The iPhone: Will It Blend?

ShopLocal CMO Bob Armour spoke at TKG’s Drilling Down on Local conference in March during an online video panel to present some of the interesting things the company is doing to promote itself and the products you can find locally on ShopLocal.

One of these methods is a series of viral videos known as the Digital Punch (covered in a past post by Peter Krasilovsky). Any corporate influence is largely missing from these videos, which feature ShopLocal staffers in quirky scenerios.

One ongoing feature is known as “will it blend,” which puts various products and objects in a blender to see what happens. The ultimate question and factor keeping viewers at the edge of their desk chairs is “will it blend?”

The value here is in the entertainment and viral distribution among a certain subset of users (and the videos have proved popular), while ShopLocal gets a promotional boost in the very minimal amount of branding it slaps on these videos.

Blender videos have also taken on their own life form at, where the latest episode puts the iPhone to the test. I cringed as I watched the beautiful device put in the blender (upcoming spoiler alert) and then reduced to smoking black dust. It’s an entertaining clip in case you wondered what the new device is made of.

More important, it’s also a testiment to viral videos as a way to drum up some distribution of a message. The best part, as Armour expressed at DDL, is the amount of views such videos get (1.3 million impressions to date for ShopLocal), compared with the onetime $1,500 cost of a camera and other expenses the company describes as “negligible.”

This makes sense: Springing for a blender and an iPhone seems like a low-cost way to get this kind of traffic, considering the scope of the average corporate marketing budget.

Blending In

In all seriousness, speaking of the iPhone, I have had a chance to use the device for mobile search, entertainment, Web surfing and, well, as a phone. This has galvanized many of the thoughts expressed in a previous post about what the phone will do for mobile local search application development.

In short, the elegant design of the Web browsing experience blows WAP browsing capability of any previous mobile device out of the water. This will change the standards of mobile device hardware and mobile browsing capabilities and will finally inspire and incentivize the third-party application development for useful mobile local search applications. (Inferior WAP browsing, combined with carrier control, largely stifled innovation up to this point, as we keep saying).

In conclusion, the question has been answered for me whether or not the iPhone blends. It does so when you stick it in a blender, and it also blends elegantly with the flow of my life and mobile browsing needs.

I’ll continue to test out the mobile local search capabilities and start to use and download the ensuing torrent of mobile search applications. After the day-one reviews have long past, I’ll provide an analysis of how mobile local search specifically “works” on the iPhone, after a few weeks of use. But I probably won’t be sticking it in a blender.

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