Things that made me like the world a little more

Submitted by on the 8th of July 2015

Some cool stuff has been happening in the social/tech space this month. Things that not only make you think, “I wish I’d done that,” but also some rather clever ways to use content. From Google finally doing something in the travel space where you don’t need a billion dollars to participate, to bigger and better gifs, and finally, a great use of YouTube pre-roll.

These three moments of awesome made me happy to be part of this world. 

The pre-roll you don’t want to skip:

You can’t ‘make an ad go viral’. It has to be friggin’ awesome (and have some media budget behind it). But this 60-second film from Geico is pretty cool. It features a family sitting down to dinner where the product benefits are shamelessly punted in the first few seconds. The voiceover then continues to say that you can’t skip the ad because it’s already over. That’s it. The family is now dead still, as though frozen (but they’re just keeping really still) and the family dog proceeds to eat their food for the remaining 50 seconds of the ad

With a cool 7 million views, and a Cannes Grand Prix for film, it has done its job, but the clever thing is that the film has been created to look bespoke for both YouTube and PVR-esque TV. Whichever context you’re viewing it in, it’s clever. Skip or fast forward, the ad is already over.

Can you Google “car pool”?:

The Google Driverless Car may be a few years away from being a viable reality, but it looks like Google is actually entering the transportation industry much sooner than we thought. This time, it’s feasible from, like, now – and it’s one of the best interpretations of the sharing economy yet.

Google will launch its pilot project in the Tel Aviv area via two of its apps – Waze and RideWith – which will allow users to car pool to and from work. RideWith will link up passengers with drivers who are using a similar route on Waze. Passengers enter their home and work addresses into the app, and the times they need to travel.

The back-end will then link their profiles to Waze users who travel a similar route. In return for being schlepped, passengers will pay the driver a small fee based on the duration of the trip and petrol used, payable via the app. It’s not positioned as a competitor to Uber, but it will take some of their business away. For a car-pooled trip using the app, Google recommends a price of around $3.50 for a 14km trip.

This is Google’s way of assisting with real issues. It’s a fight against pollution, a way to combat overcrowding on our roads, and to make them safer for all citizens. And, of course, a way to make 15% commission on every transaction.

From .gif to GIF:

A good .gif can be super entertaining. That’s the reason they loop. We like watching people do silly things or hurting themselves over and over, but the problem with gifs is they’re just too small to really feel like you’re watching something substantial.

Enter Tumblr, with a gif search engine that lets you not only search for gifs, but watch them BIGGER. This is probably in response to Facebook’s announcement that it will now support gifs on people’s timelines.

Not only does this allow us to create content that will have a tad more impact, but we can also see people falling through ceilings and puppies playing sitars on the big(ger) screen.

 

Now go watch the ad, make some bigger gifs, start your own lift club and come up with stuff even cooler than this. Then we’ll see if the world has continued its upward trajectory of awesome next month.