Beyond the Superbowl

Everyone talks about the TV spots created especially for the Superbowl and how much they cost. But what about digital? How did these big brands leverage social, mobile and web to capitalize on their big spending on the big day?

According to blogger David Hibbs “Hashtags won as the main CTA with over 60% of the ads using some kind of #hashtag to keep the viewers engaged beyond 30-seconds. This is a major change. Hashtags have now become the “universal” way people can use the second screen and still partake in the conversation. Even though hashtags are most commonly associated with Twitter, brands now have a way to easily connect with their viewers and customers on their social platform of preference…Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. URLs were almost non existent this year with only a handful of companies pointing customers to their homepage or social presence with a URL. While Shazam was big a few years ago, there were only a couple ads that still used this as an opportunity to extend experience”.

Some might say that Budweiser won the digital game with their Puppy spot which they released online days before the game to build the hype. With 43 million views and counting it’s safe to say they made a touchdown. But as Lincoln Bjorkman, Wunderman’s Global CCO said, “so this year’s killer digital strategy is the early release of a great ad on YouTube?”

But perhaps the real winner was Doritos with their $1 million Crash The Superbowl contest for the best Super Bowl commercial. That was the prize for fans of the brand who won the vote for coming up with the best commercial. Agencies were left on the sidelines while Doritos payed for airtime and offered $1 million to the ultimate winners. All entrants covered the casting, writing, and production of the videos themselves.

In the words of blogger Bill Faeth “this was a really smart game plan. In terms of money saved, Doritos won hands down. Still, they’ve done something even smarter than save money. The popular chip company will also earn themselves piles of social proof, and that’s something money can’t buy. When Doritos opened the competition to the general public, they received 5,500 entries. That’s 5,500 people who like the brand enough to put hard work into creating their own commercials. Of course, the $1 million dollar prize helped sweeten the deal, but that doesn’t inspire passion for the brand; it only inspires passion for the prize. Voters, also the general public (and probably Doritos lovers), can tell the difference between those who want to promote the company and those who just want to cash in. If you think this might not be the case, just take a look at some of the finalists”.

Crowdsourcing is something of an old idea but obviously it still works. If the result is content people want to share then everyone wins. Beyond Doritos there was not a lot of innovation around marketing the Superbowl. The one standout example of innovation would be H&M. As AdAge reported, “they aired a 30-second spot during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII that let viewers with certain Samsung smart TVs use their remote controls to engage with the commercial and buy products from David Beckham’s Bodywear line.

The interactivity didn’t take viewers out of the regular broadcast stream. A small part of the screen presented a pop-up menu while the ad ran on the larger part of the screen. The pop-up menu offered product information, the ability to send that info to another device and the option to buy the product directly. The ad would still be interactive and shoppable for consumers who rewind to it using their DVRs”.

Obviously this technology was limited to a small number of people with the right TV but points the way forward when all TVs are connected.

Apparently the game itself was pretty dull and not all the ads were inspiring either. But there was still enough creative inspiration around this year’s Superbowl to get everyone talking.

Sources: www.responsys.com www.business2community.com adage.com

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Imagine Shop

Dezeen has teamed up with London department store Selfridges to present a futuristic concept store, featuring an augmented-reality watch store and a walkaround digital model of Zaha Hadid’s £300 million superyacht.

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The writing’s on the wall

Ad agency BETC Paris faced a dilemma when it decided to locate its new headquarters in a building that had been abandoned since 2004, but also happened to be a mecca for street artists from around the world. The solution is Graffiti Général, an immersive 3-D digital tour of the Magasins Généraux as it stood on the eve of destruction, including detailed information on over 40 of the artworks and artists. It is the biggest building surface ever modeled in WebGL, but also offers a wide-open experience allowing you to stroll around the place as if you were actually there. via Fastcocreate

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Play the Road

In the latest Volkswagen GTI campaign, a unique collaboration with electronic musicians Underworld gives drivers a new experience and a new way to make music. Using a mobile app the way you drive the car actually creates the music. You will never hear the same song twice.

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It takes two

Two design giants, Marc Newson and Jony Ive, put their heads together for a good cause. The results are stunning. Read this article and see some of the items they chose and designed together.

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Right here, right now

Real-time marketing is the new buzz word and reflects the way people consume media today. In this article Oreo’s digital agency we learn that success requires “a well-laid strategy and plan” and that the formula for success can be distilled down the “three Ps”: planning, process and practice.

In the earlier article on Fast Company we hear how “nimble activation generates immediate social recognition and praise from consumers” and that brands everywhere have to “evolve from simply publishing content towards a much more sophisticated construct that looks more like a traditional “newsroom”–an editorial team model that supports agile content development”.

Agencies and brands need to change how they work to keep in step with this new, always-on world.

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Save the boy

Here is another great campaign for St. John Ambulance by BBH London. After winning a silver Film Lion for last year’s excruciating “Helpless” spot they return with a new film and interactive experience. The film hinges on an element of surprise. You know something’s going to happen to this kid—but what? In the end, though, it’s not really about the child at all. It’s about the woman and the man, and only one of them has a chance to save the boy’s life.

The 60-second spot is supported by an interactive experience that immerses you in the story and demonstrates simple first aid, which can be the difference between life and death. via Adweek

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AMCHAM Advertising After Party

Last night Nils Anderson, Y&R China’s Chief Creative Officer, and I jointly presented at a special event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. We wanted to share the winning campaigns from global advertising festivals like Cannes Lions to business leaders in China. I thought it would be interesting to share my own part of the presentation here.

