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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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May 31, 2007
Toyota challenges Greek bloggers

Thanks to Panos, I've found out about an interesting "blog marketing" campaign carried out by Toyota in Greece. I'm glad to post about it since it extends the coverage on online marketing in Europe, but also because Panos shared quite a lot of numbers and insights, which are not so common to find and share....

For the launch of their new hatchback model, the Auris, Toyota Hellas wanted a digital campaign that would promote the new car's interior design and the feel drivers get when sitting inside the Auris' modern "cockpit". The campaign needed to actively engage consumers with the brand, to generate leads and "test-drive" requests.


OgilvyOne Athens decided to think "Web 2.0" and find a way to invite consumers to do most of the talking and promoting. So Greek bloggers were invited to test-drive the car for a week if they would post their findings on their respective blogs, which would also be collected into a central blog, at At the same time, a banner campaign invited the general public to request a test-drive, which could also win them a 4-star hotel weekend in Greece with of course the Auris at their disposal.

Continue reading... "Toyota challenges Greek bloggers"

May 30, 2007
Your consumer cannot be found

While Mark is looking for ground-breaking and usable agency websites, Shedwa points at this great example. At first glance you think the page cannot be found, but a second look learns you so much more. The connection to your consumer cannot be found. Read further and you'll see how simple and strong an agency message (and website) can be. Kudos for Westwayne!

May 29, 2007
Spot the bull and win

From the UK, eventually a different advergame, something with a simple yet very original mechanism. Spot the Bull, created by Poke London for Orange invites players to guess where Derek (the bull) will find himself at a give time. The game is based on GPS tracking. There isn’t only a Tom Tom “installed” on the bull, but also every 30 seconds a photo of Derek in the field is taken, while a time stamp gets encoded in the image.

The game is not only about being lucky. Since Derek’s movements are tracked and shared on the site, it is possible to “study” him and start making bull spotting predictions. Also, the site features an amusing “expert analysis”, where a vet, a farmer and an animal psychologist share their tips to better understand Derek’s behavior.

The contest is part of Orange’s integrated marketing effort at the Glastonbury Festival: those who spot the bull win tickets for the event.

Agency sites try too hard...

Have you noticed that 99% of major global agencies (and I mean the big five groups - not the independant agencies)have bad sites or a holding-page or nothing at all... I find it weird that as agency folk we don't always put forward our best work on our own sites (from a design/execution perspective). I know, I know - we are all too busy working on cool work for clients which actually pay the bills but I just wish that one MAJOR agency network would break free and really do a site that is worthy of a global award in its own right or at least get big respect from the peer community for pushing it hard whilst keeping some sense of usability. Check out the new site for tbwahakuhodo in Tokyo... it's a monster/great amount of work they did, but it's sooooo frustrating and hard to find anything you may want to look at as a prospective client. It's cool, but I think it's only for the "sake of cool". Can anyone send an agency site that is both ground-breaking (design/tech) and usable from a (god forbid - client angle!!)?


The Battle for the Bronchs

From Australia, a kind of social campaign to raise awareness on asthma (I wrote “kind of” because it’s sponsored by Glaxo Smith Kline). Created by Tequila, Battle for the Bronchs is an interactive comic book combining live action video set in an illustrated city inside a pair of lungs. The site is aimed at young people who may suffer from asthma but tend to ignore the warning signs and avoid traditional health management messages.


When I first read the title of the campaign I must say I was a little bit skeptical and somehow disgusted, but you know, you should never stop at the first impression, so I visited the site and I changed my mind. I explain myself… I like the concept, and I like the design, but I have some doubts concerning the real capability of the campaign to properly deliver the message.


I think the advertainment approach works very well to grab people attention, to make them curious enough to spend a few minutes on the site (the advergame “lung-fu” is brilliant!). However I’m not sure to which extent young visitors will become aware of the importance of dealing with asthma in time and in the right way. For example, I would have put more focus on the Asthma Score test which on the contrary, ends up being quite hidden. So, overall, the evaluation of the site is positive, but with some open questions on the balance between the entertaining and the educational aspect of the communication.

Just discovered Twitter...

I've just discovered and installed Twitter... it's cool, I feel so Web 2.0 ;-) I just wonder how often I will actually be able to update it...

... and now I NEED some friends!!

May 28, 2007
Churches online in the countryside

It doesn't happen everyday that you get as a client a priest (or priesthood), especially when they ask you for a website. Padre Samuel Guedes asked for a Web platform containing, agenda, forms (to get online baptism certificates, for instance) and a Backoffice management system.

