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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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October 30, 2003
If Smirnoff made trunks...

This title stands out on the entry page of a microsite launched by Smirnoff to support a viral email campaign recently launched in the UK. On the microsite users can create their own movie trailers, engaging friends and making them laugh.
A very nice and funny idea that will probably help Smirnoff collecting quite a few new email addresses to target next campaigns.

PS: If you want to build your movie trailer too, you need to cheat the entry page, by saying that you live in England and, of course, you're older than 18 :-)

October 30, 2003
Rich media is growing and growing and growing and...

... it's doing it faster and faster. iMediaConnection presents today the results of DoubleClick�s Third Quarter Ad Serving Trend Report. Rich media usage continues to grow faster each quarter and larger, newer ads are replacing smaller, traditional ad sizes.

Kellogg presents 'Crunchy Nut Clusters' competition

Digital Agency MagneticNorth has created a new online competition Kellog's account. As Revolution explains, there's a Tv campaign that drives users to a microsite where they can enter a competition to describe the cereal's taste by creating a sound and image montage reflecting tastes, textures, sounds and pictures from the TV ad, within a New York-themed interface. Prizes include a trip to New York, a European weekend anda deluxe health spa weekend.

Very nice idea, full of sounds effects and flashy images. But, in my opinion, the overall experience results rather confusing.

October 29, 2003
Localized Search: get the tip

The "Internet Marketing Tip of the Week" on consists in an interesting article about "localized search". Last month both Google and Overture released beta test versions of their geographic search solutions, and the column by Hollis Thomases is very useful to understand how localized search could help your business.

Google and the future of content targeting

Last week Google knocked out another competitor by acquiring Sprinks online advertising network. On CNET Stefanie Olsen analyses Google's present and future business strategies.

Content-targeting ads still need to be improved: according to Forrester Research, response rates to content-targeted ads are about one-fifth that of search-related ads.

Ask Jeeves is alive and well

On Red Herring the story of Ask Jeeves, the search engine once given up for dead, that is now actually doing well. I especially liked this quote that gives you an idea of how Ask Jeeves business is important in the in the highly competitive search market.

"The resurrection of Ask Jeeves is a microcosm of how the search business has changed during the past three years."

October 28, 2003
Coca Cola 'Decibel Central' promotion

Mobliss has brought two-way wireless text messaging to's Fall 2003 under-the-cap "Decibel Central" promotion. As explained in the press release, Mobliss new technology allows Coca-Cola consumers in the U.S. to redeem cap codes from 20-oz. bottles via Short Message Service (SMS) enabled mobile phones. Participants can enter cap codes using their mobile phones to accrue points, or 'Decibels,' in their Decibel Central account on entering for chances to win one of thousands of prizes.
Rouben Haroutoonian, Vice President of Sales and Client Services for Mobliss says:

"This innovation allows the consumer to communicate instantaneously with the brand directly from the point of sale. While drinking their Cokes, consumers can immediately participate in the program by redeeming cap codes on-the-go via their mobile phones, with no need to save bottle-caps."

Sweepstakes: the key to email marketing

Sweepstakes are a primary motivating factor in getting consumers to sign up for email marketing campaigns. A recent study by eMarketer, reported today on Center for Media Research says also that the main factor which drives consumers away from email marketing is the excessive frequency of messages.

Car rental companies investing online

Car rental companies are shifting more ad budget to Web. For example, Thrifty Car Rental, invested about 25% of its advertising budget online, since the regard the Web as an efficient medium. AdAge analyses in depth the car rental market situation providing numbers and opinions.

October 26, 2003
Kick and win with British Airways

The British Airways advergame, supporting the Rugby World Cup, I�ve talked about a couple of weeks ago is now online, and you can win plane tickets, as well as dvd players and photo cameras. Just go to , choose your favourite rugby character and try to kick the ball between the two jets as many times as possible. It�s not very easy, I�ve tried a couple of times and, as the speaker said, I�ve been embarrassing myself and the public�
Anyway I appreciate the viral idea behind the game, send the game to your friends and increase your score in the game� smart!

October 21, 2003
B2B E-mail Open Rates Higher Than B2C

A recent study by Opt-in News indicate that newsletters targeting business professionals boasted a 71 percent open rate, while B2C e-zines receive are opened only in 41 percent of the cases. B2B direct e-mail also fared better than the B2C counterpart. CyberAtlas presents a complete overview of the study featuring several interesting number on spam and email marketing.

MovieLink and Lycos: co-branding deal

Reuters reports that Online film download service Movielink is launching a Web site with Internet portal service Lycos in a co-branding deal made in order to widen its customer base. The new site, at, will allow Lycos users to easily access films from nearly every major Hollywood movie studio.

