Monday, 29 June 2009

Google vs Bing - Usability Study

With the emergence of 'Bing' (Microsoft's Latest Search Engine), the comparisons being made to Google were obviously going to be made.

I am personally a big fan of Bing. The results page is much clearer and it easier to navigate to various other aspects of the search (e.g. images, videos and other related searches). It is also similar enough to Google for the way it operates to be familiar.

However, I do not feel that it has enough benefits (yet!) to be worth switching from Google. The fact that I have iGoogle as my home-page means it does not make sense to use anything else. In time this decision may change, if Microsoft introduces some of the features available in the US to the UK version.

The Farecast option in Bing is a great tool that lets you compare flight prices. It also has historical data that allows it to predict when the ticket price will be at its cheapest. This allows you to decide on whether to buy the ticket straight away, or hold off a few more days/weeks!

I do not seem to be the only one that feels this way. The Catalyst Group have carried out a study to highlight how users interact with Google and Bing. The PDF of this study can be viewed below:

Catalyst Group Bing V. Google Usability Study

The main points to come out from the study were:
  1. Most users preferred Bing visually and felt the organisation was better.

  2. Both engines were deemed to provide equally relevant search results

  3. When searching for a digital camera, Bing attracted 150% more user viewing time to the ad space above the natural results compared to Google.

The overall sentiment towards Bing was that it was very nice to use, but it wasn't enough to switch the user away from Google. It may provide encouraging reading for us Search Engine Marketing folk, though.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Tiger Woods 10 - Walk On Water Follow-Up

In August last year I reported on a brilliant video created by EA Sports that responded to a YouTube users that had highlighted a bug in the 2008 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour computer game whereby the player was able to walk onto water and take a shot.

For those unfamiliar with the brilliant video, here it is again:

Tiger "Jesus" Woods

To mark the upcoming release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, EA Sports have continued with the same concept but this time using (at time of post) world number 113, Rocco Mediate.

Rocco "Not Quite As Jesus" Mediate

This is another brilliant addition from EA Sports to viral advertising around the Tiger Woods franchise. Although this will not cause as much of a stir as the original did, it is still great to see the company are happy to have some fun with their brand. After all, isn't that what computer gaming is all about?

The video is also highlighting a competition with the opportunity to win $50,000. In order to keep this wonderful series of virals going, EA Sports are looking for the next great idea to implement with Tiger Woods. Unfortunately as I am not a resident of the USA, I am unable to enter the competition.

By going to you will be able to get the full details and download an Asset Pack that should give you everything you need to get started. I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome.

As a final piece of inspiration, here's one other Tiger viral that EA Sports created:

Square Peg, Round Hole

Monday, 22 June 2009

Mash Up Monday - Lily Allen vs Terry Bush

It has been a while, but here is a brand new edition of Mash Up Monday.

Thanks to Dave Gorman (via his Twitter) for highlighting this wonderful mash up on YouTube from thriftshopxl.

Featuring the Lily Allen song "Not Fair" and the Terry Bush song "Maybe Tomorrow", it is an absolutely brilliant mix.

For those unfamiliar of Terry Bush's song, it was the title theme song to the 1979-1985 TV series of "The Littlest Hobo", which was essentially a Lassie-esque show except in that the dog wandered from town to town, with no owner, helping people.

It also featured as a cult reference in the excellent Simon Pegg show 'Spaced' in the episode in which their dog, "Colin", ran away.

The title of this mash up, "The Lilyest Hobo", is therefore inspired genius.

Until next time...

Mash Up Monday - Lily Allen vs Terry Bush - The Lilyest Hobo

Sunday, 21 June 2009

I ♥ Hammersmith

Recently there have been hanging notices on street-lamps around Hammersmith Broadway featuring the slogan "I ♥ Hammersmith".

I Heart Hammersmith Slogan

The body responsible for these banners is not the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham directly, but a not-for-profit limited company called HammersmithLondon
. HammersmithLondon is responsible for delivering a business improvement district (BID) to Hammersmith and was established I Heart Hammersmith Campaignto represent the views of local businesses in Hammersmith town centre. They will then identify and deliver tangible initiatives to benefit local businesses and improve their operating environment.

This campaign has been updated to now read "I ♥ Hammersmith In The Summer" in order to draw in extra business to the area and counter-act "the ever present media misery mood whilst at the same time engender some civic pride".

Although it is not an original idea (The "I ♥ NY" campaign was created in 1977!), it is a rather simple one that is harmless and gives a nice little slogan to run with while the weather is warm and sunshine keeps the public smiling.

The only slight issue I have is that one of the 'deckchair-style' banners that they are running with looks a little too close to the Tesco Value products styling! You wouldn't really want to try and advertise Hammersmith as being of a cheap and lower quality product.

Tesco Value Hammersmith Banner

Psychic Festival

Hang on a minute. Surely psychics should know when and where this is going to be held?

Psychic Festival - I know what you're thinking!

Chad Vader Is Your Father

As a fitting video to coincide with Father's Day, Chad Vader is insistent on Commander Wickstrom performing the usual yearly ritual.

Chad Vader - I Am You Father

For completeness (and some very questionable acting from Mr Hamill!), here is the original for comparison.

Star Wars - I Am Your Father

Monday, 8 June 2009

Hammer-Time Flash Mob

With there being a massive craze of flash mobs that involve people dancing to a recognisable tune, how would you go about drawing attention to the premiere of a new TV reality show based around the late 80's/early 90's superstar, MC Hammer?

The answer is obvious...a "U Can't Touch This" dancing flash mob, complete with gold baggy trousers (US read as "pants").

Set in a clothing store, the following video is the result. It is just a shame that nobody alive can dance as well as MC Hammer:

Hammertime - Flash Mob - U Can't Touch This


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Total Eclipse of the Heart - Literal Video Version

It has been a couple of months since I last featured a literal music video, but it seems that during this time there have been a few great new ones that have cropped up.

Those that I featured before were mostly by one artist (Dusty McNeato), but a few new artists with reasonable talent have arrived on the scene and giving us a couple of classics.

Today's video comes courtesy of dascottjr and features the video to Bonnie Tyler's 1983 classic "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with the literal lyrics over the top.

As with previous 80s entries, the unusual visuals and big hairstyles makes it the perfect target for a literal make-over.


Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart - Literal Video Version

Play Him Off Keyboard Chad

Following the "Chad Vader After Dentist" video it is apparently becoming something of a tradition for Chad Vader to re-create the weirder, yet popular, YouTube videos with his own piece of flair.

In the video below, Chad has filmed a little duet with 'Keyboard Cat' to accompany a slap-stick scene from Season 1 of Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager:

Play Him Off Keyboard Chad

For those unfamiliar with the concept of Keyboard Cat, I recommend spending a little time searching around on YouTube for the many videos featuring Keyboard Cat. The most common use is similar to that of the Family Guy VaudeVille Tributes in that the music is used to distract away from some form of failed stunt or joke.

There is a whole website dedicated to the Charlie Schmidt creation at Play Him Off Keyboard, where some of the best videos are featured. One of my own personal favourites is below:

You Can't Handle The Cat

Monday, 1 June 2009

Signs of Despair - No.3

Is this a new profession?


Also, isn't it a bit sexist to suggest that the "elecrtrician" (whatever that is) is male?

What does "inconvinience" mean?

This is just all wrong.


Beware the Elecrtrician!