Online advertising review
McDonald’s is putting digital signage to good use with their new ‘Catch The Goodies’ campaign where viewers are invited to try and capture a cell phone photo one of their products like an Apple Pie or Coffee that is flying around on the digital sign. Once they have the photo they can redeem it for the real thing at the nearest McDonald’s. I continue to love this combination of more traditional outdoor advertising that is enhanced by technology because it creates a spectacle and it’s creating real results by driving consumers into the stores. I think simple and smart is always the best way to go.
Read more of: McDonald’s ‘Catch the Goodies’ Interactive Billboard »
So if you browsed over to Engadget, The New York Times or a number of other sites this morning you probably noticed that Adobe has launched a fairly full-force new ad campaign, microsite, full page in today’s Washington Post and and a letter from Adobe’s founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock to answer Apple’s string of anti-Flash decisions and comments. The heart of the campaign and the line “What we don’t love is anybody taking way your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it and what you experience on the web.”.
Given Apple’s attack dog stance on the issue I think it is smart to play this angle and paint them as the 1984 style big brother who is suppressing creative freedom while Adobe just wants everyone to have creative freedom. But that being said I think they could have done so much more to really make their case and exposing all of this rhetoric from Apple for what it really is.. Of the two brands Adobe is the only one who can really change the conversation at this point by showing Flash running on the iPhone and iPad but it seems that will never happen and they are going to concentrate on the other mobile platforms instead. Who knows where this drama will go next…
Read more of: Adobe hearts Apple »
Burger King and Crispin Porter have launched a great new digital element to support their “Small hands” TV commercials where they are branding the error message on Digg.com. If you type in anything that yields no search results you will see:
Looks like your search had a typo. Maybe you’ve got tiny hands?
The $1 BURGER KING® Double Cheeseburger is so big and beefy it’s not for the tiny handed.
Click here to see why it might be too much for you to handle. Mr. Tiny Hands.
Like Whopper Sacrifice I think this new work shows a lot of really smart insight into the digital world by putting messaging in places where people do not expect it, where people will actually pay attention and where it will create a meaningful brand impression.
Read more of: Burger King gives Digg.com results tiny hands »
IKEA has come up with an innovative digital campaign that turned one of Facebook’s basic functions into a promotional tool that they used to promote the opening of their newest store in Malmo, Sweden. The campaign started with a profile of the store’s manager, Gordon Gustavsson who then uploaded pictures of the store’s showrooms to his photo album and any “friends” who tagged the products with their names then won those items. The word quickly spread through Facebook and users started embedding links and images in their profiles and news feeds. So with nothing more than some photos and a great idea they got thousands of consumers to willingly promote IKEA and its new store.
Read more of: IKEA turns Facebook into their own showroom »
The U.K. mobile provider Orange has created one of the most interesting uses of Facebook and Twitter connect that I have seen recently. To promote the launch of the social media focused Motorola DEXT mobile phone they have created a site that quizzes you on ten questions to see how well you know your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The way they use the data is really smart as the questions aren’t the obvious ones you would expect and use things like friends upcoming events events, like and dislikes to create challenging questions that will really test how well you know people (I only got a 45%). You leave the experience thinking that maybe you need to be better connected to those sites and that information which us exactly the point of the experience. Since Facebook seems to be unable or unwilling to give advertisers the tools to be able to create meaningful experiences on their site then this direction may be able to save them from themselves.
Read more of: Orange smartly uses social media to create Friend-o-Meter »
I was taking a break from shopping with my wife today and was flipping through the New York Times iPhone application to discover that they are trying out iPhone specific ads in the application. I thought the Dockers ad earlier this year signaled a wider adoption of this format but it never materialized.
In this case I also didn’t write this review because I totally missed the ad the first two times it came up because I didn’t know what it was and touched the screen which killed the ad. This Visa ad uses the accelerometer to let you tip the ad back and forth to steer a series of billboards into the center of the screen to see what they have to offer. If you like one of the ads you touch it to stop it and then touch it to launch a mobile web page with the offer.
After experiencing the ad I find myself feeling the need to rant once again about how technology isn’t an idea for a lot of reasons. I didn’t understand the connection between the billboards and the Visa brand as it only seemed to serve as an easy excuse for the accelerometer technique. I also felt that the presentation of the billboards was really slow to develop as you had to wait for each sign to move down the road and I didn’t stay in the ad long enough to count the total number of these ads with the ad. I will admit that I am harder to impress than the generic public but the half life of the technique for me was about 4 billboards before I wanted to move on. An interface option to control the speed of the billboards or the ability to advance to the next one would have kept me in the ad longer as even that simple customization would have created some variety and more interest. I still think that these type of interactive iPhone ad hold a lot of promise to create deeper engagement than what we are able to create through traditional ad units but we all have to get past the ‘gee whiz’ technique stage first and come up with some better concepts.
