The summer is the best season of the year to fall in love. For a night or forever, doesn't matter, as long as you “protect” yourself. In France a new site has just been launched to spread the word about the risk of summer's encounters, and explain to teenagers (but not only to them) what can put them at risk of contracting AIDS.
The site, called www.touteslesrencontressontpossibles.com (all possible encounters) has been developed by X-Prime with a style that is serious but engagingly amusing at the same time. Given the sensible topic, they did a great job using graphics and drawings to picture typical summer’s situations and send out straightforward messages to the teens.
Even if the site is all in French, I'm sure you can find your way through the content. There is actually quite a lot to discover, but the easiest/fastest way to appreciate the campaign is simply to select an avatar and follow the path unveiled after the choice. You will be taken through a series of summer's scenes (the beach, the disco etc...) where you will get an explanation on the right thing to do when you "fall in love" with someone.
As far as I remember, this is the first website built to raise awareness on the dangers contracting AIDS. If you know of other campaigns, would be great if you could share a link and/or leave a comment. Thanks!
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Shark Week Discovery Channel has launched a sophisticated and fascinating advergame called Sharkrunners. Developed by area/code, the game reproduces online an oceanic exploration where players take on the role of marine biologists who seek to learn as much as possible about sharks through advanced observation techniques.
Through the online interface players control their ships, but the sharks are controlled by real-world white sharks with GPS units attached to their fins. Real-world telemetry data provides the position and movement of actual great white sharks in the game, so every shark that players encounter corresponds to a real shark in the real world. Since the all action is in real time, players can/should also sign up to receive email and/or sms alerts when their ship is about to “meet” a shark.
In The Netherlands, Red Bull has launched the Office Olympics, a website but most of all an event, that will take place in Amsterdam at the end of August. The concept is cool, as it challenges office workers to join forces with their colleagues and build teams to compete at in a series of crazy challenges.
My favourite discipline is most definitely "Mouse Carving". You can see what it's about watching the video on the site. All the content is in Dutch, but the video starts playing automatically and the menu labels are all in English, so you can easily find your way through the content.
Unfortunately, as Dabitch points out on her blog, the videos posted on the site for now are not very funny. The point is that from the textual descriptions you can guess the whole thing is going to be a crazy experience (also because there's a brand like Red Bull behind it), but the videos don't help you getting the real feeling of the idea. Let's hope user generated content will help them out ;-)
Valerie, creative director @ Arc Worldwide Singapore proudly sent me the link to their latest work: Toyrama. They've done an impressive job, creating a great, theatrical, setting around Peter Fowler's Monsterism Island toys. But don't get me wrong, the site isn't just about Fowler's characters. It's also a good marketing tool to promote HP workstations for animators.
Since realize I'm not the best person to evaluate the site from an art direction point of view (althought as consumer I find it excellent) I'd like to share with you my view on the project as a marketer. The goal of HP with this campaign is to tell animators they've a new powerful machine for them. It's a piece of technology, but they have decided to stay away from the traditional way of presenting such products that usually focusing on highlighting the computer's performance with a lot of big words for techies. Animators are artist, this is why I like the fact that HP decided to impress them using their language: a beautiful site, which, for its quality, it's able to generate word of mouth among digital artists in the blink of an eye.
Via Brandrepublic - Puffin, the Penguin Books imprint, and the WWF are the first partners to sign up for a new interactive online world aimed at 6-11-year-olds.
WebbliWorld, launched this week, is a joint venture by Wallace and Gromit creator Aardman Animations and Enable Interactive, who designed and developed the site based on research into how children consume digital. Enable found that although younger children may access the web with assistance, they experience it as individuals. The older, pre-Bebo crowd is more likely to follow teenage trends and socialise online.
I disagree - the site is really confusing and totally hard to find stuff (loads of colours to target kids is a myth - keep it simple like we as adults like it). My (young) kids spent 20 seconds on it, clicked two things then exited, and then went straight back to their prefered comfort zones for kiddie games. It's hard to get the young kids involved in your brand but at least make it really usable as a starting point.
By: marka // Permalink // Comment(s):(3) Category(s):
I lost count on the numerous V I A G R A mails I received. Based on that you would think that advertising for this product is no longer necessary. But for official producer Pfizer it apparently still is. This is their new commercial that, surprisingly enough, has no women involved. Just a bunch of 40-year old guys that sing out their love for the wonder pills.
Enfants Terribles is running a guerrilla marketing campaign placing straws around Italian cities. The action, carried out to promote soft drink Chinò has started last week in Turin with straws placed in fountains and other public spots, and will continue over the next few weeks, making Italians and tourists even more thirsty (it's hot, hot, hot these days).
According to the agency, people have already started stealing, collecting and selling on eBay the straws...