BMW introduces 'ConnectedDrive'

BMW cars will be soon connected to each other through a wireless lan that will allow people to exchange information about traffic jams. As the Spanish news site Iblnews explains, BMW is confident that other auto-makers will also adopt the 'ConnectedDrive' technology which will become a unique car communication standard.

October 20, 2003
Sometimes they come back

According to a new report, by MSN Online Pulse report, produced in conjunction with the IAB, online advertising is about to have a dramatic comeback. MediaGuardian comments today the report's findings, explaining both the good and the bad news about online advertising future.

NHL: vote your MVP with an SMS

(via Textually) Mobiico and Mobileway are teaming up with The National Hockey League to expand the NHL�s efforts in the mobile market this season with a new mobile community � NHL HockeyNation. As explained in a press release, NHL's fans this year will be to vote their MVP of the game directly from home, by using a mobile phone. By texting the vote, participants could win 10,000 $ and a trip to the All Star Game. There will also be a Mobile Trivia and a Mobile Chat aimed to engage the huge number of hockey fans around the US (Over 22 million fans attend a hockey game every year, 220 million view the games on television).

Avis to launch an email marketing campaign

Avis, the car rental company, has appointed Arnold Interactive to create an email marketing campaign. The emails will be distributed throughout the UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Avis plans to target up to 100,000 consumers throughout Europe.
Mirko Behnert, e-Commerce Manager for Avis commented on Arnold Interactive Web site:

"The strategy to develop more Internet business has enabled us to successfully increase the proportion of customers booking online to 12% in June, growing 65% year on year. We were impressed by Arnold Interactive's ability to deliver cost effective solutions creatively and felt they were the ideal partner to help grow our business online."

Marketer, remember my birthday

On New Media Age I've found an excellent article by Ross Sleight, on relationship building. He suggests that sending a birthday card or a promotional discount could be an excellent opportunity to build a closer relationship with clients. I agree with Ross: No matter what we are selling, a personal touch can make the difference. The point is to overcome customers' expectations, not just fulfil them. And customers are first of all persons. Unfortunately marketers usually forget about this "detail".

October 16, 2003
The Instant Web Companies fly with Delta reports today that Delta Air Lines awarded a three-year contract to The Instant Web Companies, for producing its SkyMiles frequent-flyer newsletters, statements and membership credentials.
In the press release, Rob Borden, SkyMiles program director, said:

"IWCO�s programming capabilities allow us to extend highly targeted offers to our members, driving customer loyalty in strategic markets."

Mercedes-Benz takes Armani on the Web

Mercedes-Benz has taken Giorgio Armani's exposition on the Web. A new micro-site features the itinerant exhibition produced by the Gugenheim Musum New York, and now showing in London. It shows approximately 400 creations of the Italian designer. It's an interesting example of co-marketing, even though I found it rather plain and somehow sad in the way that it has been realized.

October 15, 2003
New York City as a brand

Reveries presents a very interesting interview with Joe Perello Chief Marketing Officer, New York City. A long conversation in which Mr Perello explains NYC as a brand and the integrated marketing strategies to promote it.

The marketing power of RSS

Tom Hespos wrote yesterday on MediaPost an excellent article to explain the marketing power of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Apparently operating on the push model, they actually put consumer in control, since it's up to the end user to decide which content to receive.
RSS might be seen as a "spam" free" alternative to email marketing.

I believe text-based ads will work for RSS feeds. RSS represent another chance for contextual advertising. Relevant advertising content can be put at the end of the feed. However I think it will be important to clearly separate the feed content from the advertising content. RSS appear to be a powerful tool for marketers, and it's important to immediately gain people's trust. Two simple words like "sponsored link" might do the job.

October 14, 2003
Use the Web to sell cars

A nwe study by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young has found out that TV advertising has a low impact on consumers' car buying decisions. As AdAge reports, Mike Wujciak, a vice president at Cap Gemini, suggests automakers to rather use online ads, which are faster to create and to analyze for results. However I tend to agree with Mike Palmgren, account director at Publicis who said that TV promotion is used for awareness.

"If you're not aware of a product, how would you know where to research it on the Web?"

Elemental, My Dear Watson...

Behavioral targeting: it's an hot topic

Imediaconnection a couple of weeks ago has started a new column dedicated to Behavioral Marketing, today on ClickZ James Hering writes about Targeting Good Behavior. It seems like behavioral marketing is the new online fashion. Hering's article is pretty good, since it provides the basics to understand what BM is about.

October 13, 2003
Looking for a viral idea for Viagra

Pfizer is looking for new from agencies on below-the-line projects such as guerrilla and viral marketing for its Viagra brand. AdWeek reports today.
It will be an interesting challenge, given the fact that the target segment of Viagra is usually not young and therefore not very accustom to viral marketing practices.

