In France eBay is about to launch its first advertising campaign on TV. The message they want to deliver it's "eBay c'est vous" (eBay it's you) and, together with the agency BETC EuroRSCG, they've come up with a very smart and exteremely consistent idea: eBay sellers can buy space within the spot to advertise the products they usually sell through the auction platform.
Four groups of friends are currently travelling across Europe paid by Bacardi to reach Murmansk, Russia. The project is called Bacardi Murmansk Route, the travellers have left early this month from the sunny Tarifa, they have more than 6.000 km to go across with only €1,400 each and a locked case with worthy and misterious content they will get to know only if they finish their trip.
As Bacardi explains in the press release, it's not a race, it's not a competition, a homage to the travelers' spirit of freedom. Each group has its own blog, where they post videos, comments and photos (see for example the blog of Gorka, Javi and Nuria).
It's definitely a project to highlight the aspirational side of the Bacardi brand, it looks interesting, and I'm sure it's generating quite some PR buzz in Spain, but I can't help thinking it's way to last year's Junior Lucky Bastard project launched by 55DSL.
From Spain a very nice integrated campaign launched by Audi to support the new version of its A3 car. Below you can watch the TV spot created by DDB Barcelona, but if you visit the site you can also play the game that uses the same mechanism of the video (here the agency it's Tribal DDB Barcelona). The concept reminds me of the great Nike Play Tag spot, but I like it anyway.
It's your turn, you can drive until you find an obstacle that stops you, therefore in the game you have to click in advance to remove all the pedestrians crossing, the truck stuck in the middle of the street etc.
This is very cool. Using home-grown technology, a Chinese firm has upstaged the likes of Google and Microsoft with a mapping service featuring 360-degree street-level imaging of extraordinarily high resolution.
The service, which is similar to features found on Google's and Microsoft's online mapping sites, presently covers eight Chinese cities - including the capital Beijing and Shanghai. I can only imagine the advertising oportunities eg overlaying messages onto billboards etc
The company behind the technology, Shanghai-based Easypano Holdings, is working on expanding the coverage of its City8 website to another 12 cities by the end of the year.
It's part of a trend in online mapping towards providing users with ground-level shots to complement the satellite and aerial imaging that is already widely available.
The Tv series Bionic Woman has debuted a few weeks ago on NBC. To promote it, the network has launched an online Bionic Assessment Test (Bat) that consists of five mini-games to check your audio visual abilities.
It's an amusing experience, and you feel like you're playing Braintraining on Nintendo DS. It's sticky, and it really keeps you on the site for quite a few minutes to prove yourself you are not as numb as the BAT results seem to indicate...
I'm only 60% bionic... but I took the test on a Sunday morning and today there was the one-hour time shift ;-)
From Austalia, a curious online action to raise money for charity. The tag line it's "You play, we pay" and it's basically just another smart way to promote the Xbox 360 game Halo 3, this time with an ethical marketing approach. By saying this I don't want to sound negative, it's a charity action, so I appreciate it by default.
The advergame consists of a golf challenge, the closer to the hole you shoot the ball, the higher the donation Microsoft will do to the charity organization you decided to play for. Looking at the numbers of plays registered on the site, the initiative seems to be pretty successful.
From France, an excellent campaign for road safety dedicated to scooter drivers. The copy in this ad actually makes the difference. It's quite a challenge for me to translate French into English, but I'll give it a try...
You pass just with the orange light.
You drive just a little too fast.
You drive just a little too close.
You are just a little bit dead.
On a motorcycle, you can't forget just a little bit the rules.
Respect the rules.
It's called "I need to go", one of the craziest digital campaigns I've seen this year. It comes from Belgium (where they usually do crazy things online) and it provokes exclamations ranging from "bright!" to "silly!" to "wtf???" to "disgusting" to "cool" to "bleah" to "wow". Visit the site and then write down in the post comments what your reaction has been...
