3 lessons for marketers from the most creative digital ads for 2015

JWT's digital director, Josie Brown, looks at what lessons CMOs can takeaway from the top creative campaigns at Cannes 2015

Pic of the Geico 'unskippable' pre-roll ad
Pic of the Geico 'unskippable' pre-roll ad

There is so much inspiration to be taken from seeing the best creative ideas living in digital channels.

The Cyber Lion award winners were announced recently in Cannes. Here are three simple things that bubbled up from those winning case studies that could help guide CMOs to digital marketing success.

1. Insist on custom video executions for online pre-roll advertising – running your TV ad is not the best investment

It has been common knowledge for several years now that pre-roll ads need to be short and quickly grab attention within seconds, or brands run the risk of consumers simply skipping past them.

The ‘Unskippable’ ad campaign from Geico was funny, attention grabbing and memorable. The ad itself is over in four seconds and appears to freeze frame, but if you keep watching, entertainment ensues almost like a hidden track on a vinyl album. The ad ticks all the boxes of digital advertising and gets people talking about the brand.

While the Geico ads are short and attention grabbing, the clever, award-winning ads from Honda use well-crafted interactive videos to tell a story about the performance heritage of its vehicles.

Consumers can toggle between two stories where the same man is collecting his son from school or racing his Honda through the dark city streets. I enjoyed the exploration of video platform technology with this work and if the user is engaged in the video, it’s a powerful longer form piece of content.

One thing to watch out for is that this ad requires participation from the user to be fully appreciated. However, the payoff for the consumer doesn’t offer much more than a fun toggling between screens.

2. Don’t rely on participation – or if you do, keep it simple

Few Gold Lion winners this year relied on active consumer participation. Those that did provided the industry with a gold standard in how to harness consumers’ online participation to change behaviour.

A campaign for Under Armour sportswear, the winner of the top prize in the Cyber category, was a powerful example of harnessing social chatter and responding to it. Negative online comments about Giselle Bundchen, the new female face of the brand, were curated and creatively exploded as a bold statement of the idea that you’re tough enough to overcome anything: “I will what I want”.

The Ice Bucket Challenge won a standing ovation as well as a Gold Lion in the category of User Generated Content and was the most memorable, global social campaigns of the year. It had a unique but simple ask of consumers to raise money for ALS: Pour a bucket of ice over your head and ask others to do the same, then donate.

3. Combine technology expertise with a strong brand idea

Nike’s House of Mamba is a great example of how specialist technology expertise can be combined with a creative brand idea.

The agency developed a responsive, LED basketball court. Lighting directs players in training drills or responds to their movement on court, making the spectator experience a rich, engaging one. This is an exceptional example of technology with creativity and give consumers a strong sense of the Nike brand purpose within an explosive brand experience.

Another outstanding demonstration of technology supporting ideas was the L’Oreal Make-Up Genius app, a virtual make-up mirror. The app, which took 18 months to develop, uses augmented reality technology to enable a user to select a make-up from the L’Oreal range and see it on their face.

Whether eye liner, lipstick or eye shadow, the execution appears flawless – the user really can see what they would look like with the make-up applied as if looking in the mirror. Driving thousands of new consumers to try L’Oreal products, this activity is one of the best examples of mobile marketing I’ve seen this year.

It’s clear the marriage of technology and brand ideas unlocks powerful entertainment and utility for brands to build connections with consumers. Every CMO should be asking their agencies and marketing teams to keep close to the changing technology landscape to input to making creative ideas that grow their business.

- Josie Brown is the APAC director of digital for J. Walter Thompson.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: The Star's George Hughes

It's been an incredibly tough three months for the Star as it shut its doors and stood down staff in response to the COVID-19 lockdown. Yet innovation has shone through, and if the CMO, George Hughes, has anything to say about it, such lateral thinking will continue as we start to recover from the crisis.

More Videos

One failing brand tying up with another failing brand!

Realist

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after four years of decreasing mobility to the point of having family dress ...

Nancy Tunick

The personal digital approach that's helping Vision RT ride out the crisis

Read more

I am 57 and diagnosed in June 2009. I had a very long list of symptoms, some of which were. Keeping right arm close to my side while walk...

Nancy Tunick

Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

Read more

Audible did such a great job on their marketing and at the same time, there are no false promises. The support, quality, variety all good...

Vitaliy Lano

Audible's brand plan to build the value of audiobooks

Read more

I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after four years of decreasing mobility to the point of having family dress ...

Nancy Tunick

Parkinson's NSW creates a lorem ipsum generator and goes digital to mark Parkinson's Awareness month

Read more

Blog Posts

Business quiet? Now is the time to review your owned assets

For businesses and advertiser categories currently experiencing a slowdown in consumer activity, now is the optimal time to get started on projects that have been of high importance, but low urgency.

Olia Krivtchoun

CX discipline leader, Spark Foundry

Bottoms up: Lockdown lessons for an inverted marketing world

The effects of the coronavirus slammed the brakes on retail sales in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Fever-Tree’s Australia GM Andy Gaunt explains what they have learnt from some tricky months of trading

Andy Gaunt

General manager, Fever-Tree Australia and New Zealand

Younger demos thought lost are now found: But what about the missing money?

There is much talk about what VOZ will bring to the media industry. New ways to slice and dice audiences and segments. A clearer understanding of screen consumption. Even new ways to plan and buy. The most interesting result could be finding something many thought we lost - younger viewers, specifically the valuable 18-39s.

Michael Stanford

Head of 10 Imagine and national creative director, Network 10

Sign in