The result is what you see, a cool, fresh and coloured website, easy to navigate and with useful information for it users. The three churches reach about 10500 inhabitants, most of them catholic, I wonder how many go online to check church activities.

Paços de Ferreira, 35 kms away from Porto (Portugal), the city where these 3 churches are located, is well known for its furniture, I guess now it will be also known as "the place where God is online" :)

Written by Nuno.

Night At The Museum

If you need a website to promote a movie, there's only one agency you can contact it's Hi-Res from London. Usually I don't like the websites that support movies, most of the times they're too fake and dull, a part from the trailer, they fail to deliver anything interesting... Night at the Museum it's a kind of exception... well, to tell the truth, I will never go to the cinema to watch this kind of movie, but I kind of enjoyed the online experience and the art direction.


In particular I found brilliant the animations to move from one section to another and the variety of entertaining content they managed to produce. Actually, if you look at the single elements there's nothing really new nor innovative, but it's the mix and the quality of the execution which in the end deliver the result.


Save the planet (and vote for us)

From Belgium, a nice video to raise awareness on global warming and drive votes to the Green Party in the upcoming Federal elections.

The agency is K&TKW; Ghent.

May 24, 2007
Batman advanced seeding

As you all know very well, seeding takes time, spreading an idea virally might require weeks if not even months. This is why Warner Bros has decided to start talking about the new Batman movie almost six months before its official release in theatres...


I actually arrive a few days later on this campaign, but on the Catch up Lady blog you can read an extensive recap of the integrated (online & offline) action to start spreading the word about Batman: The Dark Knight. Yes, because one of the most interesting things about the campaign is the use of outdoor advertising to drive traffic to the teaser sites.


Also, as you can see from the screenshot above, the teaser site has been actively online only for a few days... Today if you visit it you find an error page which actually "hides" a message from the Joker.

May 23, 2007
Sprite goes kite

After the very successful Dynamite Surfing video from Quicksilver, I knew similar branded video's wouldn't take long to pop up. And indeed, here's the first. What seems to be a terrible kite surf accident, filmed by amateurs, turns out to be a Sprite Zero ad. Not as brilliant as Dynamite Surfing, but still entertaining.

May 22, 2007
Essence Beach Showercam

It looks like the feed of cool AXE campaigns just doesn't stop. This time it's an RFID experiment with a beach showercam. You can adjust the shower temperature and see the effects on a hot beach girl. Easy and fun.

Afbeelding 4.png

via Coolz0r

May 21, 2007
Ops! Happy Birthday Adverblog

I'm getting old... I almost forgot that Adverblog has turned four last Friday...

Sometimes I feel that with my "regular" job getting better and better I will no longer have the time nor the energy to keep blogging, but this is actually not true. Adverblog, like interactive marketing, is a passion, and in four years time I've build so many online friendships and loyal relationships with my rants' readers, that I just can't stop writing (also because it's the best tool I have to be recruited by cool companies ;-)

Right now I haven't got a good connection at home (I'm using a gprs phone :-( but I'm sure you'll forget me for a few more weeks and, most of all, you'll appreciate the articles by Adverblog's special friends and contributors Rocco and Mark.

So, Happy Birthday Adverblog! And thank you everybody :-)

Cicatriz video e-commerce

Last year I posted about the Japanese retailer LOFT and its website to present the Halloween outfits collection... they had a great idea to showcase their products online using videos, but they "forgot" to make the site e-commerce enabled. Today, via Newstoday, I've found out about Cicatriz Clothing, that has a new e-commerce site which actually completes and improves Loft's idea, adding the "click & buy" functionality.


As you can see yourself, the site is made of a series of "video-tiles" which animated one after the other showcasing a model and the products. On click, the video becomes bigger and allows the user to note the details of the shirts. It's interesting to note, that the interface not only allows buying in one click, but also updates in real time the number of items still available when you mouse-over the size you'd like to buy.


Last but not least, the product video is always there, even when you review your shopping cart, making the whole site extremely simple but also stylish and usable, which is a combination kind of rare to find.

Teaching them young

How is energy is generated? How much does it cost? How does it affect the environment?

These are extremely important topics today, and are no longer just the domain of engineers and industry experts.

ElectroCity was developed by Draft in New Zealand to increase public awareness – particularly among students – of the basic "common knowledge" of these topics. That is, the general terms and concepts of the industry and the dilemmas that go along with them.

The goal is not to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of the controversies in the various energy debates. Rather, it's to spark an interest and lay an unbiased foundation for later learning. Great to see big corporate companies (especially Energy one's) putting some money behind education of the environment.