From Germany, a tough challenge for those who love talking for hours and hours on their mobile. Organized by T-Mobile, the contest see teams of 2 people aged 18 to 25 constantly talk to each other, day and night. The team that shuts the talking for more than 10 seconds, is striked out. Every two hours, each participant gets a 10 minute break (eat/drink,toilet etc). The other talker has to continue talking to himself and if the team member doesn't return on time, they are also striked out. The team that resists until the end wins 10k...
I feel like I've heard about similar ideas before (I remember a "longest kiss challenge", for example), but in this case I like the fact that the contest is very much linked to the product they're promoting: a flat rate for mobile phones... talk as much as you want, the price remains the same...
From the UK, an example of "bot marketing", an emerging way of targeting MSN's instant messaging users, interacting with them through the IM itself. The Transformers action kicked-off last week, with the creation of a "bot" (sort of an intelligent avatar to be added to your IM contact list - [email protected]) that allows users to view trailers, side either "protect" or "destroy" and refer friends in return for exclusive Transformers images. The bot uses the Windows Live Messenger Activity Window creating an interactive experience using Flash.
The campaign, developed by InsideC, targets the audience who watched the cartoon in the 80s (25-35) and the younger generation (12-25) who are excited about the story line and special effects. The purpose of the bot is to increase awareness of the movie and reach new users via the viral referral program. IM campaign is of course supported by online and offline banners which are asking users to add the bot to their contact list.
Hamleys is one of my favourite stores in London, so when I read they were relaunching their site, the news got my attention, even if I'm no longer a kid since a "couple of years"... Their online marketing plan focuses on a mini-site that grabs kids and mums' attention with an advergame and a virtual tour of the e-commerce store. The advergame, called The Magic Toy Factory, is a sort of brick/tetris replica... it's very simple to play (it's for kids! ;-) but also quite addictive...
On the other side, the virtual tour unfortunately is not very rich nor interactive. You can easily tell it has been built only with the idea of generating sales, without actually thinking that presenting the product with a click & buy isn't enough if the whole experience doesn't manage to create a little bit of engagement in the users...
In the end, I will keep going to the real store...
By: martina // Permalink // Comment(s): Category(s):Advergames
If you're a chewing gum brand, the latest trend is to put online a site that takes consumers "inside your factory". After the Trident (Europe) brilliant example a few months ago, now it's Stride Gum's turn to open the doors of its production facilities.
As you can easily expect, the site is all about branded entertainment, with quite a lot of content to explore if you have some time to waste (and this can be the case today, since it's Friday...). I especially enjoyed the Ping Pong Factory Challenge...
Relearn to drive is an amusing series of flashback videos launched by BMW to promote its Performance Driving School. Created by Juxt Interactive, based on a concept by GSD&M;, the site features nine characters who provide you with advices on how to improve your driving skills. You can find the car seller who tells you "The bigger the rings, the better they look on the steering wheel", or the poshy/divorced/nervous mum that explains "You should never drive faster than your age".
The whole thing is definitely funny to watch, and I'm quite sure that those who visit the site will not only have a look at all nine videos, but also hit the button and send the link to their friends (and enemies).
A nice "plus" to point out, is that the "send to a friend" changes from video to video, generating personalized messages for all tastes and recipients. If you know a bad driver, spread the word.
I like the way Mercedes approached online communication to present its new C-Class model. Instead of focusing on performance, they decided to take more of a sensorial and aesthetic angle, creating an experience you might not expect from a brand usually so much focused on the reliability of its cars.
Actually, on the site, the car is almost not present, as it's all about indirectly presenting its characteristics through tiny interactive experiences with clicks and sounds.
Even if I enjoy the idea of doing things in a different/unusual way, I believe that the product ends up being too disconnected from the Technicolor experience. It could be a nice branding exercise, but I rather see it as a missed opportunity to present the car with a 360 approach, not looking only at its performance and visible characteristics (as all car manufactures do), but also going into the "soul" of the car, mixing expectations and aspiration in consumers' mind.
On BuzzingBees I've discovered a very cool project launched by Rexona, which integrates online and offline without forgetting to be consistent with the brand positioning (unfortunately this is not so common). The project is called Extreme Pamplona and it moves in the direction of brave and tough "real" men already seen with Stunt City and Action Hero. The idea, in this case, is to recruit crazy people to represent their country in an adrenalin-pumping chase next week in Pamplona.
Unfortunately the recruiting stage is now over, but there's still an addictive "Prince of Persia" style advergame to play. The loader (see below) it's brilliant and made me smile, but the whole game is niceand can get you hooked for quite some time, at least until you don't meet all the characters that populate the different levels.
Here we go again with another "Oh my god, did that really happen?!" online commercial. This time it's Carlsberg that jumps on the (a bit outdated) Mentos+Coke hype. They created a very simple but cool spoof on the successful videos. See for yourself what happens if you combine Mentos and Carlsberg.
Universal Pictures and Google have launched today The Ultimate Search For Bourne, an advergame to promote the third "Bourne" film, starring Matt Damon.
