands with relatable, authentic communications. Currently, only 10% of ads feature a celebrity, down from a peak of 19% in 2004. Consumers are responding to realism and honesty. No one really believed that Tiger Woods drove a Buick, and his celebrity didn’t translate into car sales for General Motors. In an effort to get real, Ford had actual customers give testimonials at a mock press conference for its “Drive one” campaign, while Febreze ditched their unreal, perfect-smelling world in favor of blindfolding ordinary people and plunking them in stinky situations like dirty restaurants and filthy living rooms.
Wikipedia Expands Into Academia – Wikimedia, the parent company of Wikipedia, is in the second year of their ambitious Wikipedia Education Program – a global project with a vision to mobilize and empower the next generation of human-knowledge collaborators. Regardless of its ubiquitous use, constant allegations of incorrect information and bias have dogged the open encyclopedia for a long time. The Wikipedia Education Program and its collaboration with academia signify Wikimedia’s move toward legitimization and respectability. Known as Ambassadors, experienced Wikipedia editors serve as evangelists within the participating academic insititution and train professors and students on Wikipedia article construction, format, tagging, and community ettiquette. Students edit Wikipedia pages related to their field of study, and professors are encouraged to edit pages as well as create new articles in their field of expertise.
Pinterest: From Pinning To Purchase – Research firm Vision Critical analyzed the Pinterest habits of Pinterest users from the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia and shared insights into the pinning behavior of users who went on to purchase the items they pinned. This infographic of the study’s findings shows that more than 1 in 5 Pinterest users have pinned an item that they later purchased, which is a high conversion rate in the social world. Alexandra Samuel, Director of the Social + Interactive Media Center at Emily Carr University, takes to the HBR blog and highlights the best ways for businesses to increase conversion from pinning to purchase.
ON THE RADAR
Try This App: To mark the beginning of the 2012 baseball season, baseball card manufacturer Topps released a free app for iPad users. Baseball fans can download Bunt and participate in a fantasy baseball league that aims to recreate the baseball card trading experience. Players collect 9 of their favorite players, earn points on how their players perform, and trade and compete with their Facebook and Twitter friends.
Or Try This App: Japanese fashion brand UNIQLO commissioned Keigo Oyamda, a Grammy nominee, to sing to its consumers every morning. The branded Wake Up app is a clever social alarm that consumers can integrate into their daily lives. The alarm provides a more peaceful rousing from bed by using calming vocals and music influenced by the weather and time.
Watch This: For photos, saying ‘cheese’ often results in a plastered-on fake grin. In this “Smile” video by “Marcel the Shell” director Dean Fleischer-Camp, people pose for photos while Fleischer-Camp takes a video of them instead. The result is an entertaining and interesting look into the brevity of happiness.