Back from the holidays in the middle of the countryside, I find it quite hard to focus on my online life... so, for today, just a bunch of quick links, useful to refresh my/our minds on some big issues such as branding, online advertising and social networking
The search for soul. On Brandchannel Bernard Leibov talks about the capability of brands of creating a sense of belonging. It takes a soul to touch another soul—the soul within the brand.
Adage investigates the ROI of making friends on MySpace.
While Martina is enjoying here spring break, I'm going to do a little experiment here on Adverblog. I would like to invite you to review the latest Heineken campaign: secretfinal.com. The campaign is part of Heineken's UEFA Champions League sponsorship. Visitors of the website are invited to engage and ‘launch’ themselves all around the world, in order to win a trip to a secret location, where they can watch the Champions League final. Please leave your opinion in the comments. Thanks!
If that isn't good old Mr. T! While I thought he was retired long time ago, AMV BBDO London managed to dig him up and put him in a new online campaign for Snickers. Not very spectacular, but it is fun to see that T still looks and behaves pretty much the same.
Here in Europe, Puma has launched a mini-site to promote it's new Puma Ducati shoe. The action is the result of a significant co-marketing effort together with Ducati motorcycles to produce a shoe collection to be sold exclusively at Foot Locker.
The site consists of a driving advergame which is very basic but also quite well done and fun to play, and allows players to win 10 Sony PSP. Yes, there's also ONE page about the shoes, which is definitely not enough to properly present the product.
BMW has recently launched a sophisticated advergame called PACE - Pursuit Across Europe. You can also define it as an interactive movie, where you play the leading role driving the car. It is very beautifully designed and developed by Interone Worldwide and Artificial Duck. The gaming experience is also quite immersive.
I must say that I'm a pretty bad driver, as I didn't manage to drive for long, but I definitely enjoyed the experience, even if sometimes it misses some "skip" buttons when you play it for the second time. The videos animations with the penciled effect are just so, so... beautiful, and the great soundtracks is the cherry on the cake. Great site, stylish and with that touch of perfection which makes so, so... BMW.
Last but not least, from a marketing perspective, I appreciated the fact that the first stage is open to everyone but if you want to continue the pursuit, modify your vehicle and face new challenges, you need to register. Smart.
Great geeky little online commercial for Converse shoes that starts to cause a lot off buzz. Even Engadget picked it up. Yes, it's fake, but the idea attracts enough people to make it a success. Nice work.
Sigh, what a sad discovery: sex sells for Levi's. Strangely enough, this time is not about beautiful (almost naked) girls... since the collection to promote it's the Spring Summer Lady Style, they've obviously decided to feature a bunch of sexy men and "some" female denim.
I don't like the site. Point n.1, I don't know who did the casting, but the men are too slim (ok, this is personal taste ;-) Point n.2 product navigation is too weak. What if I want to see my next pair of denim (not really, since I work for Diesel... ) and not a strip-tease? I loved the Levi's Copper Jeans site, but I can't help complaining about this pointless locker room experience.
Last year we had the Friends of Bright by Orbit, today, from Trident, we have a new crazy online chewing experience. It's the new Trident website, consisting of an ironic corporate presentation explaining the art of making great chewing gums.
Created by AKQA, the site "plays like a DVD" divided in video chapters and with some nice extra content to better understand what Trident is about. A very good online experience, which lacks a little bit of interactivity but surely is sticky enough to expose people for at least five minutes to the Trident brand.
Update: it looks like users who visit the site from the US are redirected to the ugly US version of the Trident site. If in this version you see a link to the UK site, then click there to see the teletubbies I'm talking about. Otherwise, try this link which takes you to the .swf containing the DVD: http://www.tridentgum.co.uk/library/flash/tridentfactory/tridentfactory.swf
For those of you who are not able to access the site, I'll add a few more screenshots below...
Product demonstration meets advertainment in Splat the mat a mini-site to promote automotive floor mats stain and odor resistant. You can test the product's characteristics yourself, by throwing on the mats everything from ketchup to coffee and blueberry pie. Rest assured, with water and tissue every spot will be clean. If you feel like, you can even "suggest a spill", but the end result will not change.
