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.

September 25, 2011

Spikes digital winners

The dust has settled and the advertising folk have left Singapore to be replaced by the Formula 1 fans for a weekend of noise and mayhem. Not much different then.

Let’s take a look at some of the digital campaigns that were awarded at the festival. The Grand Prix went to Colenso BBDO New Zealand for their Doggelgänger project. Their idea was based around human to canine pairing software, designed to connect homeless dogs to their human doubles. This state-of-the-art software analyses your features, and compares them with a nationwide database of real dogs looking for adoption. By partnering with shelters across the country, Doggelgänger has given homeless dogs everywhere the very best chance to set up that vital first meeting in the journey to finding a new home.

Gold went to several projects already featured heavily in previous awards including Uniqlo Lucky Line and Sour/Mirror – both from Japan. See the Cold, also from Japan, was developed by McCann and used people’s tweets about cough, fever, runny or stuffed nose, chills, throat, and headache to build a picture on the website of where the cold is, how it’s moving, and what its symptoms are. Sicknesses can be tracked day and night, symptom by symptom allowing pharmacies to stock the right amount of the right drugs at the right time: before the cold hits. And consumers can buy remedies they’re about to require.

Japan dominated silver too with some brilliant campaigns. Hakuhodo gave us the Samsung Space Balloon Project for the Galaxy SII. It was the world’s first LIVE communication challenge set in space. It’s also the world’s highest media development linked with many SNS sites and USTREAM. They live-streamed the 90 minutes flight of the GALAXY S II headed to space on a meteorological balloon. During the flight, they showed more than 3000 messages and icons of hope and dreams to encourage Japan on the beautiful display of GALAXY S II, live. SBP gathered an USTREAM ASIA record 380,000 unique viewers, 98000 tweets, and in the same month GALAXY S II’s share in Japan reached number one.

One of the few non-Japanese winners came from Soap in Australia. Their brief was to create an online promotion/platform for PAC-MAN which could help build awareness for upcoming products and showcase the power of HTML5 on Microsoft’s newly released IE9. Their “simple and catchy idea” was to let the global PAC-MAN community create & play their own maze to become part of the “World’s Biggest PAC-MAN” game. The ever expanding maze provided endless fun for PAC-MAN fans worldwide. There were 1.5 million visitors in the first 3 weeks, countless amounts of positive press for both clients and one huge hosting bill. All without any media spend.

Back to Japan for another silver winning project. Dentsu were asked by Ezaki Glico to change the image people had of their biscuit products as being cheap and childish. They developed the “smile chocolate factory”, a special production line in the real factory using high technology in biscuit and chocolate processing. People could make original chocolate biscuits by sending their smile via a website. The system analysed the face, generated the portrait sketch and drew it with chocolate on the biscuit. People could see the production line of “smile chocolate factory” in realtime with a webcam.

You can check out all the other winners here along with the best work from all the other categories. With this being an Asia Pacific award you’ll get to see some interesting work that might have been overlooked in other festivals. Until next year…

May 17, 2011

One Show Interactive 2011

So the winners are in and they are worthy. Here are some of this year’s gold award winners. No doubt we’ll be seeing much more if these projects as the awards season continues…

Google Chrome Fastball

To promote a fast browser to an audience that’s immune to banners and doesn’t even know what a browser is, BBH created Chrome FastBall, a race across the Internet. This first YouTube game of its kind demonstrated how your web experience is faster and easier when using Google Chrome.

Uniqlo Lucky Line

To get people excited about a new store opening Dentsu invented the “Lucky Line” where people could join the queue via Facebook and Twitter to get discounts when the store opened.


VW True Life Costs

To address the misconception that the car brand is expensive DDB UK created a website that provided an engaging, easy to understand analogy of Volkswagen’s impressive ‘whole life costs’ affordability.

IKEA Unbox the banner

As part of the spring campaign for discounted products from IKEA, Grabarz & Partners developed an online promotion that was true to the IKEA philosophy: save money by assembling it yourself. Check it out here.

Nike + GPS App

Five years ago, Nike put a chip in a shoe and changed the sport of running. Today, they’re doing it again. Introducing the Nike+ GPS app: Now, runners can join the world’s largest running club by simply downloading the app, whether laced in Nike shoes or not. Nike+ is in your pocket, ready for a run anytime. Running outdoors, GPS tracks your run—indoors, the accelerometer detects movement. Any friend who “likes” or comments on your Facebook status gives you an audible “cheer” via your headphones. Developed by R/GA of course.


There are lots more gold winners (if you can get the One Show website to scroll – I couldn’t) plus don’t forget to check out the silvers and bronzes too. Lots of inspiring stuff there.

December 19, 2010

Week of tweets #22

After 6 weeks working in Shanghai I’ve barely managed to keep tweeting while my blogging has been very thin on the ground. Well, these regular updates from my life on Twitter hopefully make up for my silence.

iCandy – Dentsu London’s light extrusion 3D text demo now available to everyone as an iPad app… http://engt.co/epVKIS

  • This amazing project by Dentsu and Berg has been featured on my blog before. Now anyone with lots of patience and time on their hands can make incredible 3D writing appear in the air. Just don’t ask why. It’s cool.

Very smart… RT @tomgooday: RT @blogilvydotnl .WWF a .pdf that cannot be printed http://bit.ly/hg4p8s great idea!

  • This won’t catch on unfortunately but I love the thinking behind it. A future award winner to be sure.

Brighten your Monday with GE’s Ecomagination YouTube extravaganza – http://bit.ly/fVuOoj

  • The agency behind GE’s campaign have dome some amazing work. The song might be a little annoying but the execution is spot on…

What the fail whale designer did next – cool murals from Yiying Lu http://bit.ly/hUvJOc

  • No doubt she was paid peanuts for her design that is seen by millions – but she rode that fail whale to international stardom. Read the full story here.

How times have changed… RT @mariegoupry: A Day in the Life of Social Media http://bit.ly/ez181p

Amazing 360 degree video for Doritos Late Night Flavours –http://bit.ly/bdm7tw

  • Incredible music video that allows you to change to viewpoint of an immersive world featuring singer Professor Green. The link with the product is a little week but great branded entertainment.

Ooh la la! French iAd for Perrier featuring Dita van Teese –http://youtu.be/5hAnqMMU8E0 via @brunoclement

OK GO launches a GPS Art Project http://bit.ly/gx8gnN If only their songs were as interesting as their videos.

  • As Daan (one of my old colleagues) summed up, “Maybe they’re a viral ad agency in disguise :-)”

and finally – something non-digital to mark the season…

The true spirit of Christmas today – beautifully captured in Pot Noodle ad from AKQA http://bit.ly/dT487U

You have to be English to get the full irony. But sweet anyway. Merry Christmas everyone!

November 3, 2010

Catch an iButterfly

Mobile coupons are really catching on right now but trust the Japanese to make the whole experience more beautiful and whimsical. Dentsu have created iButterfly where augmented reality butterflies can be found around the country using a special iPhone app. Catch one and you’ve caught a coupon to be used nearby.