May 14, 2014

New York Festivals Shine

As a judge during this year’s New York Festivals I had the pleasure (and the pain) to see all the shortlisted entries. So seeing which projects won doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Below are some of my own favorites from the winners.

Nike SB APP – R/GA

Digital: First Prize

Until now Nike apps have focused mainly on running, fitness training and soccer but in 2013 (to quote the R/GA case study) they collaborated with pro riders to create never-before-seen digital skate experiences. It changed the way skaters participated in the world’s biggest action sport.

The Nike SB App helps skaters progress in their sport, connect with their peers and pro riders, and earn respect for one another with features like video posting and challenges, and building their personal skate history.

The app features a multi-angle video learning system, letting users watch trick videos from multiple directions. They can go head-to-head in virtual games of S.K.A.T.E. and get exclusive access to live-streamed Nike Pro events.

To launch the app, 28 of the world’s best skaters were brought together for 24 hours and challenged to complete all 616 tricks in the Trick Tree while the world watched live on YouTube.

GEOX. 7 Days of Rain – SMFB with Media Monks

Digital: First prize

We’ve seen some beautiful work from Geox in the past couple of years. This time, to promote the FW 13 Amphibiox collection (a waterproof line produced by Geox), the agency decided to get quirky by getting one man live for 7 days under a man-made cloud.

LOWE’S Vine Fix in Six – BBDO

Digital: Second Prize

Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world and they’re in the business of providing “how to” tips. When the agency saw Vine, they saw an opportunity.

To quote the agency, “in the first campaign of its kind, we used Vine as a way to bring useful home improvement tips to life. Using stop-motion animation techniques, we created over 50 six-second films that were as entertaining as they were useful. We called it Lowe’s Fix in Six”.

The campaign was recognized by the press and users alike for bringing meaning to a platform often associated with trivial curiosities, rather than compelling content.

Perrier Secret Place – Fighting Fish

Digital: Second Prize

Amazing project with extremely high production values. To quote the agency, “PerrierSecretPlace is a digital experience designed to enable people to party in a way they never could before, but have always dreamed about. It’s the first interactive film that puts you in the shoes of a guest at a very special party, where they live their craziest fantasies. To do so, all characters that you see on screen are clickable”.

By playing their role, you can live their fantasy. Choose among 60 lives, and as many fantasies as you want. There are almost 10,000 different ways to experience this party, conceived with a real movie studio production for 18 months. To give users the opportunity to continue the party in real life, there’s a hidden a secret Perrier bottle somewhere in the party. If found, it could give the user a chance to win an exclusive invitation and go to one of the craziest parties all around the world.

Volvo Trucks Live Test Series – Forsman & Bodenfors

Integrated: First Prize

Everyone knows the Van Damme video stunt. But the whole campaign was amazing. According the agency’s website, “the creative idea was to carry out extreme tests of relevant product features, in a live set up, where the outcome could never be guaranteed. In this way we could thrill and engage the widest possible audience while still providing a valid demonstration of the new truck. If our live test films could evoke enough interest, then we might be able to get all the way through to the purchasers”.

No doubt we’ll be seeing many of these project in upcoming award shows. Great work always rises above.

July 18, 2013

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.

September 23, 2012

Spikes with a conscience

The newly announced winners at Spikes Asia show that marketing with a conscience is now a mainstream trend. Whether it’s sustainability or social responsibility, brands are discovering that doing good is good for everyone – even the bottom line. The best example from Spikes was the Grand Prix winner in the Digital category. The Connecting Lifelines project by Dentsu for Honda, to quote the Spike’s website, “was a response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Roads in the region were affected and traffic was put to a complete stop. Within 20 hours after the earthquake, Honda quickly responded to the critical situation by providing road information collected real-time via the Internavi system installed on vehicles. By plotting these real-time data on a map, usable roads are visualized. Information was provided on the internet and through Google Map. Internavi became an indispensible tool for the nation”.