ValueClick: now the largest affiliate marketing player

In a press release ValueClick, Inc. has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Commission Junction. Today's announcement significantly enhances ValueClick's current position in this channel through its Be Free subsidiary. Commission Junction will strengthen ValueClick's international affiliate marketing presence, with clients that include Expedia, Marbles and Marks and Spencer.
Zarley, chief executive officer and chairman of ValueClick said:

"The acquisition of Commission Junction would double the size of our affiliate marketing division, and is the latest example of ValueClick's ability to execute on our strategy of being a single-source provider of technology, media and services for digital marketers."

New Web site for Helly Hansen

Taking a further step in its brand-repositioning strategy, Helly Hansen, the snowboarding and skiing sports clothing firm, has launched its autumn/winter range with a new-look website. Read more on Revolution.

October 10, 2003
Ocado: 'Be more demanding' campaign

Ocado, the online grocery service, has started a cross media campaign to promote its new customer service proposition. As Brand Republic reports, Ocado is is using print and radio promotion as well as is sending out personalised and targeted e-mails to new and existing users promoting offers, incentives and e-coupons.
The creative has been developed by Heresy.

October 09, 2003
Pop-under ads are holding consumers

The news you don't expect to read: pop-unders are working! At least in Orbitz' case, as reported today on iMediaconnection.
A few weeks ago eMarketer talked about it as well, saying quite the same thing.
So, the question is: are pop-unders really effective or do Otherwise have a very good PR team? Telling the truth I grant them a point: if you ask me if I remember which ads are popping up (or under) on the New York Times pages, it takes me just one second to name Orbitz.

All right, maybe pop-unders ARE working, but you need to use them massively in order to get the right effect. Furthermore Orbitz ads are something a little bit different, giving the user the chance to have a little bit of fun with them.
Anyhow I'm not convinced about them.

Virgin Money running for the gold

The Australian Awwwards will be assigned next month. In the meantime the names of the shortlisted campaigns have been announced. You can have a look at them here. Virgin Money with the campaign for the Virgin Credit Card Launch will be running in for different campaigns. On the agency's (NetX) Web site the showcase shows both the online and the offline creative. The offline, as Sean Patrick Ganann, creative director at NetX kindly clarified, has been created by iLeo.

The bright future of cameraphones

According to a new forecast from IDC, the number of cameraphones will continue to climb, with worldwide shipments increasing from 19 million in 2002 to 298 million in 2007.
In the press release I've found interesting to read that "According to a survey results, 44% of respondents planning to purchase a cameraphone in the next six months would be willing to pay more than $21 per month (in addition to their standard service charge) for the ability to send and receive images over their mobile phone."
I'm definitely part of the 56% not willing to pay for such a service, and not even thinking about buying a cameraphone (at least for now), however I believe these are fantastic numbers in the perspective of using MMS as a mobile marketing tool (see for example yesterday's post).

Mercedes: Oktober Fest online

Well... actually the campaign name is "Golden October"... anyway, this post is to let you know about the Mercedes Internet presentation created by GFT Technologies to support the launch of four new models: A-Class Piccadilly, C-Class Sportcoup� Indianapolis, SLK-Class Final Edition and Vaneo La Vida. As explained in press release, the Web special is part of an integrated campaign, and it allows potential customers or interested people to create their own E-Clips for each vehicle and send them to friends. The Web special is online already, unfortunately at the moment it's only in German.

October 08, 2003
Get your next haircut via MMS

Toni and Guy, a UK based chain with salons worldwide has recently launched a new mobile initiative. As explained by Netsize (the multi-platform delivery and billing infrastructure provider) in a press release, Toni and Guy customers will now be able to get their favourite hairstyles on their mobile phones using a new picture messaging service from the Toni and Guy web gallery. In this way, customers can share potential new styles with friends and family before visiting a salon.
Users are charged 50 pence per MMS, with 10 pence from each message donated to the King�s Variety Club Children�s Hospital.

I very much like the idea, it's perfect to express the concept of mobile phones "connecting people" (and brands) even though I think the service is still rather expensive.

Online advertising in New Zealand

Online advertising in New Zealand is growing, but... does not know how big it is. The New Zealand Herald writes today about a growing market which is still unable to estimate how big is it becoming. According to the article's author, the introduction of large-format advertising has proven to be the key in the industry's expansion.

