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Top 10 Social Media Initiatives 2012 (Video)


This list may spark a Twitterstorm all its own.

We know some people are going to disagree with our list.  Indeed, in some quarters, the fact that we didn’t include Kony 2012 is going to be enough to send some in the socialsphere over the edge.

It is, after all, arguably the most astonishingly successful social media effort ever. And everyone is reverse engineering the campaign to see if they can replicate it.

It’s just that ultimately, we found certain aspects of the effort unsettling for reasons we haven’t quite taken the time to fully puzzle together in our own minds.

But the other, far more important reason: This particular list is for brand-oriented social initiatives versus cause-oriented efforts (or political, for that matter - which would have resulted in the Obama campaign's inclusion).

GenWowAwards-logoAnd in that regard, like a few of our Top 10 lists so far this year, it is one that is dominated by Coca-Cola. It's no wonder the brand has been named the 'Creative Marketer of the Year' for the 2013 Cannes Festival.

So: Here’s our list. If you agree, let us know. If you disagree, make your own list and share.

10. Social Media Street Fight: Duke It Out for Your Dream Mustang

Mustang’s not horsing around when it comes to social media.  

9. ‘Dance Cam’ Mobile App Lets You Create Music Videos on Phone, Share & Vote Via Facebook

Not only fun, but serious blackmail material, too.

8.  Pepsi Next Internet Taste Test

Move over social celeb-crazy Old Spice Guy. Comedians in this campaign impersonate consumers who Like the brand, based their sure-to-be-embellished Facebook Profiles

7. Dove Lets You Give Facebook Ads A Makeover

Turn downer beauty ads that feature negative or unrealistic imagery into uplifting ads that eschew beauty industry stereotypes.

6. DKNY Fakes Social Buzz to Spark The Real Thing

Why go to all the trouble of building social media buzz when you can just fake it and achieve the same thing?

5. Unpretentious App: Mitsubishi Drives Down Your Most Obnoxious Facebook Friends

Obliterating your most annoying Facebook friends? Yeah, there’s an app for that.

4. Let’s Eat Together: Coca-Cola Happiness Truck

A new twist on sharing a Coke and a smile.

3. Project Re:Brief from Google & Coke

A mobile-meets-social take on Coke’s classic “Hilltop” spot. Oh, and winner of the 1st ever Cannes Mobile Grand Prix.

2. Mercedes Launches ‘You Drive’ – A TV Campaign You Drive, Via Twitter

Call it a crowdsourced cliffhanger.

1. Coca-Cola’s Polar Bears React to Super Bowl (Even Other Ads) Live Via Social Media 

Brought the ad bowl to a whole new level of social interactivity.  Oh and attracted 9 million viewers who spent an average of 28 minutes with the brand.

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Top 10 in Digital Outdoor 2012 (Video)


Is outdoor the new TV?

Thanks to digital, outdoor is quickly becoming that certain "had-to-see-it" element that, if done well, cuts through the clutter in a way most other channels today (digital or otherwise) simply can't.

GenWowAwards-logoOne remarkable feature of this year's list is how many slots go to Coca-Cola, which simply owns experiential marketing these days. Another is the innovation in vending machines.

Here are our favorite initiatives of the year so far. Let us know if you agree.

10. Nokia Lumia Live Augmented Reality 'Angry Birds' Game

Flip the bird or just get your boogie on. It's all good.

9. Invisible Mercedes Benz

Not so much cutting through the clutter as phasing through it.

8. TNT's Dynamite Street Promo

Technically, the only thing digital here is the activation device. But the results are priceless.

7. Tic Tac's 'Bad Breath'

More of like a flash faint than a flash mob. But it's for a good cause.

6. Ford Pinball Park

Pinball wizardry meets the pitfalls of parking on a busy street.

5. 'Axe Anarchy': Outdoor Ads Visible Only If You're Wearing Sunglasses

Attention voyeurs of the world: Has Axe Anarchy have an ad for you.

4. Shafted: Elevator Riders Get Big Surprise from LG

Call it Schadenfreude in the elevator shaft.

3. Coke Zero '007' Vending Machine Turns Passersby Into Bond (tie)

Hold the martini and make it a Coke Zero - shaken, stirred or otherwise.

3. Let's Eat Together; Coca-Cola Happiness Truck (tie)

Talk about a Coke and a smile.

2. Coca-Cola's Kinect-Powered Vending Machine

Bust a move for a free beverage.

1. Giant Tourism Vending Machine Dispenses Kayaks, Bikes in San Fran

As if we needed any more reason to love British Columbia, this new tourism vending machine has hit the streets of San Francisco (video at top).


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Top 10 Mobile Marketing Initiatives 2012 (Video)


Mobile marketing is so much more than advertising.

As readers of my books THE ON-DEMAND BRAND and BRANDING UNBOUND know, I don’t consider mobile advertising very compelling. So it won’t come as a shock that there isn't much in the way of pure-play mobile ads in this year’s list of top 10 mobile marketing initiatives.

GenWowAwards-logoFor me, mobile isn’t about taking an ad model from the old-school Internet – namely an "ad banner" – and plopping it onto a business-card size screen, or even the larger screen of an iPad.

It’s about creating unique and differentiating branded experiences that drive home your value proposition in amazing new ways.

To that end, here are 10 of my favorite mobile promotional initiatives for 2012.

Agree with my list? Disagree? What initiatives would you ad to the list?

Let us know!


10. Heineken Personalized QR Code Stickers Become Ice Breakers at Music Festival

Talk about a conversation starter.