May 18, 2007
Ikea, be brave... not beige!

Being in the middle of a relocation, I definitely enjoyed the new Ikea online effort: Be brave, not beige. The idea is to give people inspiration to create their own colorful apartments, forgetting about flat colors such as beige.

Explore the windows to watch amusing videos and discover how life is different when you live in beige instead of being brave and living in color.

The site does quite a good job presenting the products but, most of all, in my opinion delivers in terms of branding. Once again Ikea uses a touch of irony to present itself as a young and "light" brand, that young people will absolutely love.

May 16, 2007
NOTHING to hide

Very amazing client to let this one through... in fact it supposedly is the client who is the star. The green screen streams are a bit average in transition but it at least brings "nothing" into the mainstream. In their own words "elave commissioned this risque eye-catching method of communicating the serious message that elave has no worrying chemicals in its formulations and therefore ‘nothing to hide'. "

I'm not sure how many clients will follow this angle for the sake of "hits" but it will be interesting to see...

May 15, 2007
The interrogation of Leo and Lisa

If tomorrow you feel like doing something unusual and kind of stylish online, go to, and watch Kevin Spacey playing in "The Interrogation of Leo and Lisa" for your eyes only (or something like that...).

At about 4 pm CET, the site will broadcast an exclusive short play written by Spacey himself to celebrate the launch of the new IWC Da Vinci watch collection.

The idea is very original, especially if we consider there's a luxury brand behind it (the agency btw is Futurcom), which usually tend to be rather traditional in their approach to communication. In this case, they've managed to match a touch of tradition (theatre) with the use of online media to reach a wider/global audience. I'm sure they will definitely generate some buzz around the initiative even among those who still don't know much about IWC (and I belong to this group...).

The online effects of taking drugs

From Norway, a good example of social interactive marketing. Trydrugs is a website (obviously against drugs consuption ;-) which offers a visual simulation of what happens when you take cocaine or marijuana.

The mouse cursor slows down terribly or starts acting like crazy depending on the drug, plus the site opens a series of pop-unders related to memorial services, prisons, bankruptcy and crimes committed by drug addicts.

Actually I find the pop-unders idea the most interesting side of the site, since I find it stronger and more direct. What do you think?

The agencies behind the project are Kitchen and Mediafront.

May 14, 2007
The Royal Navy gets the message

In the UK, Glue London has launched an interesting online recruitment campaign for the Royal Navy. Since the message has to be delivered to 15-24 years olds, they've decided to go for the media this group usually uses: email and mobile phones. If you have a message to deliver, than take advantage of their "service"...

Get The Message it's a website and an application which allows users to send personalized (yes, they pronounce the recipient's first name) video messages to be delivered via both email and mobile phones using a variety of Royal Navy hardware from Sea King helicopters to submarines, dive boats and even Royal Marine Commandos.

The concept is quite original and surely very well executed. Video plays a key role in the campaign, and it's surely spectacular enough to get the attention of the picky 15-14 years olds.

Havaianas and the feet dreams

Havaianas has gone global with a new colorful campaign. They've launched online a joyful video where they explore how feet dream when they fall asleep... you can find it on, and I definitely hope they will add some additional interactive pieces, to make the website more complete and worth a second visit or an email sent to a friend.


From a marketing perspective, as said above, I feel the campaign (still) misses something online. However, if you look at the videos more from a creative point of view, you will surely agree they are very well done (and remind a little of the Coke Happiness Factory)...

May 11, 2007
Who invites me to Joost?

Guys, for obvious blogging and working reasons, I'd like to try out Joost. Is there anybody out there who can get me an invitation?

Update: wow! I adore my networking power ;-) I received over twenty invitations in less than an hour. Thanks everybody!


Axe, let the game continue

Axe is online with a new branded entertainment work: Let the game continue. It's an online movie, sticky, sexy and ironic as we expect Axe to be.

Btw, it's so funny to see how men cannot resist, even in the worst conditions, to beautiful women ;-)

The Impossible Story

As part of the Impossible is Nothing 2007 campaign, Adidas has launched in the UK a website (and a sort of viral action) called The Impossible Story.


The site allows users to upload their own photo, and then to be the main character in an animated cartoon adventure. Among the "crazy" things you can do, you can slamdunk the moon or eat a flying shark... just use the keyboard to move your character around the screen.


I was not excited by this website... the concept is not new, and it also look quite "childish". Maybe the target are teenagers, I don't know, but I can't see an adult being hooked to the site. The Impossible is Nothing concept is so nice and broad, it could have been exploited better...