Adage today has an article in which it highlights the hottest digital agencies on the market. Interesting if you're thinking about running a pitch to give some fresh air to your brand online. But watch out, they listed only the "independent" agencies, so you won't get the whole picture, but just the its indie revisited version.
I think this is the first ever campaign from Iceland I post here on Adverblog. Not sure whether I like it or not (after all I'm Italian and here we say "Scherza con i fanti ma lascia stare i Santi") but the concept it's original, and could definitely be applied to more situations therefore generating a series of good commercials.
It has been an intense week-end for sports fans, with the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday and the last race of the Formula 1 championship yesterday. I realize it's late to participate to the initiatives on "pinchalaruedadehamilton" and "Bless the boot", but it's still worth to look at the viral potential the two (almost) unbranded sites have been able to generate.
Being original, when presenting and promoting technology products online, is getting harder and harder. We've already seen flashy websites, exciting animations and amusing video explanations, therefore coming up with concepts and presentations that impress us at first sight has become a sort of "mission impossible". But there's another way to "exploit" the online environment to promote, for example, mobile phones. It's called consistency, and to me it means creating Web experiences where the features of the site, and not only the copy, deliver the message about the characteristics of product.
A good example in this direction, it's the site for the new Palm Centro recently launched by Sprint. The agencies, Perfect Fools together with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, haven't done anything special, simply, they have applied the idea of "multitasking", which is the device main characteristic, to the interface as well as to the advergame featured on the site and even (but this was simple) to the URL (moreyous.com).
From the UK, an interesting example of online marketing used to drive teens to a museum. Created by Preloaded, the site supports the opening of the LaunchPad gallery at London's Science Museum in November.
It consists of a series of advergames with the aim of teaching people of all ages about all matters relating to physics. More or less it's a "learning by doing" method.
The games are challenging to play, and this makes the experience fun and rather addictive. Plus there is also a "viral" side of the project: you can create your own physics-based challenges and share them with your friends.
From Sweden, a nice interactive experience. Actually I didn't understand a word since it's all in Swedish, but being a curious clicker I managed to find a way through the site and realize how it works... But let's proceed step by step... The site is for Ahlens, one of the most well known brands in Sweden and the leading retailer in homeware (I guess it's an Ikea's competitor).
I like the way Ubisoft decided to split the content to present and promote online the upcoming release of Assassin's Creed. When you first get on the official website you can decide how you wish to discover the game: you can either enter the "experience" website or the "regular" game site.
If you go for the "experience" site you will get a cool video(game) exploration, where you have to click the right key at the right time to further unlock content. On the contrary, if you select the "regular" site, you'll find all the usual info and goodies (gallery, downloads, forum) but also an interesting series of videos developers' diaries. Probably it's just a question of wording, but it stays smart and it creates the right expectations for each choice.
The agency who did the site is Diplomatic Cover.
via The FWA.
Meet your maker...or breaker. The Andy's new site gives your best creative a thumbs up or down.
With the 'Instacritique Work System'. the 2008 International Andy's pits your best spot against five of the best creative judges in the arena--namely Alex Bogusky, TBWA's Gerry Graf, la comunidad's Jose Molla, DDB's Bob Scarpelli, Mother London's Mark Waites--and not to mention, an average man on the street.
Creatives simply upload their work into the system, select from five facets of motivation - Praise Me, Guide Me, Mock Me, Reject Me and Confuse Me - -select their judge of choice and click on the "I'm Ready" button to see how they fare.
In France, Volkswagen is launching the new Tiguan 4x4 with a driving advergame in the jungle. I played the 30" demo, and it looks very nicely done and quite fun to play, especially because when driving you also have to avoid the animals crossing the street...
The only annoying thing is that you have to download and install a dedicated plugin to enjoy the 3D experience, and I fear this will keep out from the game quite a lot of people.
I'd like to share with you an online project we are currently running here in Italy. This year we are going to have two Italian Nike players in the NBA, so we've decided to celebrate them and allow two of their fans to fly to the US and attend the match Toronto vs Golden State (the teams where "our" players play).
