April 17, 2015

Let’s get physical

We live in a digital world but we still go out and about or do other things than just sit glued to our screens. Yet we can’t help but be drawn to anything technological even when we are switched off. Here are a few examples of brands using digital in the physical world to engage with people as they go about their daily lives.

Netshoes, the biggest sporting goods store in the world with the smallest popup store

To promote its new mobile app, Netshoes, the largest e-commerce of sporting goods in the world, launched its first physical store. Opened at Oscar Freire, the main shopping street of São Paulo, the Netshoes Pop-Up Store made available over 40,000 products in a space slightly larger than a mini tablet, placed between two other stores. It was a great way to promote their online shopping app for mobile devices.

Ford Explorer’s Interactive Print Ads

Not the first time we’ve seen this technique but still a nice way to drive brand engagement and tell a compelling product story by combining print with mobile. With three separate print ads, people were encouraged to place their phone on the ad once they scanned the QR code. They then saw an interactive video demo of the SUV’s new features: Park Assist, Power Fold and Adaptive Cruise Control, in a way that looked like the print ad was coming to life.

Walkers Crisps put Gary Lineker inside a Twitter Vending Machine

As part of the Do Us A Flavour campaign, where the public was asked to come up with new varieties of crisps (sorry, it’s not chips, this is happening in England), Walkers Crisps put soccer legend Gary Lineker inside a Twitter-activated vending machine. Watch to see how people reacted as he surprised them with free packs of the 6 Do Us A Flavour finalists.

February 5, 2015

Air rage

Interesting idea from Air France to get people to battle it out for a free business class upgrade. Adding a little more stress to your boarding experience. Via Digitalbuzzblog

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.

December 4, 2011

Euro rising

While things in the European economy are looking extremely dodgy the advertising awards season in Europe keeps rocking like there’s nothing wrong. This past week saw both the Epica and Eurobest awards. Let’s look at some of the highlights…

EPICA d’Or for Interactive went to Jung von Matt in Stockholm for the Mini Getaway. I recently met the guys from Monterosa, the mobile agency that the agency tasked to make this happen. So instead of showing the old video here is a new one about the next Mini Getaway in Tokyo (it’s in Japanese just to annoy you all).



There was a GOLD in the web category for Lowe Brindfors and thei Magnum Ice Cream “Pleasure Hunt”. The internet is a place where all kind of pleasures exists. They wanted to build a light-hearted story in which Magnums new ice cream came out as superior to everything else out there: Internet’s ultimate pleasure. The mechanic was inspired by something that has engaged and united people for decades: classic platform games. But this time with a totally different platform: the Internet. The user controlled a young woman literally running trough the Internet collecting the ingredients for her ultimate pleasure, the Magnum Temptation. Below is a making of video.


Another GOLD, this time for branded content in social networks went to Forsman & Bodenfors for the REEBOK Promise Keeper. It was the first online running application (website,
iPhone/iPad-app and Android app) that would actually get you out and run. Every run you
promised to make in your online calendar was automatically posted on the social network of your
choice and spread to all of your friends. They would also be notified about whether you ran or
not. Every update was personal and became a direct message that spawned conversation.
Everything was built on the insight that a promise to everyone you know is more important than a
promise only to yourself.


Let’s head over to the Eurobest Awards and see who triumphed there.
The Grand Prix went to Hypernaked for Nokia. In this joint promotion with Burton, Push Snowboarding introduced a new way of marketing. Rather than simply telling people about Nokia’s most powerful smartphone, they developed a piece of new technology to show people it’s power. Using the smartphone at the core, they developed technology that could take snowboarding to its next stage by developing wearable sensors that bluetoothed simultaneously to the N8, giving snowboarders live tracking of their ride: speed, airtime and even fear.


Gold went to Tribal DDB Amsterdam for their latest Philips Obsessed with Sound campaign. To demonstrate that Philips is ‘Obsessed with sound’ and claim that you can hear every detail with the brand’s audio products, they created a unique interactive music video. They collaborated with the Grammy Award-winning Metropole Orchestra and recorded a specially composed music piece entitled “I’m No Prototype”- in 55 separate music tracks. On the site, viewers could experience the music video as a whole, played by the entire orchestra, and were invited to single out each musician to hear every detail.

Another Gold went to SapientNitro London for Foot Locker
Sneakerpedia was not only the world’s largest sneaker archiving project and the first ever visual-wiki, it wasdigital solution specifically designed to connect sneaker fans, enabling them to share, discuss, follow and help shape future sneaker trends.