In the Mobile category the Rapid Rescue app by JWT for the Red Cross was a great example of technology making a real difference in people’s lives. The idea was “based on the insight that time is of essence when there is an emergency. It takes 4 minutes for the human brain to stop functioning in case of a heart attack. It takes 8 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. But life-saving help could be around the corner because Red Cross has 12,000 first-aiders in Singapore who are equipped to save lives. Rapid Rescue puts all individuals trained in first aid at everyone’s fingertips. The mobile app that connects a First Aid seeker to a first-aider, instantly. Once pressed by someone in distress, the app sends out an SOS to first-aid trained individuals close to the victim via GPS. Along with the SOS, the app also maps out the shortest route to the First Aid seeker”.

A Gold in the Direct category went to BBDO Guerrero and their Pepsi Bottle Lights initiative. As the Spikes website explains, “solar bottle lights are recycled plastic Pepsi bottles installed on roofs to refract sunlight into 55W of light. The brand has installed over 20,000 lights through the combination of volunteer action, online donation and direct sponsorship. Community management was magnified online and via events such as mass runs that collected and recycles used bottles for the activity”.

In almost every category we can find socially responsible, winning campaigns. The Pedigree Adoption Drive from New Zealand by COLENSO BBDO Auckland took Gold in the Promo and Activation category with Donation Glasses. They wanted to “demonstrate the power of a donation in a memorable and fresh way. So they partnered with a production company and developed a way to watch two different films on the same screen at the same time. Utilising this technology, they screened parallel stories; the first of a mistreated dog who gets rescued, the second of the same mistreated dog who never gets found. Before the movie, cinemagoers could choose between two sets of glasses. One pair was free. The other they got for a small donation. That choice decided the fate of the dog on screen”.

Working in advertising it’s not always easy to feel that you are making a difference in this world. This work shows that doing something meaningful is possible. Check out all the Spikes winners here.

May 4, 2012

Big winners in the Big Apple

The awards season is in full swing now and next off the block are the New York Festivals. In the Interactive category the big winner (Gold World Medal) was DDB Paris for their Greenpeace project “A New Warrior”. It has been around for a while but still doing well in the award festivals.

DDB are on a roll with a second Gold World Medal for their “State of Chaos” project for State Farm Insurance in the US. The campaign invites you to create your own personalized blockbuster film, starring your house and the surrounding neighborhood.  Go to and enter your last name and street address to unleash the chaos!  Through Google Street View, you experience a pretty realistic scene of a giant robot busting up your neighborhood and blowing up your house.

BBDO New York won a Bronze for their project for AT&T. The “Up All Night” fan montage video was a crowdsourced concept featuring punk band Blink 182. To launch their first single in eight years, AT&T helped search YouTube for every instance of fans using their music without permission. Then they rewarded them for it. The film was made out of clips from all those videos.

Take a look at all the other winners and finalists here.

June 24, 2010

Digital roars at Cannes Lions

It has been an exciting week at Cannes for anyone who has been slogging away in the digital space for many years. Finally it has taken its true position as the driver of 21st century marketing communications. Digital has extended its reach into direct, promo and activation in an unprecedented way this year. What is clear however, both in the Cyber Lions and the other categories, it is that digital combined with the physical is where the magic happens. Let’s see some of the winners:

A gold winner in Promo and Activation from Ester Stockholm. To help prevent aids they developed a campaign where unique numbers were put on condoms given out. People could then go online to tell their story of how the condom was used. “By printing 100 000 condoms with numbers we gave every condom a story to be told by whoever got lucky with it. Every condom-package contained a uniquely numbered condom and a text that encouraged the recipient to share the condoms fate, by uploading his or her story at the blog The 100 000 condoms became the message, the media and also the solution”.

Also in Promo & Activation, BBDO New York won gold for their HBO Imagine campaign in the category Best Use of Internet/Online Advertising in a Promotional Campaign. The video speaks for itself – it shows how creative ambition can now be fullfilled online if you have the ideas and the budget to match.