First of all, when you get on the site you have to decide if you support Bargnani or Belinelli. Then you face four challenges, that mix user generated content, an advergame and basketball knowledge.
It's always fun to see what people do around the world to promote milk consumption. Today I point you to France, where they've launched a campaign featuring a weird (and kind of ugly) character that reminds me of Casper.
There is a TV spot (see below), but also a website where kids (and adults) can play and win a bunch of WII.
In Sweden, Volkswagen is currently doing an audition to hire the perfect auto seller. As a visitor, you are given from each character a presentation of a different Golf model, and each actor of course does the presentation with his/her own touch of sensibility and irony...
There isn't interactivity, but the whole thing is quite amusing as short video provide you will all the information you usually have to read. A good alternative for those who are bored/lazy ;-)
The Axe Busters have arrived to Japan. Even if you won't understand a word, it's definitely an experience worth trying to have some fun, but also to discover a very good work with Flash.
Fortunately the navigation is in English, so you will be able to browse through the content, and discover first of all the "extra animation", a manga cartoon to introduce the advergame characters and the story behind it. It's very nicely done, and it even features a dedicated pop song in japanenglish (I guess...)
When the publisher asked me if I wanted to review "Profitable Marketing Communications: A Guide to Marketing Return on Investment" at first I declined the offer, fearing it could have been a book all about numbers and calculations. The publisher of course insisted and explained me the idea I was getting from the title was wrong. So in the end I accepted, and now I'm glad I did it.
Working in brand communications ROI is a word I almost don't know or better, I try to avoid as much as possible. It's a silly thing, as I always preach that it's important to have a 360 marketing approach, but when I see numbers and calculations I just can't help it, I don't know if you feel the same... it's a sort of allergy, an allergy I would have to cure if I want to improve in my job. Ok, but now let's talk about the book… First of all, I confirm that the idea I got from the title was wrong. I have no problem admitting it, but maybe I have the doubt the publisher didn't make the right choice in choosing it.
Reading Profitable Marketing Communications it's like doing your homework. It's not a ground-breaking book, but it sums up all the things you should keep in mind when you work in brand comm. Probably it's an obvious thing, but marketing it's not only about branding and awareness, and even if this is what we're asked to do in our daily jobs, it's important to stay open minded and remember that there are other tools to make our message stronger, more integrated or simply consistent.
There is a lot of buzz online about the new interactive video launched by the Arcade Fire. Surely a nice thing but, in my opinion, not as interactive and innovative as the Pet Shop Boys video inspired to Orwell's 1984 that embeds QR codes linking viewers directly to on-line content about issues of civil liberties. QR Codes are barcodes that contain digital information such as URLS that can be read by camera phones.
If you've done nothing wrong
You've got nothing to fear
If you've something to hide
You shouldn't even be here
You can learn more about the video on the official band's website.
It's time for an new episode of Les Nuits Des Clans, a mysterious adventure game launched in France by Nouveau Jour (this is the post about last year's edition).
Everything is in French but it's definitely worth giving it a try even if you don't speak the language... You find yourself on an island and you have to move around to play small (but challenging) advergames and collect words to complete a mysterious sentence that will unlock the doors of the castle.
Once the again the brand behind this complex advergaming experience it's not revealed. Last year it was Ricard, this time we don't know yet, but the mystery is part of the game so we are in no hurry to find out.
We just won the GOLD award at Promax for our MTV NZ launch! It was a little while ago and such a fun shoot that I'd love to share with you. We also had a really cool site that supported the campaign that unfortunately is not live anymore :-( Hope you like the TVC anyway.
From the logo to the heart and soul of British Airways, a virtual path through a kind of cross stitch pattern. Agency.com has created a click and zoom experience to let flyers visually discover the quality of BA services on board.
The idea of a navigation from image to image is quite interesting as it results quite engaging. Click after click you get more curious and you keep clicking to discover what's next.
