OLD SPICE: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like/Responses
It wasn't just "Hello, ladies!" but "Hello, everyone!" Wieden & Kennedy's pop-culture-infiltrating commercial and the "Responses" follow-up capitalized on the beloved Isaiah Mustafa's character and the immediacy of social-media channels, creating, over a period of three days, more than 150 tailor-made YouTube responses from the Man to fans. The latter drummed up tons of media attention for Old Spice and generated some impressive statistics: it increased Facebook interaction by 800% and Oldspice.com website traffic by 300%, OldSpice's YouTube page became the all-time most-viewed channel on the site. More impressive? Even actual sales were up.
PEPSI: Refresh Project
The social-media-driven campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day, L.A., which saw the marketer divert its Super Bowl budget toward social causes, has been one of the most -- dare we say -- important brand efforts of the year. Demonstrating what a reallocation of a portion of a mega media budget could do, the campaign ended this year with nearly three billion media impressions, 51 million votes from a broad demographic sample and millions given to worthwhile grassroots causes. The campaign has been a massive success in terms of awareness and -- say Pepsi bottlers, no less -- palpable goodwill toward the brand.
ARCADE FIRE: Wilderness Downtown
Director Chris Milk, data viz artist Aaron Koblin, Google, B-Reel, @radical.media, mr. doob and others brought their combined tech wizardry and artistry to bear on this phenomenal interactive video for the Arcade Fire song, "We Used to Wait." Milk's motivation was to endow the music-video experience with the same emotional resonance as music itself. The video, which uses Google Earth to provide a powerfully personal angle on the song, succeeded as an HTML5 case study, a nifty calling card for Chrome, a giant PR boost for Arcade Fire's new album and, most importantly, a powerfully personal way to experience a great song.
DOMINO'S: Pizza Turnaround
With the help of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Domino's bared its soul and turned to focus groups and social-media channels to find out what consumers really thought about its pizzas. After discovering that eaters were likening their pies to "cardboard and ketchup," the brand went on a quest to turn opinions around with a major recipe overhaul, documenting its efforts in a series of web films and spots and on the website PizzaTurnaround.com. The experiment in transparency was a success, and according to CMO Russell Weiner, resulted in plenty of media buzz, more satisfied customers and third-quarter same-store sales increase of 11.7%.
MITSUBISHI: Virtual Test Drive
Mitsubishi, its agency 180 L.A. and digital production maestros B-Reel made test- driving a car much more accessible to potential buyers (and, doubtless, much less nerve wracking, smelly and awkward for dealers) with what the marketer called an auto industry first -- the Live Drive. Part of an integrated campaign for the Outlander, Live Drive allowed 5,000 web viewers to drive an actual vehicle on an actual course, via a remote control software system. It's perhaps not the most enduring effort, but demonstrated how a big tech-enabled idea could come to life and create energy around a brand.
DARE LABS: Remote Palette
London agency Dare made an investment in creative technology in 2007, launching Dare Labs to foster new-product development. This year, the Labs bore fruit in the form of Remote Palette, a magical app that links iPad and iPhone, allowing users to paint on the iPad using their fingers as brushes and phone as palette. The app garnered huge online buzz, helped along by a web video featuring a man dressed as a certain artist, trying to shake ketchup onto his iPad -- a nod, of course, to the 1982 art clip, "Andy Warhol Eats a Hamburger."
NIKE: Write the Future
The cornerstone of this World Cup campaign, from Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam, was a stellar anthem spot directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, starring an elite cast of athletes and celebs. Other components included a digital outdoor effort whereby users generated headlines that were projected onto a prominent Johannesburg building, and an online push that allowed visitors to see their own glorious rise from soccer unknown to all-star athlete in an interactive film and promo posters.
Ubiquitous and massive -- two words that easily describe Droga5's campaign to promote Jay -Z's book, "Decoded." The multiplatform effort gave new meaning to "outdoor," and brought every page of the book to life on practically every surface imaginable -- from the rooftops of a building in New Orleans and the bottom of Miami's Delano Hotel pool, to the lining of suits -- giving fans a preview of the content at the locations that inspired them. For those who couldn't view the physical pages, a partnership with Microsoft Bing allowed Jay -Z followers around the globe to search for each page online via a scavenger hunt.
WWF: Space Chimp
The World Wildlife Fund Australia collaborated with musical artist Ben Lee and Leo Burnett, Sydney, on this gut-wrenching video. Serving as a music video for Lee's "Song for the Divine Mother of the Universe" and an environmental-awareness message, Space Chimp follows the titular astronaut returning home from a long voyage to find himself alone on a ruined planet. The visuals, orchestrated by director Steve Rogers, are superb and the effort is a great example of inter-brand collaboration.
CONAN O' BRIEN: Comeback Campaign
When it came time for Conan O' Brien to return to TV land with his new TBS talk show, he and the cable channel leveraged his legion of online supporters, aka Team Coco, and launched a slew of social media-minded pushes that included everything from a Foursquare-linked blimp, web films and a webcam showing live antics from his new office. The campaign also included hilarious TV promos, including a massive actioner starring the host in an explosive cliff dive. And, of course, there were the hilarious Twitter missives of O' Brien himself. All resulted in a successful opening night, with O' Brien surpassing both Jay Leno and David Letterman in the ratings .