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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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April 26, 2005
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Even if you aren't a science fiction fan, you might have a lot of expectations towards the forthcoming movie "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". Netimperative reports the first official European movie site has been launched in the UK last week, eleven other will follow. BVI and Digital Outlook have developed the site and the cd-rom that supports the whole campaign.

April 26, 2005
Play the advergame and drive safe

Antoine Gilbert blogs about a new advergame launched to promote safe practices when driving SUV (sport-utility vehicles). The Esuvee Safety Campaign, is a $27 million yearlong education program launched in the US to reduce SUV's rollovers. In The Esuvee Challenge Course players take control of "Esuvee" the campaign mascot that serves as a metaphor for a sports utility vehicle and represents the feeling of invincibility that some drivers experience on the road. The site is available in English and Spanish.

Rich Media: At the Tipping Point

In 2004 rich media advertising accounted for less than 10 percent of all online advertising. Despite the fact there is always a lot of talk about this solution and the growth of broadband Internet access, investments are still limited. But the situation is going to change soon. A new white paper by eMarketer Rich Media: At the Tipping Point expects revenues from rich media advertising to reach $2.2 billion by 2008 (in the United States). The paper, which is sponsored by, can be downloaded for free (opens .pdf).

Among the interesting stats the paper presents, I think the online advertising effectiveness should get particular attention. If compared to traditional banners, rich media usually obtain better click-through rates (look at page 7). Unfortunately, "better" is positive qualification in a comparison, but appears rather disappointing if you look at the rates from an higher perspective. According to Doubleclick, rich media accounted for an average 1.17 percent click-through rate in Q3 2004, which is surely "better" than the 0.20 percent of non rich media ads, but it's always a very low percentage. Sure, you'll tell me online advertising is also about branding, but yet, 1.17 still looks very low to me.

An Italian blog for crime lovers

If you like crime, thrillers and mystery books (and you speak Italian), you might surely enjoy ChiaroScuro, the new blog by my friend Alberto.

April 25, 2005
High interactivity for Adidas

New Media Age reports today of an highly interactive campaign launched by Adidas to promote its F50+ football shoes. The creativity includes tv spots, video ads, email marketing and "mobisodes", short video episodes especially designed for mobile phones.

BMW 3 Series: blood, sweat and tears

Graphico is the agency behind the online preview of the BMW 3 Series. According to the agency, the site delivers a rich experience, presenting the cars in all its details with a very realistic perspective. The concept of "blood, sweat and tears" is an aspect of the web story created to introduce the car.
Unfortunately the link posted on Graphico's site ( doesn't work yet.

Punch the celebrity

Is the a celebrity out there we can't really stand? Is the answer is yes, visit the site by Inbox Digital, you'll find plenty of faces to punch, with an "Election special" currently running.

Ikea online with Profero

Ikea has launched an online campaign in Italy to let people know about its new and bigger store in Brescia. The campaign is online since mid-April, with ads delivered only to people connecting to the Internet from the regions close to the store. International interactive agency Profero took care of the creativity, while Omd Digital did the planning.
[News via Pubblicità Italia]

Havana Club: success via email

In Belgium Barnes & Richardson developed last year an email marketing campaign for Havana Club, to promote the "Anejo Especial" Edition. As explained on Digimedia (in Dutch) 15.000 email messages were sent to people aged 24 to 35 living in Brussels. The email invited people to visit a dedicated web site and win a bottle of the new Rhum to be drunk with friends at local pubs. Over 4000 users took part to the competition.

Fanta: fun & SMS

Genetsis has created in Spain and Portugal a new online campaign for Fanta, Fun & Wave. The initiative targets young consumers, with an online promotion which gives away vacations around the Mediterranean. Users can enter the competition by submitting the pin code they find on the cans. In Portugal, there is also a loyalty program which allows consumers to accumulate points and win further prizes.

What is nice about the campaign is the fact they also give away a free SMS every two submitted codes. Even if "one" SMS isn't a big prizes, it's interesting to see how the mobile is integrated with the Internet, trying to focus of what really attracts young consumers.

April 21, 2005
The Digital Marketing Forum

The Digital Marketing Forum is a two day event, with separately bookable days, looking at the keys to successful online and mobile marketing strategies. It will take place in London on July 4th & 5th 2005. Day one will be focused on online marketing, day two will be dedicated to mobile marketing. This event will bring you a combination of valuable case studies, and industry experts, from leading organisations including Thomas Cook,, Penguin, Comic Relief, Orange, Disney, Flytxt, Enpocket and Ministry of Sound. To find out more, visit this site.
Making Money Out of Mobile is media partner of the event.