User generated content can create value for charities as well. In Argentina, Oral-B (a P&G; brand) is currently running an integrated campaign to sell more products for mouth health, but also to raise money for Unicef.
The online part it's interesting: users are invited to upload on a dedicated mini-site a photograph of their children smiling. For every photo uploaded Oral-B will donate 1$ to Unicef to help Argentinean kids.
A fourth Sony Bravia commercial just popped-up. Quite unexpected, since the buzz around Play-Doh is still on and we've had no teasers, making-offs or whatever to heat up the fire. Rumour goes that this is a local version for Egypt, made by Y&R.;
Nokia is online with a mini-site to introduce a new range of Bluetooth handsets. It consists of five video stories each presenting a different character and a Nokia handset fitting the context of his/her daily life.
The whole thing at first sight is very simple and not very original, but if you think about it, it's a great example of how online communication is evolving (or should evolve). You see the creativity not in the concept, but in the decision of exploting the Web potentials to effectively present a product.
Since a couple of months I'm thinking about buying a stylish LCD Tv. After having seen this Samsung website, the decision is taken.
The whole experience it's extremely simple, extremely smooth, extremely beautiful, as the products presented. Sometimes you don't need to create complicated flashy sites to deliver the message, if it's about a design product, you can make it cool just presenting it in the simplest way.
In the UK, Nike is launching an exclusive invitation only music & running event for 3,000 people in London. Tickets can be "earned" competing at four weekly 100m speed trials across London throughout October. Each trial will feature live DJs, athletes, celebrities and Nike gear. Then the fastest 1,000 runners from the trials will get the opportunity to join the Nike+ Supersonic night with two guest passes.
Even if in my position my opinion doesn't count, I really like the idea and the mood of the event, plus I find simple but brilliant the mini-site promoting the project. It features a cool video by with light graffiti (unfortunately it cannot be embedded nor linked) and an amusing copy: there are two ways to get a ticket to the event, either you run fast or you know someone who does. Keep your friends close, and your Nike+ friends closer...
Forsman & Bodenfors did it again: another set of Ikea dream kitchens is online to be explored. We've already seen the great idea to navigate through the images, so this time they've decided to surprise (and impress) us with a great art direction that combines music & environments.
From the Italian tarantella for the crowded family eating outside to the stylish swing for the gay couple, music plays a key role in the experience. Special effects do a great job for branding, small kitchen products are there, but I miss something about the kitchens themselves which end up being just the environment where the voyeuristic takes place. But maybe they are right. These are kitchens to dream, and just flying through them is teasing enough to start dreaming them...
If you're stressed and you do weird things during office hours (see video below), you probably need an holiday... Check the "My Stress Awards" website, share your oddities and earn the chance to win a few days off in Valle D'Aosta, a region where it's possible to ski, relax and enjoy nature forgetting about the stress of the daily life.
Created by Saatchi & Saatchi the campaign promotes tourism to Valle D’Aosta with two videos uploaded on Youtube (this is the other one) and an online contest. Overall the concept of the campaign is pretty good and original, the videos might look very rough and slightly too long, but in the end they result amusing and kind of real and, most of all, they deliver the message.
Sony Bravia has launched their latest TVC called Play-Do which is a massive undertaking using a mountain of Play-Doh and stop animation. I really like it and think that it's a clever campaign addition to Balls and Paint. Fallon were the creative agency.
Intel Hong Kong, via MRM has built a pretty cool online game. Step into a futuristic era where technology is all-encompassing and Silicon is the lifeblood for any and all operations. You are the Superuser... An administrator holding unlimited access privileges within your base of operations, the Domain.
Your mission? From your Control Center, you command a fleet of intelligent robots known as Clients who gather Silicon and help you do battle. Some are enabled with advanced technology giving you enhanced manageability, improved security and better performance.