While Nils focused on the Film category and spoke in depth about the craft that goes into winning work, I covered many of the other categories. I began by talking about the dramatic changes the advertising business has gone through since the Mad Men era. Just look at the picture below to see how quickly mobile devices have become the main way to create and consume media. Both show the announcement of a new Pope just 8 years apart.

Yet even with such amazing developments in technology, it is ideas that win not techniques or (dare I say it) gimmicks. In my presentation I began with a look at the category of DIRECT which is all about targeted communication with a clearly identifiable call-to-action or response mechanism. It’s all about having a measurable response.

This multi award-winning campaign from McCann Melbourne was based on real human insight. Take a serious message then make it fun and engaging. Make something that people want to share. Allow people to participate and own the campaign so the message gets magnified. The results speak for themselves. It didn’t just connect with people but changed behavior and demonstrates where our industry is going – harnessing the power of digital & social to seed the message.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with MINI Cooper to teach dogs how to operate a car, in the hopes that it will draw attention to the talented and adorable dogs that were up for adoption. It shows the power of talk value in a campaign in order to capture attention.

When the laughs died down I then went on to talk about winners in the Cannes Cyber Lions. Very few people use the term “cyber” these days. It’s a throwback to the late 90s when the internet was still science fiction to many people. Now people talk about “digital” which is already sounding narrow and old fashioned. Maybe, after 5 years, I need to retire this blog if that’s the case.

The internet and social media as radically changed the advertising industry as much as other industries like music. But rather than being its death it breathed new life into what we do. Look at any great campaign now and see how it harnesses the power of digital to connect with consumers in ways not possible only 15 years ago.

Oreo’s 100th birthday mission was to help everyone around the world celebrate the child inside.  Draft FCB’s “Daily Twist” aimed to filter the world through the “playful imagination of Oreo.” It went way beyond a simple print campaign as it was designed to spark conversation and sharing on social platforms. On Facebook alone the population of fans grew to 27.7 million!

When an Adidas store is closed can you still allow people passing by to buy your clothes? That was the questions answered by agency TBWA Helsinki. It really shows how broad the category is.

It has been a long time coming but mobile marketing is now a force to be reckoned with. Today almost everyone carries smartphones and in many countries they are the primary access point to the internet. Mobile opens up lots of amazing opportunities to connect with consumers to deliver timely and relevant messages or to provide utility.

People love free wifi so Ogilvy Paris came up with an award-winning idea for their client Mattel by offering win free Wi-Fi minutes in places where there isn’t any. All you had to do was play Scrabble and your words became passwords to access the free Wi-Fi connection. You could stay connected as long as you are good at spelling words on Scrabble!

When everyone thinks of mobile they immediately think of high-end smartphones and sophisticated apps. But Philippines agency DM9 used a simple and low-tech solution to make a profound sustainable impact using the simplest phones. It shows how creative you can be with technology when it comes to solving problems

In the PROMO category it’s all about targeted online communication with a clearly identifiable call-to-action or response mechanism.

Sometimes the product becomes the campaign especially when you do something innovative. Coca Cola in with Ogilvy Paris and Singapore developed a can with a difference. One you could share without sharing germs.

How do you get more people to become organ donors? Ogilvy and Mather Brazil took real patients on organ-transplant waiting lists and created films directed at fans of the Sport Club Recife soccer team—telling them their hearts will keep beating for the team, even after they are gone, if they sign up to be an organ donor.

Like award ceremonies themselves I kept the best until last with the Titanium category from Cannes. Sometimes ideas are too big and multi-dimensional to fit into a single category. That’s why festivals like Cannes Lions created Titanium awards. The idea is everything, whether it’s for a car or toothpaste, telecommunications or charity, big budget or low budget.

“The Beauty Inside” by Pereira & O’Dell, which won major awards in digital, film and branded content categories, was born out of a powerful brand truth—just like an Intel processor, it’s what inside that counts. The campaign involved episodic films that followed the story of Alex, a man who wakes up looking like a different person every day. Apart from being “really social at its core” and “really beautiful” the smartest part was the integral role the brands played in the film. At Cannes it won grand prix in Cyber, Branded Content as well as Titanium.

Another Titanium winner came from Nike. When you are not sponsoring the Olympics how can your brand be heard? Nike tested the limits of the Olympic rules on ambush marketing with a global campaign by Wieden & Kennedy featuring everyday athletes and ordinary people enjoying sport in places around the world named London. Anybody could be their own champion no matter how great their achievement.

In fact, if there is one big trend recently in awards festivals it is the number of campaigns where brands are on a mission to do good. It’s not just about changing the world but helping people have a better outlook on life, to treat others and themselves with respect. Brands that are seen to do good are more attractive to consumers. Many of the cases I shared at the event reflect this. One of the Titanium Gold winners epitomized this trend.

Real Beauty Sketches is beautifully simple idea from Ogilvy Brazil centered on the insight that women often see themselves as being unattractive when in fact they are prettier than they think. The result is emotionally powerful and helped spark meaningful online conversations.

A saw a few tearful people in the audience so decided that I couldn’t leave them feeling down. I ended by demonstration that when a campaign is so successful you have to be prepared for one thing – to be parodied…

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Instagram to win

How do you promote a US$30,000 car like the new Mercedes-Benz CLA to fashionable and image conscious Millennials? Instagram features at the heart of the latest US campaign for the brand. Called Take the Wheel the campaign has enlisted five power-house Instagrammers who are competing with one another for their chance to keep a new CLA if they can secure the most likes from their content. via Adverblog

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Talking Window

To promote Sky TV’s new TV streaming app, Sky Go, BBDO Dusseldorf affixed transmitters to train windows, which sent out high frequency vibrations. These were translated into a verbal message, which passengers could only hear when they pressed their heads to the glass by using bone conduction technology.

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