20th Century Fox targets "silver surfers"

Revolution Magazine reports 20th Century Fox has decided to celebrate its 70th anniversary with an online campaign targeting collectors and "silver surfers". The creativity by Greenroom Digital invites surfers to explore classic movies on DVD, such as Hello Dolly! or The Comancheros, featured on a dedicated web site.

Sony, the new Walkman is online

On April 11 Sony has launched an online campaign in Italy to promote its new Walkman. DailyNet (in Italian) reports online ads have been planned by MD International to go live on MTV, Lycos, Tiscali, Libero and Yahoo!. The campaign (creativity by Fallon) will last until the end of June and will see Sony investing in Italy about 200.000 Euros.

Political viral games in the UK

The elections will take place in the UK in 14 days and as it could be easily expected the Internet is playing an important role in campaigning and attracting voters' attention. Randommedia has created "Political Mudslinging" for BBC Radio 1, a game which allows users to throw mud to politicians. The Liberal Democrats party is also running its own mobile advergame, criticising (againg?) the war in Iraq. The mobile game invites players to find a better way to invest the 5 billion pounds the British government spent to go on war. On the site you can find the indications to download the application by Masabi.

Yahoo! Europe appoints OgilvyOne

Yahoo! Europe has appointed OgilvyOne Worldwide to create interactive campaigns in order to promote Yahoo!'s image and services through France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Netimperative reports also Maher Bird Associates (MBA) has been selected as Trade Marketing agency for Europe. Yahoo UK & Ireland will still rely on existing agencies such as Poek, Naked and Splendid.

Siemens gives away blogs

Amiel reports Siemens has launched in France an online quiz to give away three SK65 phones and 10 subscriptions for one year to Typepad, the popular blogging service. The domain name that presents the competition doesn't appear to be very corporate (it but, everything else looks very serious and trustworthy...

April 15, 2005
Peugeot 206: "Sweet Years", sad ideas

Euro RSCG 4D has created an online push for the new Peugeot 206 Sweet Years edition. A micro-site supports the Tv campaign recreating an atmosphere inspired to the '70 and Starsky & Hutch in particular. The site is nothing special, also because it is focused on the testimonial, Christian Vieri, a football player, not exactly a winning symbol. They could have done the promotion much better since also the draw which gives away Sweet Years t-shirts isn't really something exciting.

7 Sins and an advergame

Atari is promoting its new videogame "7 Sins" with an advergame on Italy's most visited students portal. In the game players are invited to go shopping in the Apple City to buy or steal sexy product with the aim of building their own 7 sins' profile. PubblicitĂ  Italia reports the game is promoted with rich media and leaderboards targeting young users (but they must be older than 18...).

"Be cool" and the strange promotion

The new movie with John Travolta "Be Cool" is debuting this week in Italy. 20th Century Fox is promoting it with an online campaign featuting banners and pop-ups (!?!) on the main Italian portals Virgilio, Msn, Repubblica and on Radio Deejay. The promotion includes a competition which invites users to sing the soundtrack song, save it as mp3 and get the chance to record a Cd in a studio. More info on this strange campaign on DailyMedia (in Italian).

Microsoft promotes "The New Era" for Office

Over 7 million pounds have been invested by Microsoft to promote the new Office version. New Media Age explains the campaign has a "viral nature" and includes streaming video clips, banners as well as print and outdoor ads. The creativity is by McCann WorldGroup (McCann-Erickson for advertising and MRM Partners for direct marketing) which decided to use the image of dinosaurs to encourage users to "evolve" and upgrade.

One in, one out for I-Level

UK agency I-Level has recently won the digital media account with mobile operator Orange. I-Level was already working with British Telecom, which represents an Orange's competitor, therefore the agency had to say someone goodbye. Netimperative reports BT and I-Level have agreed to end their agreement within three months, as soon as the ongoing activity will be terminated.

IAB Spain: the best online ads on a DVD

In an effort to push the use of online advertising, IAB Spain has created a DVD with the best Spanish and international interactive ads. Diario Ipmark (in Spanish) explains the DVD also features a wide range of examples of online creativity, even if not directly linked to advertising. The idea is to promote the use of online ads, but also to take advantage of Internet communication to connect with consumers, expressing creativity in an innovative way.

