In a year where marketers continued to brandish new technology just for the sake of it, Creativity celebrate the best interactive work of 2013, which managed to leverage technology to make brands useful and meaningful players in consumers' lives, or to engage them more deeply with a brand's promise. Here, a look at Creativity's favorites from the year.
No. 10: Ron Burgundy
Love it or hate it, one thing's for certain: Ron Burgundy was everywhere this winter, in a campaign to promote "Anchorman 2" that brought the anchorman into journalism schools, hosting local news programs, and getting his own Ben & Jerry's flavor. The best, perhaps, was this stunt, featuring legendary newscaster interviewing Peyton Manning for ESPN Sportscenter.
No. 9: DVV: Key Save
3D printing was one of this year's most exciting technologies, and we began to see glimmers of the technology coming into its own as brands used it to solve real business problems -- not just to create gimmicks. One of these "real" uses came from DVV, a Belgian insurance company that rolled out a new service for those who habitually lose their keys. It lets customers scan their keys and save them on a secure server so that the next time they lose them, they can go to a 3D printer with the file and print a replacement -- a service and a marketing message about innovation that earns the No. 9 spot in our interactive and integrated category.
No. 8: Heineken: Departure Roulette
The brand has been playing around with its "Open Your World" tagline a lot this year, daring customers to go beyond their comfort zones. But its best execution perhaps was "Departure Roulette," an extension of its "Dropped" campaign that dropped people off in strange locales and got them to find their way home. "Departure Roulette," from Heineken and Wieden & Kennedy New York, let travelers coming into Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport change their destination to somewhere unexpected. The only condition was that they had to go right then and there.
No. 7: Century 21: Walter White's House
And for sheer tactical brilliance, Century 21 takes the No. 7 spot in the integrated and interactive category. AMC's "Breaking Bad" is over, so what better way to cap off the series than to put a for sale sign on Walter White's Albuquerque home? To pay tribute to the end of the series, Mullen created this faux Craigslist post advertising the science teacher-turned-drug lord's New Mexico pad. The ad also featured a phone number to a Century 21 agent named Carol: 575-208-4399, who praises the caller for appreciating excellence -- just as her company does.
No. 6: Google/Kit Kat
At No. 6 in the integrated category is Google's masterstroke in naming its new operating system after everyone's favorite chocolate bar. Google Android is notoriously sweet-toothed. Its developers have code-named each iteration of the operating system after a delicious treat. It all started with version 1.5, dubbed Cupcake, then moved on to Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean and now a branded confection--KitKat!
No. 5: Coca-Cola: Small World Machines
Coca-Cola's long experimented with its vending machines, trying to make them more technologically advanced than the average soda-spitter-outer.
In the past, they've been known to give you a beverage only if you give them a hug, or if you dance or sing in front of them. Now, the beverage giant is attempting a much loftier goal: world peace. Along with agency Leo Burnett, Coke created "Small World Machines", two vending machines, one placed in India, and the other in Pakistan, that turned into communication portals. The idea was to let citizens of both countries -- long embroiled in a bitter political and religious battle -- see and interact with each other, even complete shared tasks. Once those tasks were accomplished, the machines dispensed a Coke. The move earned the beverage company plenty of Lions at Cannes -- three Golds, among them.
No. 4 Oreo: Super Bowl Blackout
T'was the tweet heard around the world: Oreo and 360i's masterful bit of quick thinking when power went out for 30 minutes in the Superdome. Twitter even mentioned it in its S1 filing.
No. 3: SMRT: TXTBKS
This brilliant effort by DM9JaymeSyfu in the Philippines won that country its first-ever Grand Prix at Cannes. TXTBKS, a project created for Smart Communications.
In the Philippines, where most schools don't have access to tablets, e-readers or smartphones, many children are damaging their bodies by carrying heavy backpacks of textbooks to school. So telecom firm Smart, along with Manila agency DM9JameSyfu developed a system that used the only technology the kids did have access to old fashioned analog cellphones used for texting.
In collaboration with textbook companies, books were condensed into 160 character text messages. Then, Smart programmed these texts into thousands of inactive surplus SIM cards. The SIM cards were packed into "smart" slimline textbooks for kids to take home, turning their old mobiles into e-readers and making backpacks fifty per cent lighter. The brand is now planning a rollout across the entire country.
No. 2 Lowe's Vines
The year began with the launch of Vine, Twitter's six-second, looping video-sharing app. It was only a matter of time until brands jumped on the new technology, but we think one of the best efforts was by Lowe's and BBDO New York, who created a series of Vine videos that featured home-improvement tips -- like using pillowcases to organize sheets, or removing stripped screws
No. 1 Citibikes
Citibikes, Citibank's NYC-based bike sharing system, wasn't a new idea. There have been similar efforts in cities around the world, including Toronto, London and Montreal. But the bank has helped turn what could have been just another bike-sharing program into a standout social, cause-based integrated campaign. For one, Citibiank snapped up, smartly, naming rights -- and landed on a moniker that promotes instant brand recall. It was a coup, considering that many, including New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg kept tripping over the name, calling the bike program "Citibank" -- a mistake that was nothing but good for the brand. The bikes themselves, while helping to alleviate traffic congestion in the city, also double as out-of-home ads for Citibank. And best of all, they've helped the bank, which took plenty of money from the government as a bailout after the financial crisis, earn some much-needed goodwill among New Yorkers. Publicis Kaplan Thaler is the agency for Citibike and created the accompanying marketing, including the program's app, quirky, location-specific outdoor and fun activations around the city. New Yorkers have embraced the idea warmly, and, like other great brand ideas, Citibike has also been the muse of non-commissioned creative riffs from the media, the general public and creative set, including the video above from Animal New York that shows even more of what the branded wheels are capable of.