The Pure360 Weekly Email and Digital Roundup : Black Friday games, queue jumping, GIFs and AI Published November 6, 2015 It can be tricky to keep an eye on what’s happening in the fast-paced world of email and digital marketing, so to save you time we’ve provided you with a quick round-up of the latest and greatest digital developments of the week that we think will be useful to power your campaigns and future planning. We’re nice like that. Let the games begin! With Black Friday scenes often resembling an outtake from The Hunger Games, Macy’s department stores in America have introduced their very own in-store competition to send shoppers into a frenzy. Macy’s are known as leaders in the market of mobile shopping and their Black Friday Walk In and Win game certainly lives up to that standard. The game uses beacon technology, offering customers the chance to win $1 million in Macy’s gift codes and prizes just by setting foot over the threshold of the store! This is an interesting continuation of our emotional lottery concept we discussed last week, it looks like mobile competitions like these are set to come to the forefront of the retail experience in 2016. Queue jumping and crowd dodging “I like to think that shopping in the future will be so easy it will feel like theft”, says Will Seymour, Brand Officer at consumer research company Future Foundation. The sheer volume of apps and gadgets hitting the market that help to make queuing, or in fact anything that causes delays to our busy lives, a thing of the past is truly astounding. From apps that help you dodge queues and crowds to ones that enable you to buy an item just by plucking it off the shelf, we think it won’t be long before the retail experience as we currently know it is going to be well and truly turned on its head. The season of the GIF Have you noticed a recent rise in the amount of emails featured GIFs hitting your inbox recently? We have! This current trend of including a GIF (a short animated graphic that loops a visual sequence) in place of a flat image has recently been utilised by companies who want to demonstrate how products operate, bring an experience to life or simply grab the reader’s attention. We have to say that when utilised correctly, they can add a real “wow” factor to your email. Marketingsherpa have come up with a few simple tips for incorporating GIFs into your next email campaign, we think it’s worth a look! Artificial Intelligence is child’s play We’ve focussed recently on the Internet of Things (IoT) and how this is changing the world around us on a daily basis, and we thought this was a fun one for you! The world of artificial intelligence (AI) has now spilled over into children’s toys, with Mattel’s new Hello Barbie hitting the shelves this December. She’s capable of scanning over 8,000 possible answers to formulate a response to a conversation and therefore “chat” with the child. Barbie isn’t the only AI toy around, as CogniToy’s Green Dino comes complete with cognitive computing capabilities that means he can learn in real-time. We’ve realised the Internet of Things is set to revolutionise how we, as adults, go about our daily lives, but it looks set to filter down into how our children play and learn too, as even toys enter the world of AI. Creepy, or innovative? You decide. We’re sure this has given you some food for thought when it comes to creating your next campaigns. See you next week, folks! Komal Komal Helyer Head of Marketing Stay in the digital loop: Follow Komal on Twitter p.s. – Don’t forget to download our recent Pure360 Email Maturity Benchmarking Report to learn how you can be part of the 1% email elite who get email right.