Instagram Game #DefenderChallenge

15 02 2015

Recently I stumbled upon a social media game on Instagram named #DefenderChallenge and I started to join in.

Both Chantalle Shemie and Dale Vito Boom have a deep love for the iconic Land Rover Defender cars and to share the love they both took snapshots of Defenders on the street. As a joke they started to tag each other and starting using the hashtag #DefenderChallange to keep score who encounters more Defender cars on the road.

@cshemie on Instagram

Their passion is so infectious, that more people started joining and are playing this game with them. I decided to write a blog post about it for two reasons:

1. None of the players actually own a Defender vehicle.
2. The power of social media.

Usually people use social media to show off what and how much they own. But this initiative by Shemie and Boom was created spontaneous and comes from a deep love for the car. When asking the founders of the game where their love comes from, they answered:

“Ever since I am a child I a crazy about Africa, wildlife and safari’s. And, a safari is not complete without a big old school Land Rover Defender to find wildlife during a safari in Africa. I have had the opportunity to spend a month in the bush and the Defender is not only beautiful and handy, but actually a necessity, a true lifesaver.” says Chantalle Shemie. She continues and indicates that: “Although you don’t actually need a Defender is a flat country like the Netherlands, I am saving up to buy an vintage Defender here. It will be my piece of Africa in Holland.”

Chantalle Shemie

Dale Vito Boom comes from a totally different angle and he states: “Since my childhood I am crazy about art and design. My greatest passion is vintage watches, which are marvelous pieces of art and often design icons. What I love about vintage watches is that usually form follows function. This is definitely true for the Defender. I hope to own one some day.”

Dale Vito Boom

From these short quotes we can conclude that although both do not own a Defender today, they are actually planning to own one in the near future. Which leads me to the second reason I wrote this post: the power of social media.
Although both Shemie and Boom do not own the car, their passion for it is so infectious that the bug infected their friends on Instagram to join in and play the game too (including me – I love this car too every since I am a child). This shows how powerful and sincere social media can be. And, what a fantastic pool of knowledge and data this can be for brands. And, that is why I love social media. Besides that it is great fun.

It’s interesting to note that when I asked both Shemie and Boom if Land Rover liked, regrammed or commented on their posts, they both said the had no reaction whatsoever from the brand. It important to note that they both actually tagged several official accounts of Land Rover in the pictures.

Land Rover Defender by @rhphotographie

Message to Land Rover:
Please wake up! Embrace these future Defender owners! They are already your brand ambassadors.

Make sure to follow Chantalle via: @cshemie and Dale via: @dalevintage (ask permission) or via his open account @dalevito (no Defenders though).

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Project Better Place: Israel first country to deploy electric cars

21 07 2008

This weekend I read a very interesting article about a venture named, Project Better Place, in the English weekly newspaper JC.

The article “Could this car drive oil power to a stop?” is about the unique project to make the world a better place. The State of Israel has become the first country, and Renault-Nissan the first automaker, to announce their partnerships with us to begin a mass deployment of electric cars.

Renault Nissan Project Better Place

Renault Nissan Project Better Place

The official website of Project Better Place states: “Project Better Place is very excited that the State of Israel has become the first country, and Renault-Nissan the first automaker, to announce their partnerships with us to begin a mass deployment of electric cars. We believe that it is past time to begin making it possible for consumers to choose an electric vehicle that is much less expensive to operate, does not emit pollution or greenhouse gases and provides a better driving experience from their current automobiles. The State of Israel has shown foresight in implementing an appropriate tax policy, and setting out a vision by which it can become the first industrialized nation to end the stranglehold of oil on its economy and environment. Renault-Nissan, likewise, has shown great vision and leadership , when agreeing to become the first major automaker to produce electric vehicles on a mass-scale to integrate with our infrastructure . We look forward to working with them to replace hundreds of thousands of polluting cars with new electric vehicles, for a cleaner and safer world.”

This concept is set-up by Shai Agassi (as far I know, not related to Andre):

Shai Agassi

Shai Agassi

“Shai Agassi is the founder and CEO of Project Better Place, a company focused on the early 21st century’s biggest challenge – a scaleable and sustainable personal transportation system.  In this role, Agassi works directly with governments, finance, automobile manufacturers and technology companies to install, scale, and operate a regional and global infrastructure necessary for electronic vehicles.

With a personal passion in solving large-scale social and environmental issues, Agassi believes in utilizing technology and capital markets to address the challenges of sustainability and climate change.  With Better Place, he will manage the operation of international electric vehicle fleets by investing in, installing and operating countrywide charging infrastructures for electric cars, as well as working with partners to make the cars available.

Most recently, Better Place and Renault-Nissan announced a partnership that will enable electric vehicles to be mass produced for the Israeli market as announced by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert President Shimon Perez in January 2008.  Better Place is in discussions with multiple auto-makers and countries as they seek to move more markets off of oil and onto an electric recharge grid operator model.

Before founding Better Place, Agassi was formerly president of the Products and Technology Group at SAP AG and a member of the SAP AG Executive Board (2002 – 2007).  In these roles, Agassi was responsible for both the global development of the SAP product line and SAP’s portfolio of industry-specific solutions. While at SAP AG, Agassi spearheaded the development and release of SAP’s successful platform strategy; led innovations that helped the company grow into a market leader, and set the stage for the future of business software.

As a serial entrepreneur, Agassi has developed and cultivated several technology companies. During his career, Agassi founded Quicksoft Media and QuickSoft Ltd as well as TopTier Software and TopManage, which were both acquired by SAP.

Agassi is an active member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum where he focuses on climate change and transportation issues.

I added Shai’s blog The Long Tailpipe to my blogroll. Make sure to visit his blog and the official website of Project Better Place:

www.projectbetterplace.com

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Tipping Points in Commercials

2 03 2008

I love cool adverts, especially commercials made on film. I will never forget when BMW launched the BMW Movies website in 2001 and had independent (famous) movie directors create short movies where a BMW car is the main character. Unfortunately, the website is off line, but you can find may of them on YouTube, one of my favorites is “Star” directed by Guy Ritchie, and starring a BMW M5, Madonna (Yes, Guy Ritchie’s wife) and Clive Owen:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1dYv_gKTA8]

But also make sure to check out: “The Devil“, featuring James Brown and Clive Owen, made in 2002 and “The Hostage” directed by John Woo (also made Hollywood blockbuster “Face/Off”).

A book that made an impression on me is “The Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell and I believe that the directors of the folling amazing commercials also read this book:

New Ford Focus – “Beautifully Arranged”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4y272NI7J8]

New Honda Accord – “The Cog”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGngcQb_0qg]

Guiness Beer – “Tipping Point”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMzoWqnTb5I]

What is your favorite commercial displayed here? Mine “The Cog”, but I find the Ford advertisement very elegant and fun. Last, but not least, the Guiness advertisement is also very breath taking! If you have any favorites, please do share 😀

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