Not every great project wins Gold. A Silver went to FORSMAN & BODENFORS for AMF. They knew that pension savings was boring but the future was exciting to people. Also, if you got a sudden message from a company, you were not very interested but if you got a message from a friend, you usually were. By offering people to send messages to their friends or colleagues that couldn’t be opened by the recipient until the year 2030, both the sender and the recipients would start to think about how life will be 20 years from now. And with a rising interest for the future, they would eventually have a rising interest on their pension.

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Maybe we should have an advertising Olympics. See which countries would come out on top in digital. From looking at these winners the Europeans would give the rest of the world a run for their money.

November 23, 2011

Augment your energy

Lucozade Energy has launched The YES List – featuring seven limited edition bottles designed by some of the UK’s hottest music artists – using Augmented Reality via a mobile app.

Working closely with Aurasma, agency Billington Cartmell exploited an innovative feature of the technology, cylindrical mapping, where the Aurasma app’s interface recognises the 3D surface of the bottle and augments it with exclusive video content – an industry first. Once a smartphone equipped with the app is pointed at Plan B or Tinie Tempah’s limited edition bottle the design suddenly springs to life with the artist themselves directing fans to watch the ‘making of’ documentary with a simple touch of the screen.

August 30, 2011

Uncover your world

Amazing new mobile ad from Google to promote their search app. Like all the advertising Google puts out it is engaging, entertaining and reveals what the services can do by experiencing them.

The making of is quite incredible too where the AdMob team shows how 3D printing was used as the basis of a virtual world people could explore to uncover all the product features.

January 16, 2011

Tag the future

Interesting slideshow from PSFK and Microsoft about the future of mobile tagging. Here they present the key trends in the mobile tagging space and hope to “inspire marketers and their creative agencies about their future use of technologies that include QR codes, barcodes and Microsoft Tags in their branding activity and communication campaigns”.
A few companies (including Google) have tried to capture this new market with their own brand of outdoor tags so it will be interesting to see how the big M make their mark in this domain. As more people carry the kind of phones that can read tags we can imagine many campaigns being able to offer incentives or create a new way to interact with brands. The opportunities are huge and it’s definitely an area that is worth exploring.

December 28, 2010

The digital year ahead

The end of a year is always a time when people look backwards but mostly when digital trend watchers look forwards to the coming year.

It seems like for the past 10 years everyone has been saying that the coming 12 months will finally be the year of the mobile. Everything seems to point this being true in 2011 but in ways that nobody expected. It isn’t just about phones any more but now the tablet is allowing people to stay connected away from the PC like never before. Expect to see a whole selection of new products appear at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that will allow people to connect wherever they are – with each other and with brands.

What does this mean for the world of advertising? Location-based marketing will grow even more in 2011 according to Jesse Thomas in a recent article on Mashable.We are moving from people “checking in” to impress their friends to more retailers giving special offers to those people who drop in regularly. This is leading to a whole new way to drive traffic to stores and gives marketers a powerful tool to reward visits.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that Augmented Reality on smartphones will go mainstream. In this article in the New York Times, Nick Bilton explains how this technology has moved from being a geeky gimmick to a truly useful tool. It’s not just about looking through your phone screen to reveal hidden information or seeing yourself with a virtual girlfriend. People are now at home watching TV and augmenting the experience with additional content on their phones or tablets. In the case of ABC TV network app where the tablet listens to the audio of the TV show and is able to display relevant information at key moments in the program.

Social media is not going away in 2011 and many are predicting that it will grow even stronger as a marketing tool. In the Harvard Business Review David Armano presents six trends, for me the most interesting of which is the move to a more open social experience where campaigns cross boundaries between various social networks. This comes from the reality that people don’t stick to one social platform but dip their toes in many different ponds.

Now that I’m based in China it’s interesting to see how they fit into this picture. The country may have come late to the digital marketing party but is fast catching up. With our own social networks, location-based tools and microblogging services – not to mention the explosion of digital devices in the hands of the consumer – China is poised to impress the world with some amazingly creative and effective examples of 21st century advertising. The sheer numbers of online customers and their passion for all things new makes China a wonderland for switched-on marketers. While viral videos still seem to be the most popular online medium for brands we will hopefully see more active forms of participation through the smart use of mobile while more campaigns will become social-centric allowing increased participation.

As this digital decade ends and another begins we can look to the One Club to remind us of the best digital campaigns of the past 10 years. From a Subservient Chicken to Nike shoes that talked to your iPod, through to an online video that literally changed the face of advertising and gave us the word “viral”… enjoy some of the best work that will no doubt appear like ancient relics 10 years from now. Yet their ideas will still stand strong even if technology moves on. Creativity never gets old.

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.

November 2, 2010

Mini Getaway

Great promotional campaign running right now in Stockholm for Mini using a location-based mobile app to get people chasing each other to win a real car. Via Bas on Blogilvy