April 13, 2005
The horror is online

New Media Age reports today Twentieth Century Fox the remake of 'The Amityville Horror' online. The creativity is by Lean Mean Fighting Machine which developed a series of banners and skyscrapers inspired to the original movie released in 1979. Ads will appear, among the others, on MTV, The Sun and Channel 4, specifically targeting 16 to 24 years old people.

A sweepstake for American Airlines

American Airlines has partnered with Blockbuster to promote its web site and the online DVD rental service through a series of online sweepstakes. As ClickZ reports, the idea for AA is again to invite users to bypass travel agencies and buy their tickets directly online. The sweepstakes are promoted with online ads and email marketing driving traffic to The agency behind the site is Tribal DDB Dallas.

In Europe LG picks Euro RSCG and Starcom

LG Electronics Europe has announced chosen Euro RSCG (for creativity) and Starcom (for planning) to manage its advertising in Europe. LG opened its headquarters in Europe last year, and the decision to select specific agencies for Europe confirms their plans to further expand o the market. Euro RSCG London won the account leaving behind Y&R;, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett, while Starcom succeeded over Mindshare, Carat und Universal McCanns.

Top online planners in France

Check out Le Journal du Net today to find out who manages the online advertising money in France. SNCF's budget for, example, is managed by Publicis, MPG Media Contacts takes care of France Telecom, Orange, Wanadoo and Citroen, while Carat Interactive plans for SFR, Renault, Bouygues Telecom, Gaz de France, AOL and Philips.

April 12, 2005
The "other side" of IBM

Ogilvy & Mather has created a multi-channel campaign to promote the "other side" of IBM and enhance the company's image which is currently very much focused on technology. IBM is opening to consulting and therefore is seriously working on branding with print, Tv and online ads. The call to action is to visit where users can learn more about IBM's expertise and new way of thinking.
Read more about the campaign on ClickZ.

Carat to offer "blogging starter kit"

Mediapost reports Carat Interactive will offer its clients with a blogging "starter kit", to introduce them with the blogosphera potentials. In the kit Carat will explain how to monitor blogs, to advertise on them and to run an own blog.

Clickable web video spots to be launched in May

Next month ESPN will launch a new multimedia platform to offer clickable web video spots. The news was reported last week on AdWeek, explaining that advertisers will be able to embed links it the video, inviting users to click to get more information.

A site for Donkey Kong

How many hours did you spend playing Donkey Kong with your C64 or Amiga? I can't tell you...
Now the game is available for Nintendo GameCube and there is also a microsite promoting it. The online push has been developed by Babel, which enriched the site with game information, screenshots, streaming mp3 audio and in-game video clips, and also delivered animated instructions on how to use the unique bongo drum peripheral used for controlling the game.
The Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat full site and teaser were localised into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch, with separate versions also created for Belgian French and Belgian Dutch.

Pepsi Handball an advergame for young football fans

The UK Pepsi portal dedicated to football has a new advergame developed by Graphico. The game, called Pepsi Handball, aims at promoting the Pepsi Soccer Schools.
It looks like Tetris...

If you're looking for advertainment ideas, I suggest you browsing the whole site which is a good example of branding targeting teenagers.

Stella Artois promotes After Dark 05

Stella Artois is promoting its After Dark 05 events through partnership agreements with The Guardian and Channel 4. As Revolution Magazine reports, Channel 4 is supporting the Making Movies competition with a microsite that invites users to submit their own scripts to join a competition an win £ 2000. The Guardian's microsite features instead information about the events and articles by the journal's film critics.

MMS marketing for Pixmania

One of Europe's e-commerce leaders in electronics, Pixmania, is running an MMS campaign with the support of PhoneValley. The French company has decided to include mobile marketing in its multi-channel strategy in order to build a closer relationship with its target audience which is very attracted by new technologies. Pixmania will send out five MMS messages to its clients and prospects, featuring an image of a product and some text.
[news via NetEconomie - in French]

April 11, 2005
MSN Messenger, new opportunities for advertisers

MSN has announced the 7.0 version of its IM application Messenger and a new service called MSN Spaces through which millions of consumers can share their stories with their friends and family or the entire world. The advertising opportunities offered by the application appear to be particularly attractive. MSN has announced Volvo Cars North America will be the first to run a campaign on MSN Spaces, trying to take advantage of a deeper brand integration through a rather unobtrusive channel.
Also Adidas and Sprite have chosen MSN Messenger to make users experience their branded content. Sprite has created "The Scenario" a branded online entertainment experience designed for teens, while Adidas offers branded theme packs to promote its newly launched Adidas_1 Show.