The Mobile Marketing Value Chain

The mobile marketing industry is becoming stronger and stronger. FlyText has published yesterday an interesting Press Release in which Pamir Gelenbe pictures the current state of the art in the market, describing, in particular, three kinds of business models that can be found in the mobile marketing space:
- Agencies
- The full service mobile marketing specialists
- "Gateway" companies

October 07, 2003
Nissan Micra online ads (a bad example)

I've started evaluating online advertising campaigns last week, presenting the "good example" of Orange. Today I come up with a bad example: Nissan Micra advertising on Yahoo!.
I've found the ad while browsing on the "Motori" (Motors) section, looking for the new Toyota Rav 4. First of all, targeting wasn't perfect, since I was currently gathering information on a much different kind of vehicle, a more expensive SUV. But the worst thing was about how the ad looked like: I've taken two screenshots of it on two different pages (1 - 2) and, as you can see, the ad was badly cut and it was impossible to read the copy and the car name.

SMS mania in the UK

In a press release the Mobile Data Association (MDA) says that 55 million sms have been sent daily across the UK last August. In August 2002, the number was lower, with "only" 45 text messages sent. A total of 1.69 Billion texts were sent person-to-person throughout August 2003.

Futhermore, I pass you the link to an article today on The Advertiser in which it's said that a well-known London clinic, The Priory, is treating patients addicted to sending text messages. "Psychologists claim many people have now embraced texting as a way of avoiding telling their partners things they dare not say to them face-to-face".

As the REM used to sing... It's the end of the world and you know it!

Whodunit? runs exclusively online in Europe

Reebok has started the Whodunit? campaign in Europe. What's important to notice is that they're running it exclusively online. As explained on Brand Republic Flash video ads will play a key role in the campaign, with the goal of raising Reebok's brand awareness and drive response.
The banner are currently performing on Yahoo! and Msn networks. Here's a screenshot of a floating ad I've found today on Yahoo! inside the "Sport" section.

Read more on the Whodunit? campaign in the US.

October 03, 2003
Konvergenz Award 2003: and the winner is...

... Coca Cola Light

W&V; reports today the results of the German award Konvergenz 2003. The agencies behind the Coca Cola Light campaign are Publicis, Argonauten 360 and Magic Response. The award has been assigned for the innovative and courageous use of the Web. The silver medal went to Sony Computer Entertainment for the campaign "Playstation - this is 2003" by Akzio and TBWA, while the bronze has been assigned to AUDI with "The OTHER side OF the Road" developed by Philipp & Keuntje and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Rich media use will triple in 2004

According to the German research firm Pilot Group the use of rich media ads triple in 2004. This estimate is provided by Pilot Group on the basis of the current market tendency as well as different expert opinions.

Will women play mobile games?

Mobile gaming is becoming a big business, and the industry is working in order to attract new gamers, women. Jo Twist writes today on BBC NEWS that mobile gaming in the UK will be worth more than �50 million in 2003, however games makers still have to break some stereotypes. Game are not only for men, women are welcome playing to!
The article is interesting since it also allows readers to express their opinion on the matter.

Naked Weapon viral campaign

Revolution Magazine reports that Medusa has decided to go viral in order to promote the movie "Naked Weapon".
There's a viral game on the microsite that supports ties into offline advertising and promotions.

October 02, 2003
Chivas Regal new look on the Web

Chivas Regal, the well-known whisky company has redesigned its global website as part of a move to reposition its brand internationally. Revolution Magazine reports today, saying that Chivas Regal wants to promote its brand personality and values, which target 30- to 40-year-old consumers with an appetite for life.

Mercury Minivan online promotion

Mercury is using the Web for an early promotional push for its 2004 Monterey minivan in a 90-day deal with America Online.
As AdAge reports, the Company has started a campaign to drive traffic to They will also give away a Mercury Minivan through an online sweepstake, which is to blogs: consumers will be able to vote the best blog on AOL. online campaign

In 2002, over 35 million people visited Las Vegas with nearly 25% using the Internet to plan their trip. This is the simple reason why has appointed iTraffic to launch an interactive advertising campaign. As explained in the press release the idea is to drive awareness and reservations to

October 01, 2003
Orange: a good example

This is a good example of how online advertising should be...
Look at the screenshot of today's Communication page on Le Monde. An excellent brand experience, even though I can't be an Orange client, I really felt like clicking on a banner to learn more about it.

Club Nokia: send your MMS as a postcard

�MMS Postcard� is a new solution launched by Nokia to enable mobile subscribers with MMS handsets to take a picture and send it instantly to their friends and family as a physical postcard. As Cellular News reports today, that Club Nokia emailed all 750,000 subscribers in Denmark and Norway detailing the MMS Postcard solution, and offering two free postcards to every subscriber.

Yahoo! customized ads for The New Yorker

Yahoo! is preparing a customized campaign for a specific publication with a series of contextual ads for the Oct. 6 issue of The New Yorker.
You can read more about it on AdWeek.

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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