Agents of Chaos, including viruses, hackers and spyware are targeting your Clients and affecting your daily routines. Do you have the IT know-how and managerial skills to handle your fleet, control your budget and maximize productivity to gather more Silicon than the competition? I didn't but had a lot of fun giving it a go.
Selling heating systems in France is a serious and creative business. A few days after "Winter is back", I've found another example of an heating system producer (Sauter) who decided to follow the advertainment trend to sell (and make people talk) about his products.
They put online a series of (mini) webisodes very much inspired to Desperate Housewives. Four women, each associated to a heater (maybe this doesn't sound very nice to say...) to do their best to spend the whole day at home (I hope I understood the plot correctly...)
A good concept to animate a digital project and to communicate a "boring" product in an appealing way. Unfortunately the execution is not as brilliant as the starting idea. I found the webisodes rather boring (I quit after the third one) and actually they didn't give me any reason to come back and see how the story is going to finish.
If you're based in London and you're tired of having everyday the same lunch, discover MINI's alternative proposals. On the other lunch break you will discover a series of activities organized to make you experience something new during lunch break.
For example today, you can take the challenge and try to beat a lie detector. If today you are busy, then in two weeks time you can take a special class to learn how to tactfully decline proposals...
The lunch alternative ideas sounds pretty funny, but once again what's interesting to point out is MINI's ability to create offline experiences worth participating and even simply talking about. And this, for an aspirational brand like MINI already means "mission accomplished".
EA Sports has launched a mini-site to promote the 2008 edition of the videogame Fifa. Can you Fifa 08? features a series of videos in which popular players like Ronaldinho, Ramos and Rooney are challenged to imitate themselves and replicate on improvised pitches the tricks they perform in the videogame.
The site has a good interface and an interesting map that allows visitors to navigate through key moments of the video. Unfortunately the overall Fifa experience is not as smooth as it might have been. Can you Fifa 08? only features the campaign videos, to find out more about the game you have to migrate to another site, much more traditional and, I'm sorry, "boring". It would have been great to see the campaign concept exploited to a deeper and more integrated level.
Glue London has just launched a new integrated campaign for Virgin Trains with the claim "go greener, go cheaper". If you care about the environment, you should travel by train, and if you're not convinced yet this is the right thing to do, have a look at what "the flora and the fauna of Great Britain have to say about greener travel".
As Iestyn from Glue explained me, they had a lot of fun creating the campaign and after having seen the videos, I can understand why :-) The campaign concept is really nice, and the videos are amusing, so it's a pity that the site lacks of interactivity. In the end, it's just an aggregator for the campaign videos and to deliver some information about the Virgin Trains green facts.
If you like science fiction and you’d like to quit smoking, this is the site for you: www.quitdoingit.com.
A part from the good video interface and the sarcastic domain name, I can't say I found the experience cool and engaging enough to convince me to quit smoking (maybe because I don't smoke? ;-) but as usual I appreciate the effort of using the Web to deliver socially relevant messages.
Also, if you click around, you'll find a sort of Web 2.0 program called FixNixer that should help you quit smoking in 21 days...
Following the success of the award winning Dove Evolution video, part of Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, Dove is now launching the follow up: Onslaught. It's a short film featuring a young girl being bombarded with hundreds of images of female perfection, drawing attention to the need for a wider definition of beauty in society. The campaign is made by Ogilvy.
A Blind Call is one of the smartest social campaigns taking advantage of technology I've ever seen. How often do you forget to lock your mobile phone keypad and you unknowingly start making calls to your friends Alice, Anna or Andrew? And how much money have you lost with such unwanted calls? Think about it. Wouldn't it be better to give such money to charity?
And here comes the great idea by Guillaume Duval: first to create a special number that when is dialed donates to costs of the call to a charity organization for blind people, and then to recommend to people in Belgium to save such number as "A blind call" in order to be the first name in their phone book.
The site to support the idea is extremely simple, but think about it, the idea is so smart and strong that there isn't much else to say to convince people.