The new Pepsi site is a cartoon

Proximity has developed a new site for Pepsi Italia ( It has a unusual graphics which mixes cartoons characters and photos. It features a lot of content for young users, such as music, sports and cinema presented in an interactive environment to explore. The nice thing is the "museum" where users can learn more about the brand and watch Pepsi Tv spots from around the world.

April 09, 2005
Two codes of conduct are better than one (maybe)

Email spam is a big problem everywhere. Someone is taking it seriously, some others just ignore it. In France it seems like they preferred to take a strong position against a plague with is affecting email marketing. Last week the Union Française du Marketing Direct (UFMD) has published a code of conduct for email marketers. It defines the rules to collect and use the email addresses to be used to deliver commercial messages. The curious thing ZDnet France reports, is that also the e Syndicat national de la communication directe (SNCD) decided to release or, better, to update, its own deontological rules. For the moment the two associations are going to come together to produce a unique document.
Who should email marketers listen to?

"Naturally Beautiful" campaign launched

The Milk Development Council (MDC) in the UK has launched an integrated campaign with the support of the European Commission to promote milk consumption among 11-16 years old girls. It encourages them to increase their dairy intake, and hence calcium, in a bid to halt the rising numbers of women being diagnosed with osteoporosis in later life. Dubbed "Naturally Beautiful", the initiative takes advantage of a range of media, from tv to cinema, radio and press advertising. Of course there is also an advertainment style microsite supporting the campaign, featuring a quiz, a few milch/cheese/yogurt recipes and a disturbing mannequin.

The advertising future is mobile

The Guardian reports the opinion of Andrew Robertson, recently appointed CEO of BBDO agencies' network, who believes mobile phones will soon start playing a key role in advertising. The article also quotes a BBDO report which found out consumers would give up their television sets before sacrificing their mobile phones or home computers.

I don't know whether this is an imitation effect, or the advertising agencies are really starting taking mobile marketing seriously, but as a matter of fact last week everybody come out last week with statements about the importance of being mobile. I've already posted that Foote Cone & Belding which signed a deal with NeoMedia Technologies to develop mobile marketing campaigns. Now I've also found on New Media Age (reg. req.) that the boss of WPP Group, "Sir" Sir Martin Sorrell has sent out a formal request for proposals (RFP) to find a global mobile marketing partner.

April 08, 2005
In the Navy!

The Royal Navy in the UK has launched an online campaign to recruit aircrew. Netimperative reports the initiative is managed through COI and developed in partnership with Glue London and I-Level. Email marketing will play a key role, with target messages to people who asked the Royal Navy information in the past. Banners and rich media skyscrapers will also be part of the campaign, appearing on sites visited by 16-23 years old men.

No party? No Vodka...

The web agency Interwall has created an online campaign in Germany to promote the vodka brand Puschkin. The new web site, as the ones any other vodka brand, is packed with advertainment style content, ranging from cocktail recipes to ads. It also features a co-marketing competition with T-Mobile giving away concert tickets and music.
The Puschkin site is nice, but it looks like an imitation of Absolut online presence, and of its unique infotainment and advertainment approach.

A shootout for Samsung

Samsung is running a basketball advergame called the Shootout to engage users and give away Tv sets. If you're interested, be sure to play today, since the contest will finish tonight. Since March 15th ads have been running, among the others, on The New York Times and Business Week. As usual, I cannot play because I can't fill in a valid US Zip code :-(

April 07, 2005
Italy, search engines... what?

Ad Maiora, one of the top European agencies specialized in search engine marketing has just released the results of study on web site visibility of the top 100 Italian ad spenders that invest in traditional media. According to the analysis, almost two out of three sites analyzed are lacking adequate direct links from search engines, with the consequent result of not factoring high in the search engine results. By an original methodology, the study consolidated the optimization, visibility and popularity values, and produced a map of online visibility levels for analysed sites, showing that only 25% have equilibrate values among adopted parameters. Mauro Lupi, Ad Maiora's President, commented: "We think that this research could represent a motivation to companies investing in traditional advertising to exploit their websites more profitably."

Continue reading... "Italy, search engines... what?"