In the Direct category the Grand Prix went to a campaign that could not have been possible without the power of digital. Special Group in Auckland developed a campaign for ORCON Broadband that “created a world-first event, a chance to re-record ‘The Passenger’, live online, with Iggy Pop. Our direct response objective was two-fold: Attract a large enough pool of talented auditions to ensure we could select our virtual band. Maximise the country’s engagement with the auditioning process. The call for auditions went out first to Orcon’s customer base, to its facebook friends, and via online advertising. This was then extended by 15” TVCs and street posters calling for people to Play live with Iggy Pop. Entrants then uploaded auditions directly to a specially built facebook application, where they could be browsed”.

Gold in Direct also went to BBDO and Ester for the two campaigns already featured here. Meanwhile, in the Cyber Lions, the Grand Prix went to the Nike Chalkbot from Wieden + Kennedy featured on this blog a few times and the Volkswagen FUN THEORY campaign from DDB Stockholm.

As they say on their entry, “Volkswagen asked us to create a campaign that would generate interest around BlueMotion Technologies. A series of cars and innovations that help reduce environmental impact without compromising on performance or the joy of driving. Our insight was that VW made it easier to choose an eco car by making them more fun to drive. Our solution was a theory, focusing on the thinking behind the cars; that the easiest way to change human behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do”.

We’re back to sex again, this time with a Gold winner from TBWA Paris in the category Banners and Other Rich Media: Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness. Rather than just stick with the simple video in a banner, they “took Willy, a young potential stud, in an expandable banner, to deliver the message in an interactive and playful way. Never moralising. Always fun. So, the story line, the actors and the location are the same… now discover a (more) hands on user experience. Don’t be shy, grab Willy (he wont mind) and celebrate happy safe sex.”

Lots of other Gold winners have already won awards this year so they are the obvious (but still worthy) choices. We choose the Moon, IKEA Facebook Showroom, and Monopoly City Streets to name but a few. Check out all the Cyber Lion winners here.

Just a final thought. While I was there I took a look at all the Titanium Integrated entries being shown in various screenings. Socially conscious campaigns driven by social media seem to be the flavour du jour. It all became one big blur. You could have switched brands and never have noticed. In the attempt to be “of the moment” many campaigns came across as being too “try hard” or bandwagon jumping. The real creative challenge is to stand out in all of this white noise. My bet for next year? Social media may be seen by many as “so yesterday” and the baby will be thrown out with the bath water.

May 15, 2010

One Show Interactive Winners

So here we go again… awards season is upon us. Last night the One Show winners were announced and you’ll be seeing these project again and again in the coming weeks as they take home all the prizes at various festivals. I’ll stick to gold winners here but many other great projects picked up silver and bronze. Here are some of my favourites:

Monopoly City Streets by Tribal DDB London

Below is an unofficial demo video I came across. It’s amazing how Hasbro has been able to bring their classic games to life online and generate a lot of hype. Creative Director Matt Ross and Head of Technology Matt Oxley where the brains behind this great idea. It is also one of the more innovative Google Maps mashups.

HBO Imagine by BBDO

Just 2 years after blowing us all away with the incredible Voyeur project they come back with Imagine which allows you to see a story from various perspectives in a way that changes how you perceive it. Online video has really come into its own.

BMW Z4 by Dare

In a sign that augmented reality is being taken seriously it now has its own category. This project was truly integrated with an amazing TV campaign and mobile app.

Nike Chalkbot by Wieden + Kennedy

I’ve featured this project before on this blog so I’m really happy to see it pick up gold at the One Show. When you answer a brief by inventing a piece of technology it is really thinking out of the box. And all for a great cause too.

Swedish Armed Forces by DDB

Over the past few years some amazing work has been created for this client by DDB. Not sure if the example below is the project that has just been awarded (the winners list PDF is not specific enough) but it show what kind of thinking is going into the work.

Ikea Facebook Showroom by Forsman & Bodenfors

Another project previously shared on this blog. So many campaigns are now using Facebook as their platform but few use it in such an unexpected way.

No doubt the One Show site will be updated with case videos for all the projects. Take a look at all of them (not just gold winners) and try and be more creative, innovative and unexpected – yes, I’m talking to myself here!!:)