New technology has a way of generating hype, but as everyone knows a tool is only as effective as the person who wields it. In the realm of digital marketing, this maxim means that creativity is still a marketer’s best weapon regardless of the latest, greatest and most popular flavor du jour.
To illustrate how much of an impact creativity can have on a digital marketing campaign, consider these five campaigns that made waves recently not just for their use of trending tech, but for the heart, soul and ideas that ended up baked into them:
Gatorade — “Victory Bath” Snapchat Lens
Perhaps the only time in our lives we are jealous of someone soaked from head to toe in sugar water is when coaches get doused after a victory. The obligatory bath in the team’s leftover Gatorade is a fun-looking rite of passage and a surefire way to temper the coach’s happy feelings despite the win.
Not wanting people to miss out, Gatorade put out a branded Snapchat lens just in time for the Super Bowl. The sponsored lens simulated what it would look like to have a bucket of watery neon corn syrup dumped over your head while taking a selfie. The filter struck a chord with football fans and those who live vicariously through soaked coaches alike, delivering 160 million impressions in just one day.
GSD&M — Avoid Humans App
With all the buzz about “connectedness,” “bringing communities together” and creating a “global village” using online technology, sometimes we just want be left the heck alone. Empathizing with SXSW attendees burnt out on the throngs of crowds and noise, Austin-based agency GSD&M developed an app that does the opposite of most: gets them far away from other people for a little while.
Using reverse-engineered monitors for check-in apps like Foursquare and Instagram, the Avoid Humans app allows users to find peace and quiet away from the snap-happy boisterous festival crowds. Now, the app is available to anyone who is sick of the sight of other human faces.
Mercedes-Benz — Build Your Own GLA on Instagram
Interactive content that lets you design your own car on a manufacturer’s website is old news, but still cool. Few things can supply as much joy as watching a render of a sexy, shiny new vehicle changing between different brightly-colored paint options.
Recognizing that the primary weakness of these sites is the need to pull users to them, Mercedes decided instead to bring the party where the people are. Using a markedly low-fi approach, their “Build Your Own GLA” Instagram campaign allowed users to simply click between Instagram pics as they chose options for their GLA from the ground up. With over 160 vehicle combinations and an accessible entry point, the campaign kept users engaged while earning MB 20,000 new followers.
The Ad Council — Love Has No Labels
When R/GA was tasked with creating a PSA campaign advocating diversity and inclusion while highlighting Valentine’s day, who knew that all the factors would combine so perfectly? The concept was even fairly simple: Take a giant video screen, attach cameras that display people standing behind it as skeletons and then put it in a visible public place.
The concept of dancing skeletons is fun in its own right, but R/GA meant to probe deeper and develop a stronger message. By editing select clips from the event together, a powerful emotional effect was created that left even your dear, jaded author in tears.
All you see when the people are behind the screen are two skeletons. Some may be taller or broader than others, but they are all essentially the same. Yet, when the people walk from behind the screen, you see that your expectations are not always met. The first couple, embracing each other sweetly, turned out to be two women. When two young girls played and danced behind the screen, the crowd reacted as one of the sisters walked out and revealed she had a disability. Behind the screen, there were no visible differences. Suddenly, all the things we obsess about felt petty and even cruel.
Uber — UberKITTENS
The internet and cats. This pairing has been somehow breaking ground while treading the exact same territory for over 15 years. We just can’t get over it: CATS! Fuzzy cats doing silly things! ON MY DESKTOP!
Uber decided to take the idea a step further by letting people use their internet connections to bring actual soft, warm, cuddly kittens right to their doorstep. In honor of National Cat Day and adoption awareness for local shelters, Uber allows users in certain cities have a cat delivered just for them to play with on one day a year. At $30 for a 15-minute play session, the service was either a frivolous waste of cash or the best investment ever, depending on which side of your brain you happened to be listening to at the moment. Uber even made sure to offer the service only around lunchtime, so everyone in the office could get a cuddle or a few string dangles in.
The exclusivity of the service also speaks for itself: every year since 2013, it has resulted in a kitten shortage. Looks like the internet needs to work on its physical backstock!
Everspark Interactive Can Provide Your Perfect Creative Digital Marketing Campaign
At EverSpark, our passion is to wrack our brains for the most creative, ingenious digital campaigns that not only engage audiences, but make them remember you. Take a look at our digital marketing services page to get started.