In order to play the game, you need to have a Google account (and quite some patience) as it uses several Google tools which come into action within a time window of 15 days. I must say that at first sight everything looks complicate, and I get quite lazy if I don't immediately understand what I have to do in order to play... Maybe I should register for the prizes, but I'm not interested in them neither...
So why am I writing about this? Because I'm interested in the potentials of integrated actions using Google... They have great tools but, most of all, as I personally experienced in a series of meetings last week, they have the right attitude to think 360 when a client comes up with a need or a project.
This site is soooo cool but so hard to love. It's for the X Games. The graphics and use of video and design are so lovely but the navigation is absolutely the worst. I really like what they do with the design when it expands and reveals such cool graphics but I really got annoyed while trying to nav between the sections at the upper level. Maybe my eyes are bad... what do you all think? Have a look.
By: marka // Permalink // Comment(s):(4) Category(s):
Diesel is online with the Fall Winter Denim collection and it's all about dating. Ok, ok, I'm biased, but I like it a lot... I loved the campaign concept since the very first moment I heard about it, and now that I see how it has been implemented by Wysiwyg on the site, I'm even more convinced it's a very cool idea.
As I said, the campaign concept is all about dating. Each denim model has his/her own characteristics and personality and is looking for the ideal partner. If you like one of the models, don't be shy, and email him or her, who knows, maybe you'll get an answer...
The copy in the product site is brilliant, as you can see from the capture below.
Of course, there's also a Web 2.0 side of the project, which is only for over 18 people ;-) If you're looking for a partner, you can upload your photo and your profile and be featured in the gallery on the site...
Congrats to my friends in Diesel and to Wysiwyg for the great work!
MTV in Australia (via Lowe Hunt Sydney) just launched the campaign for Snoop to become an Australian citizen. Considering the Australian government recently banned him from entering the country MTV and Lowe Hunt put together this campaign to get him here full-time. The filming was done prior to his "ban". The webisodes will be released every Wednesday. The first four are up now.
It's a full-on mocumentary of his claim to become an Aussie and live down under - learning all about the culture Australia has to offer.
By: marka // Permalink // Comment(s):(2) Category(s):
Swedish agency Kokokaka surprises us once again with the new interactive experience developed for Nudie Jeans. It's an innovative denim guide much more focused on fitting than the usual collection's presentations. On the site you can meet Average Joe, Regular Alf, Bootcut Ola and their "friends" and discover how the Nudie Jeans models fit.
Unfortunately, there is no e-commerce function attached, and it's a pity, because the product exploration is so interesting and engaging that clicking and buying could be quite istinctive (and probably finding these denim in a retail store is not yet very easy).
Email marketing could prove a valuable tool not only to sell products, but also to raise awareness on social problems. On Houtlust I've found a very good example of email for social: a campaign to support an EMSI (Integral Health Medical Unit) project to eradicate malaria in Burkina Faso.
The agency is Tiempo BBDO and the work can be seen and appreciated on their website.
It's a "click" game, so you don't have to speak Portuguese to play it, but just to use your intuition and enjoy the experience.
The game is fun to play, but in my opinion the user gets more fascinated by the aesthetic side of the project: animations are impressive, as you can see from the "making of" video the agency has released.
AXE (LYNX) has launched in Japan with all the pop and candy you could imagine. The website is a funny mash of video, branded entertainment and the good old AXE women we are all so used to by now. The lead women on the site are all of western appearance talking in Japanese which is a bit odd.
Sections include the AXE NEWS, The AXERCISE and The Lesson (which explains the the Japanese what the AXE EFFECT is all about). I hate the background music but overall the site is loads of fun - even if I can't understand any of it.
I've just finished (well, not really) an interesting experience on the new Toyota Scion's website. Little Deviant is a kind creepy fairy tale, mixing cartoons characters and 3D in a urban environment and recreating a sort of adventure game in seven chapters.
Every chapter has an advergame in which visitors have to succeed in order to move on to the next part of the story. To tell the truth, I haven't gone further than the second chapter... in a certain sense I'm not sure how many users will actually spend half an hour on the site (or maybe more) to interact with the goblins, but I also understand I'm probably not in the target audience Toyota wants to reach with this action.
This said, the experience is cool and worth giving it a try... also, taking a more "marketing" approach to the site and having read an article yesterday on eMarketer (Kids and Teens Influencing Purchases), I better understand the campaign idea...The target are not the parents, but the kids!
Simpsons: the movie will hit theatres around the world, starting from July 27th 2007. The marketing machine around the movie is getting started and already brought some interesting stuff. Illegal Advertising points at the video below, in which the Statue of Liberty was 'vandalized' with a donut. Next up was AdAge pointing at the makeover of a dozen Canadian and US 7-Eleven supermarkets into Springfields Kwik-E-Mart. Ending up on the movie's website, you can make your own Simpsons avatar, which is quite fun.