9. ‘Dance Cam’ Mobile App Lets you Create Music Videos on Your Phone

Because there are few things more entertaining (and, often, disturbing) than watching folks dance on the Xbox Kinect system on games like Dance Central. So why not mobilize it?

8. Starbucks Brings Mobile AR to Valentine’s Day

It’s the AR, Cupid.

7. Red Tomato Fridge Magnet Orders Pizza For You

Freaking genius – and no mobile app, or even phone, required.

6. Retailer’s Shadow-Activated QR Code Boosts Sales 25%

Effective? Affirmative. Clever? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

5. Axe Body Spray Uses QR Code ‘Peepholes’ For A Mobile+Social Sensation

Not for the faint of heart.

4. Kit Kat Launches GPS-Based ‘Golden Ticket’-Style Promo

Kit Kat will do a heck of a lot more than just give you a break.

3. VW’s Creative ‘Crate Code’

You’ll love the payoff. Or the payload, as the case may be.

2. Wonderbra Decoder App Gives You X-Ray Vision

School-age boys the world over might think an age-old dream has come true.

1. Project Re:Brief App Lets You Truly Buy The World A Coke – Anywhere, Anytime

You gotta love this mobile-age edition of Coke's classic "Hilltop" spot (video at top).


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Top 10 3D Projection Mapping Initiatives 2012 (Video)


In 2012, 3D projection mapping wasn't just for building facades anymore.

GenWowAwards-logoOn the heels of our big Top 10 Augmented Reality Initiatives for 2012, here's our list of the 10 best projection mapping projects from the year so far.

The big trend in 3D projection this year?  Moving away from projections on just buildings to, well, projections on anything and everything - indoors and out.

But what's you're view? Agree or disagree with us? What initiatives make your list?

One thing's for sure: We can't wait to see where this emerging tech takes us next.


10. Barco at Caesars Palace

What happens in Vegas sometimes goes viral.

9. 'Carmapping' Citroen DS5: 3D Projection Mapping on a Car

Putting 3D projection mapping in motion.

8. Samsung Gives Some Face Time to 3D Projection Mapping

3D projection mapping for the Galaxy Y Duos does double time with this dude's face.

7. V Energy Drink's 'V Project': Music Created Through Dance

Now for a little dance music.

6. 2012 Bud Lite Hotel

Okay, we'll drink to this.

5. 3D Projection Game on Building Uses iPad As Controller

Eristoff innovates. Why didn't Absolut - or even Red Bull - think of this first?

4. 3D Projection Comes to Haute Couture

One physical dress. Lots of different looks.

3. Lil Wayne Uses Projection Mapping to Promo New Fashion Line

Mannequin madness. And just wait 'til you see what we're doing with the company behind this 3D projection project - Pearl Media - in January.

2. Skyway International Light Festival

How do you say "awesome" in Polish?

1. Invisible Mercedes-Benz

The winner of the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival. A total gas (see video above).





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Top 10 Augmented Reality Initiatives 2012 (Video)

GenWowAwards-logoI know, I know. It's still early in the year-end roundups season, but we couldn't wait to get started.

First up, 10 (well, okay, 11) of the best augmented reality initiatives for 2012.



11. Net-A-Porter: Augmented Reality Meets Window Shopping 

Who knew fashionistas would go ape sh*t over AR?

10. Holiday Inn: World's First Augmented Reality Hotel

Just in time for London's 2012 Olympic Games, patrons of one hotel find the place crawling with athletes.

9. Nokia Lumia Augmented Reality 'Angry Birds'

For me, 2012 was really the year Live AR started to really take off - and this is just one way consumers get in on the action, no special glasses or mobile devices required.

8. Marco Tempest Makes Magic with Kinect-Powered AR at TED Conference

Say goodbye to PowerPoint; this is a glimpse of the future of live presentations.

7. Ikea Brings Augmented Reality to 2013 Catalog

This is a brand with 211 million ways to make an impact on how we use augmented reality to sell.

6. Angry Birds Augmented Reality Game

While Nokia's promo was just that - a promo, this effort shows us where gaming's going fast.

5. Boo-Boos Be Gone: Kermit & Piggy Bring AR to BAND-AIDS

If a BAND-AID and a kiss won't cut it anymore, maybe Miss Piggy can do the trick.

4. Wonderbra Decoder App Gives You X-Ray Vision

School-age boys the world over rejoice.

3. 'Mission Impossible's 'Action Movie FX' Mobile App Puts You In the Action with Big Time FX

Can't tell you how many hours of fun this created for kids ... like me.

2. Magazine Cover Becomes Interactive Video Game

This is one way to make print relevant in the mobile age.

1. BBC/National Geographic 'Frozen Planet' Live AR Promo

Very cool, indeed (see video at top).

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Magazine Cover Becomes Interactive Video Game


This is one way to make print relevant in the mobile age.

Shortlist, a weekly men's magazine in the UK, is using Blippar augmented reality tech to make this week's cover come to life in an all-new way.

Time will tell if this kind of effort helps shore up print media. But you have to wonder if readers will prefer to have these kinds of experiences on their tablet editions instead of having to go to all the trouble with their mobile phones.

But what's your view? Do cover games augment reality for magazine readers - or detract from it?

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3D Projection Game On Building Uses iPad As Controller (Video)


Very cool 3D projection game to promote Eristoff vodka. Absolut (or even Red Bull) should be doing this kind of thing, too!

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Honda's Life-Size Paper Model of Its New Car (Video)


Don't ask why - just enjoy this life-size paper model of Honda's new N-ONE compact car.

Word's out that it'll crumple in a crash. But it's very light and picks up speed in a stiff wind.

Get the full scoop, here.

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