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These Clever Ads Prove the 'B' in B-to-B Doesn't Stand For Boring

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Thought B to B advertising was boring? Think again. Here, we take a look at five innovative B to B campaigns that can inspire marketers of all breeds to bring more out-of-the-box thinking into their messages.

Adobe

To promote its Marketing Cloud research and analytics tools during Advertising Week 2013, Adobe debuted a hilarious short film from Goodby Silverstein & Partners that shows a company beefing up big time on its production after response to one of its banner ads hits an unprecedented high. It turns out, however, that Encyclopedia Atlantica didn't need to step up its efforts once you see the source of those clicks -- a baby having a ball with his parents' tablet.

Moen

This fall, home-hardware brand Moen launched a consumer and b-to-b campaign out of The Martin Agency that used its faucets as muses for a limited-edition line of jewelry. The brand tapped independent jewelry designers to craft statement necklaces inspired by the spigots. Those pieces then starred in broadcast ads and have been touring the globe at home-industry trade shows. Moen and Martin also crafted a limited- edition line of pendants that riff off the necklaces and were given away to trade partners during those events.

Forbo

If you're a flooring company, how do you attract the attention of architects and interior designers? To promote its "Spirit of Spa" wetroom collection, Swiss company Forbo, with the help of Swedish agency Valentin & Byhr, turned what could have been typical samples into bespoke flip flops. The idea not only evoked the spa environment in which the product would be used, it gave potential customers a true sense of how the flooring would look and feel under their feet.

Triumph Adler

Germany's Triumph Adler makes one of the fastest photocopiers in the world, but that wasn't necessarily a well-known fact. So the brand teamed with Ogilvy & Mather Frankfurt to spread the news via Twitter. For its Tweet-O-Copy campaign, the agency created a Twitter account for the copier, which was programmed to copy its clients' tweets as soon as they appeared, along with the message "Copies Faster." Over three months, the campaign replicated more than 50,000 tweets and generated a 10% clickthrough rate. Twenty percent of those tweeted at also became followers on Twitter. More important, sales were up 500% compared with the same period the previous year.

IBM Research

IBM Research is long known for its innovative efforts designed to showcase the brand's artificial-intelligence capabilities. In a bold move, it created what it billed the "world's smallest movie." IBM scientists, along with Ogilvy & Mather North America, set out to "explore the limits of filmmaking" and literally moved atoms one by one to create the animated movie, "A Boy and His Atom." Scientists created 250 stop-motion frames utilizing a two-ton microscope. Atoms, apparently, are the smallest unit able to store engineering data, and the point of the film was to demonstrate the brand's data-storage technology.

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