An advergame for le TGV

Given the excellent results obtained last year from an online campaign, TGV the ultra-fast French train, has decided to launch an online competition to support the special ticket prices they are currently offering. By playing online, users can win one year of free TGV tickets during the week-ends. The advergame, Grand Jeu TGV, is divided in four levels (all four kind of stupid), if the player completes them, he's allowed to enter the draw to win the free tickets. Ads supporting the campaign are currently running on the main French portals, including MSN France, where I found one of the slowest animation in the rich media history...

Fanta: Ice, Lemon and jokes

Fanta is running a viral campaign in Belgium through a microsite connected to its IcyLemon brand. The idea, developed by Ogilvy Interactive, has been launched on MSN on April 1st, and includes a series of advertainment jokes to engage friends with.

April 06, 2005
Adobe: Everything but the Idea

Adobe has launched a new campaign to promote its Creative Suite 2. As reported in the press release the ad campaign aims to create a deeper, more emotional connection with graphic artists, designers and other creative professionals. It was developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco. Ads will appear on design publications like Archive, CMYK and Communication Arts and style magazines such as Wallpaper, Surface and Nylon, while online ads will go live on, and Rich Silverstein, creative director and co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners commented:
"Like our audience, we live, eat, sleep and breathe what creative professionals do on a daily basis, which allowed us to bring special insight and humor into the ads".

A viral video to look for an advertising idea

Ogilvy & Mather (Alexander Zelmanovics Executive Creative Director) has created a multichannel campaign for Raiffeisen Bank targeting young users in Austria. The initiative includes TV and print ads, billboards and internet advertising. The key in the campaign is an absurd Tv teaser (something between Baywatch, Jaws and Scream) which invites watchers to go online and visit where the viral idea goes live. On the site users find the whole story behind one of the worst tv spot in advertising history (as it's defined by the Raiffeisen boss himself) and they are asked to come up with their own ideas to promote the Raiffeisen brand among young adults. The best creative idea will be awarded with a stage in an advertising agency in Vienna.

Continue reading... "A viral video to look for an advertising idea"

April 05, 2005
Win a trip to the Loire Valley

The Pays de la Loire have launched an online competition to attract tourists to the region. I've found the ad on Le Monde, it had an attractive graphic so I clicked on it and found this nice cartoon style advergame featuring three cool characters: the family of Roland, Cindy and Micho. You can select the setting where you want to play, choosing among the Atlantic beaches, the vineyards or the Loire's banks. I don't know which is the agency behind this, but it looks very cool.

Don't put your banner on the wrong site

There is a polemic going on in Australia about big brands advertising on websites that facilitate piracy of software and movies. Companies like Foxtel and ING Direct, which had ads running on sites like Pirate Bay, said it is not their fault, blaming the advertising network instead.
Quoted in an article on Fairfax Digital a Foxtel spokeswoman said those sites are not the sort the company wants to be associated with, and they are already investigating the reasons why this happened. Should we believe her?
It sounds weird to me to hear that there are still big brands planning online campaigns randomly. Maybe the audience visiting piracy websites is actually relevant too them, so they gave it a try...

April 04, 2005
Online push for T-Mobile

U-Fix is a new billing service now available from T-Mobile in the UK. In order to promote its launch, the carrier has created a massive online campaign. Digital Bulletin reports the creativity is by Saatchi & Saatchi and Glue London. Online ads featuring the message "If only life was as predictable as U-Fix" will run on the major UK portals with the aim of raising awareness and driving traffic to T-Mobile's dedicated site.

Online advertising grows in South Africa

According to the South African Online Publishers Association (OPA) and Nielsen Media Research/AIS AdEx online advertising in South Africa grew by 136,7% in 2004. The number is impressive, but must be "handled with care", since the OPA explained that the growth is also partly due to additional online publishers reporting their advertising figures. [news via MarketingWeb]

I'm back!

I've just printed out the last page of my thesis. Now I just have to wait for the graduation day which should be either on April 14th or 18th. Thanks to everyone who took the survey, I will presents the results as soon as I will be allowed to, which means around April 20th.
Eventually I have time to blog again, I've so many things to post about :-)

April 03, 2005
Ciao, Papa

Thank you Giovanni Paolo II, you ment a lot to the people of my generation. We won't forget what you did for us. Rest in peace. Ciao

April 01, 2005
April Fool's Day on MSN Canada

On MSN/Sympatico Workopolist sponsors today a nice April fool's joke. If you go on (today only!) you can find the link to send a fake release complete with your own photo. I've decided to replace Dan Rather at CBS News... I'm the new anchor! :-)
(thanks Sabrina)

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