In truth, our Top 10 Best Marketing Pranks would qualify as out-of-home, too. Indeed, they would dominate our list. So we've given them their own category this year, and left the out-of-home category to everything else.
Which is good, because we saw a lot of innovation in this category in 2013, our favorites of which we share with you here. Enjoy!
It's called the DomiCopter. And long before Jeff Bezos struck PR gold with his concept for Amazon deliveries via drone, Domino's was actually prototyping it. A little slice of heaven? Maybe it's the whole pie.
Talk about armchair travel: This initiative enabled you control a person outfitted with audio video tech who will do what you ask him to do so you can tour Melbourne before you actually go - vicariously taking in the sites and sounds you want to experience.
The Ultimate Driving Machine recently used projection mapping to launch a social racing game designed to promote the new 1 Series automobile in South Africa. Players driving via a Galaxy tablet, and their scores are posted on a real-time Facebook leader board and shared with friends. And the best drivers in each location in which the game was hosted won prizes. Game on.
Project Colour from ad agency DLKW is designed to help students in school think creatively. And it's just one awesome (and heartwarming) way this real-time technology can be used. It also happens to be just one example of how social media sometimes doesn't require others to log into a social platform in order to participate.
Like so many of our lists this year, Coca-Cola scored big in this category by building on the success of its Happiness Vending Machines, Happiness Trucks, Happiness Drive-in Theaters - here with a simple, end-of-the-season park that let some grateful city dwellers hang onto those last few hours of summer.
Long before Jeff Bezos...Oh, you get the picture. Here it's a fun, if illogical, way to promote 'Star Trek: Into Darkness' by having drones form the Starfleet insignia in the skies over London.
In my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, I look at how MINI created similar experiences to this using RFID chips in driver key fobs. Here, Coca-Cola accomplishes it via geofencing. While it's not as compelling - the user would need to download an app to experience this - the concept is fun and makes otherwise prosaic advertising supremely personal.
Only true Canadians drink Molson Canadian. But they're going to have to prove it, first. The "beer fridge" traveled around cities throughout Europe - but could only be opened by scanning a Canadian passport. Which is only fitting for a brand whose tagline is "I am Canadian." Though for those without the appropriate papers, it's probably a bit coquettish, too. Maybe not the best way to get others to sample your beer. But it is, however, an outstanding way to cement your brand with the home team. And as Adweek points out, it sure beats the ad agency whose beer fridge only opened when everyone had done their time sheets. Now that's cruel, eh?
This year, SI took the whole Strip thing to a whole new level - with a little help from Lexus. On the heels of the duo's QR code-enabled interactive print ad, the brands used Caesars Las Vegas as the canvas for a rip-roaring 3D projection mapping experience last night, featuring models from this year's big Swimsuit Edition. There are lots of things for fans of the annual issue to like - including building-size views of Kate Upton and her fellow SI models - with 3D elements, no less.
In an initiative promoting Qualcomm's mobile solutions, this bus stop ad invites you to respond via mobile to experience the unexpected - including all manner of entertainment, and even a ride in a Lamborghini to your destination. In some respects, it's just the latest sign that outdoor may well be the new TV - not in reach, but in branded experiences that pack punch.
San Pellegrino may have one-upped Melbourne with this Avatar-in-Taormina experience - enabling you to control a robot on the streets of Sicily. Take in the sights. Chat up the locals. Your face even appears on the android's monitor. At first glance, robots may feel a bit off-brand, until you see how this works. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy a few minutes in Italy during a hectic day. Of course, switch out the R2D2 body and replace it with a Ferrari, and then I'd really feel amore.
There has long been a belief that popular culture breaks down barriers - the idea that engagement always trumps disengagement. That was true when it came to the Soviet Union. That's true when it comes to China. And to the extent than popular culture includes consumer products (it includes music, movies and fashion, so why not CPG?), Coca-Cola has always been at the forefront of cashing in on any peace dividend it could help create.
Okay, one moment of shameless self promotion here. We created this 3D projection mapping experience as part of a special event for our client LoopNet, and included a live concert by the band TRAIN, as part of a four-month integrated communications campaign that was awarded "Best of Show" at the International Summit Creative Awards (see a 2-minute video case study, here). The LA event itself was managed by Pearl Media, and the 3D animation was produced by Go2 Productions - the same team behind the Lexus/Sports Illustrated projection experience above. As you'll see in the case study, the results of this integrated campaign were astonishing. Which makes it our personal, purely-biased bonus favorite for the year.
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