The site experience is quick and funny, plus the video demonstration grabs the user's attention and surely delivers the message. There's also a call to action for an immediate buy which makes the effort even more interesting from an online marketing perspective. It's great to watch a clever example of advertainment so much sales oriented.
The winners of the annual Dutch SpinAwards (interactive marketing awards) were revealed last Thursday. After selecting a shortlist of 37 ads out of over 300 entries submitted, the jury awarded a total of 13 SpinAwards - 6 gold and 7 silver. Among the golden Spin winners the impressive child suffering campaign (best online campaign) and the Feel Volvo C70 website (best website concept). Also a gold Spin for the Heineken Skypecast (innovation award) in which I was closely involved. Check all the winners on the SpinAward website (in Dutch).
If you’re looking for a wife, have a look at this online service just launched in Belgium. Rent a wife it’s, obviously, a rental service, so after a while you can give it back, purchase is not required.
The site is in Dutch and French, but I think you can all find your way through the content quite easily. Of course, if you’re interested, you can subscribe to the service directly through the site. There are different options you can choose from and... guess what, when you click to go, you’ll end up on the subscribe page of an online DVD rental service.
It's a crazy and brilliant concept. I love it because it's a very smart viral which works for direct marketing and this, you know, it's a kind of unusual thing to see.
Probably inspired by the very viral Animator vs Animation, Club Internet released a surprising and entertaining campaign site that keeps your attention just long enough to get the commercial message. Club Internet sells Triple Play (Phone, TV, Internet) in France and is part of Deutsche Telecom.
Turn off the lights, and get ready to play tennis at night with Sony Ericsson. No, it's not an advergame, but it's a cool party concept they've launched in Spain last year and they recently replicated in Miami. It's called "Night Tennis" and it consists of a tennis court transformed into a disco or, the other way around, of a disco transformed in a tennis court.
Dark atmosphere, fluo lines, and two tennis players who try to it hit the ball in the dark while DJ Paul Oakenfold plays the music. The balls, court and net along with player’s shirts, skirts and shoes are fully UV reactive, and each game is highlighted by beats and light shows.
Sport meets technology meets clubbing, a perfect combination to hit the cool-young target. As you can easily understand from the tone of this post, I love the concept, and I'm happy to see creativity applied to presence marketing. This is definitely something you can call emotional marketing!
Eventually a nice campaign "made in Italy" to share. The site is called "Operazione Gemellaggio" (which translates into something like "Operation Twinning") and it has been created by Profero to support the opening of a new IKEA store in Milan. The idea is that the 18 years old store located Carugate now has a "twin" in Corsico, and to celebrate the event they've launched a competition based around user generated content (of course ;-)
Users are invited to upload their photo and match it with their favourite Ikea's product. A very simple concept that is generating a lot of interest and over 1000 submission is just a few days.
Those who participate can win Ikea's vouchers and will see their photo in the Milano's stores. Five seconds of fame... it's now banal, but it still works so... why not?
Thanks to Tina @ Swissmiss I've discovered Universcale, a website (and application) launched by Nikon Japan that puts the universe into proportion.
It's not easy to explain how the site works, but it's a nice experience to try out. As explained on the site "We are able to view all entities, from the microworld to the universe, from a single perspective. By setting them up against a scale, we are able to compare and understand things which cannot be physically compared" and this is what Universcale does.
This is not new, we saw video mash-ups already, but if you're a basketball fan, you will like it anyway. Nike Second Coming, is an interactive experience which allows users to create their own basketball Tv spot. You can select from a wide range of short clips, and play with your heroes creating a video to share with your friends or on your blog.
As said, nothing new, it's again about proposing tools for user-generated content, but it's very well done (I like the stylish/mysterious black design) and I believe it will be also very much appreciated by the young audiences.
Are Brunettes better than Blondes, or is it the other way around? You decide by joining one of the two teams online, and participating in the challenge. You will be asked a series of questions and the points you will accumulate will be credited to your team.
The Color Showdown is actually a good concept, but it misses something when it comes to interaction and engagement. A test made of ten questions, even if the copy tries to be amusing, in the end is quite boring and doesn't really push the user to spread the word.
The stereotype of Brunettes vs Blondes could have been taken a step further, with a little more bravery and irony. There will be a new episode online soon, let's see if they decide to spice it up a bit.