May 09, 2007
Quick links for May 8th

I'm offline for a few days, moving to a new city, starting a new job, for now with no internet connection at home.
Hopefully next Monday I'll be able to write again. In the meantime, I give you a few quick links:

- On Advertising Lab, Ilya writes a very interesting analysis on the first forms of advertising seen on Joost.

- If you're looking for an advergame starring an ugly man, play Dial For Men, Man Luge.

May 04, 2007
Road Safety promoted online

It's an interesting exercise to observe the different approach to the online communication in a road safety campaign. The first, strong example, comes from Canada, where they have launched the website. The second example is Spanish, and it's called "Me importa un huevo" (which literally translates into "I don't give a damn" - thanks Daniel!).

50000victimes.jpg focuses on a very strong and impactful approach, using a dramatic video to immediately get people's attention. The site is presented like a sort of news site, with potentially a lot content.


Me importa un huevo, on the contrary, uses a more subtle and personal approach, asking the user to begin their visit on the site by entering the name of a friend or relative who is younger than 25 years old. Then the path continues with a sort of rudimental advergame, where the users try to stop eggs moving on a chainbelt. The objective is to avoid the eggs (lives) to be destroyed by hitting the ground. The last egg has the name you submitted.

I'm a Barbie Girl!

Mattel has recently launched an online community for 7-12 years old girls. I've found it out through Contagious, and even if when I was young(er) I never played with a Barbie (am I the only girl on earth who never owned a Barbie?) I really felt like signing up to explore the BarbieGirls world. In the Barbie online community world everything is pink (of course!) and very nicely designed. The site is still in beta-version, but it's already full of features to explore. The welcome page shows a short animation which explains what is going to happen on the site, and definitely works to encourage sign-ups.


Young girls can create their personalized character and also design their rooms setting the rules for entering in it (nobody can enter, everybody can, or just friends are allowed). Most of the features are free and open to everybody, but some tools are available only to those who buy the Barbie mp3 player (which will be available in July).


Continue reading... "I'm a Barbie Girl!"

May 03, 2007
Historical cyber riot around HD DVD key

You must have noticed some of the buzz around the leaked and widely distributed secret HD DVD key. This string of 32 digits and letters in a specialized counting system is used by the technology and movie industries to prevent piracy of high-definition movies. Someone found and posted the key on and, together with thousands of internet users, caused a worldwide internet riot. A huge moment in internet history, if you ask me. BBC, CNN, ABC and NYTimes covered the story and started discussions about user generated content, copyrights and online riots. Meanwhile, nobody couldn't prevent that the code is still outhere. Everywhere.

Read further on BoingBoing for great coverage.

May 02, 2007
The House of Horror

La casa del Horror, is a website created by Amnesty International Puerto Rico to draw people's attention on the big "battles" fought around the world by the no-profit association. They use a simple yet very emotional approach, asking the user to navigate the site in the dark, using the keybord to discover the dramatic stories of a lot of people all around the world, stories and tragedies which take place far from the crowds, hidden but not this less painful.


The site is in Spanish and English however, as you can easily guess, Amnesty International's photo tell more than a thousand words, spreading the word about social injustices all around the world.

via Houtlust.

Millimetres Matter but online doesn't

I got send this "viral" video by Samsung Mobile (watch out, I don't call it viral), and I decided to post about it for two reasons. First, the macrophotography is great (or is it "micro"-photography???), The Viral Factory once again did a brilliant job.

Second, even if they advertise a URL at the end of the commercial (, if you visit the site, there isn't anything to see. I mean, the link takes you to a page for 15 seconds where you can read a few words from behind the scenes of the spot. Then, automatically, you're redirected to this product website which has nothing to do with the campaign.

Isn't this a shame? They invested so much in the spot, they did a great job, and then, they "forgot" to integrate/support/complete the effort online. Sigh, sigh, sigh. Never stop learning.

Green marketing goes to Hollywood

Movies and websites get environmentally friendly on Get on Board, the initiative recently launched by Universal Pictures and The Conservation Fund to support the movie Ewan Almighty and, at the same time, reforestation around the world.


The project is interesting, but requires some effort to be fully understood, as there's quite a lot of content to explore, and it's easy to miss the main call to action: donate 5$ to plant a tree.


The layout is fresh and friendly, and reminds me somehow of Sim City. I especially like the idea of targeting donors like consumers in social networking sites: there's indeed a section which highlights the top donors in the virtual green community. I just hope (but somehow doubt) this will really work for the environment. I have the feeling it's too corporate and kind of artificial...

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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