March 19, 2012

SXSW interactive winners

Let’s check out the winners of this year’s SXSW interactive awards. No doubt they all celebrated with a blow-out barbeque (one of the big reasons I’d like to go next year.

In the Activism category the top prize went to Slavery Footprint created by Unit 9. Hopefully the pressure of winning won’t result in them running through the streets of London naked.

In the Music category Tribal DDB Amsterdam with Stink Digital walked away with the trophy for their Obsessed with Sound project featuring the Grammy Award-winning Metropolitan Orchestra. I met up with the Stink team recently and was very impressed with their approach to collaboration.

I like the categories at SXSW. For example – the Amusement category where the prize went to Lego’s Life of George by Bilund in Denmark.

Winner of the Experimental category (and Best of Show) was Take this Lollipop by Tool of North American. The best way to experience it is to login yourself with your Facebook ID. So creepy. They did an amazing job seamlessly integrating Facebook content. If you’ve got kids show them this!

Another big winner for Tool was in the Motion Graphics category with their Interactive Video for Ellie Goulding’s song “Lights”. This creative experiment with WebGL is a wholly immersive, musical journey. It presents a stunning visual interpretation with a techno-celestial light show where viewers can soar through the music, and mouse their way through the virtual environment, while real-time Twitter comments integrate into the visuals. Read the “making of” article here.

Digital campaign of the year went to the Tesco HomePlus subway QR code supermarket that I’ve featured here before. I was in Korea recently and found out that it was actually a total scam entry when it first won at Cannes. It was basically a full-scale mockup. They did run it for real later but it just goes to show that you can lie through your teeth and still win a Grand Prix.

Check out all the SXSW interactive winners here.

February 3, 2010


With all those empty spaces appearing on websites viewed by iPad users, it clearly wasn’t going to be long before advertisers saw an opportunity. The little blue brick icon representing a missing plugin was the perfect invitation for Lego to develop the first Flash-free iPadvertising…


November 27, 2009

Augmented November

Augemented reality shows no sign of going away anytime soon. This month has seen a number of brands using the technique to different degrees of success. Esquire Magazine made the biggest noise with their AR cover.

It generated a lot of debate and although impressive to see did require the download of special software. That’s a major barrier. But as print magazines face serious issues (no pun intended) they are looking for new ways to attract an audience. This Mashable blog post from the end of last month explains Esquire’s strategy.

Meanwhile, at Disney Orlando the toy store took AR in an interesting direction by providing an in-store screen allowing kids to hold up Lego boxes and see what their model would look like in 3D.

OK, this didn’t appear in November but caught my attention this month. After sharing it on the Blogilvy site one reader made this interesting comment.

“We were in Orlando for vacation a couple of weeks ago. Spent 3+ hours in the Lego store looking at EVERYTHING. The reaction of my son (7yo) to the 3D screens was “Daddy, I’d rather look at the box. You can see more from the pictures than you can on the screen”. it reminded me of the old line – just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it”.

A light-speed trip to France reveals that McDonalds are offering an augmented reality game for kids via their Star Wars themed Happy Meal.


On his blog, Nick Burcher provides a few screen shots and a description of the promo. So far I haven’t found a video of the game play. If anyone finds one please let me know.

Using a webcam and screen as an augmented mirror of reality is one way to use the technique but we are seeing more uses for mobile devices. This AR Firefighter game for the iPhone 3Gs uses the phone camera as a viewfinder then overlays (rather ugly) graphics. Personally I don’t like it but there definitely is potential for the right brand and audience.

Done well, augmented reality can create a lot of buzz. But just like flash mob videos, there comes a point where you just don’t want to see another one. Will this happen to AR? Some articles are very optimistic about the technology. report that AR will be worth US$732 million by 2014. But today things fall out of fashion faster than ever (did someone say Second Life?) so let’s just watch and see.