Read more of: Visa uses the NYT to steer users into spending »
Continuing their tradition of great online advertising running in only one big placement, Apple has taken over the home page of the New York Times web site with another great ad. Head over there now to see it before it is gone.
Read more of: Apple surrounds NYTimes.com »
BWM has just release what I think is the most interesting and aggressive integrated advertising campaign I have seen in a long time. In the interest of full disclosure I will sat that it was created by two of my old creative partners in crime who also left for greener pastures at GSD&M in Austin. The campaigned started with and is centered around their latest TV commercial for the BMW Z4 where artist Robin Rhode uses the roadster as a 306hp paintbrush to create a huge work of art.
They then took that TV commercial and turned it into another impressive example of augmented reality. As with other examples of the technology, you print out a marker, show it to your webcam and then you can make your own “Expression of Joy” painting. This augmented reality execution has a few more bells and whistles than what I have seen before as you can first use it to check out the car by twisting and turning the marker to get the whole picture. When you are done with that you can put it down on your desktop, size the car so it fits your desktop and then take control of the car to create your own work of art. Once you are happy with the result you can save it to YouTube or Facebook. There is one increibly big drawback here which is that the only way to make it work is to download a 20MB software install that only works on PC’s. I don’t know if there is a Mac version in the works but the logic in this decision eludes me as every other version of this technology I have seen works on both platforms.
The final part of the interactive extension of the TV commercial came with the launch of the Z4 iPhone application which is the more robust offering of the two. The application is broken into a game, photo gallery and a section where you can read about the making of the commercial The game allows you to customize your Z4 before you enter the game by choosing the type of roof, color and rims. Once you had pimped your ride to you liking you can take it for a spin in an experience similar to the one in the one in augmented reality but with the steering being done using the iPhone’s accelerometer. When you are finished if you have created something you really like you can save it to the Camera Roll in the iPhone’s photo albums to be viewed or sent around later. I was surprised to see that the save photos had no BMW or Z4 branding on them which I understand from a pure artist sense but it felt like a missed branding opportunity.
So while the limiting technical requirements of the augmented reality execution are very disappointing, when you look at the campaign as a whole it is an impressive display of how one idea can be brought to life through multiple channels and multiple interactive incarnations with each one staying strong enough to stand on it’s own. It is this type of integrated concepting that I wish I would see a lot more and continue to wt for more agencies to wake up and start actually working this way. I continue to deeply believe that there remains vast amounts of untapped potential that could be realized by more of this type of thinking where you start with a strong media agnostic concept and then work it out from there into the various channels so each one of them can take advantage of their respective medium.
Back in January I wrote about the re-design of ESPN.com and how a large driving force in the re-design was allow for more unique advertising opportunities as they had just made a major move to end their relationships with all their ad networks and declined any new offers. The latest brand to use these new opportunities that are now available from this move is Apple who have launched a new iPod Touch ad to take advantage of the start of the NCAA tournament. It is similar to the iPod Touch TV commercials where multiple sets of hands play multiple games on the iPod Touch and they are superimposed over each other in rapid succession. The interesting twist here is that as the hands move in and out of the ad they break, rearrange, move and remove the main navigation of the site. It is a cool effect but it was done in an intelligent way so that if you aren’t interested in the ad and just want to get into the site when you roll over the navigation area the actual navigation will jump in front of the ad so you can us it like you normally would. I’m not sure how long it is going to be up there so check it out while you can.
Read more of: ESPN.com gets broken up with Apple Ad »
I have to give them credit because I think Crispin Porter may have been the first to crack the problem of how you can use a Facebook application for advertising. They have created Whopper Sacrifice which is an application where choose ten people to be sacrificed from your friends list to prove that you prefer the Whopper over them. For dropping the guillotine on them you will get a free Whopper sandwich and he friends will be notified of your decision. So far over 127,00 people have been sacrificed and the number if growing by the minute as it was 50,000 this morning.
I think this a great concept for a few reasons. First because this idea actually gets people into the restaurants and gets them spending money. You know they will get a drink and fries with it so the concept is creating and shaping consumer behavior at a time when every is looking to make every penny they have go father. My biggest complaint about Subservient Chicken has always been that the concept completely missed this aspect and it didn’t build the brand or drive business.
Second is the built in viral component of the campaign because it is smart viral that isn’t hoping it will catch on and that people may forward it to a few friends.For every one sandwich they give out they get ten more people to find out about the campaign with no media spend. Even if you get just a fraction of those people to take action you are driving a lot of incremental business and revenue.
It is interesting to see if the success of this campaign will become a back fire for Facebook who separates themselves from the applications created for the site. This application actually hurts Facebook because it reduces the links between people within the site and that means fewer page views and that means less advertising revenue. I will definitly keep on eye on this for the success of the campaign and what it means to Facebook moving forward.