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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Can marketers trust agencies again?

Unless you’ve been marketing under a rock, you’ll probably have questioned whether your media agencies are offering you transparency.

Nic Halley

Founder and managing director, Mindbox

Nice post Brad! very useful information. The retail stores are really mean for every brand I am agree with you. Now Online Service Market...

Srialto

The rise of online retail marketplaces and what they mean for brands

Read more

Minor correct Nadia, just wanted to clarify that the "Marketo consultants" that did this work, were actually Hoosh consultants

Fab Capodicasa

What it's taking for Edible Blooms to grow a stronger personalisation strategy

Read more

Im not surprise though, been in the industry for couple of years and I feel and see it with my tow eyes how eCommerce platforms innovated...

Jason Smith

Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment

Read more

For marketers that are "going Agile" I recommend using Ravetree. It's a really powerful suite of tools for Agile project management, reso...

Janice Morgan

7 ways to run your marketing department like a software startup

Read more

Over the years very part of our lives has become technological. That’s why I am not surprised to see that Australian home loans are going...

GreatDayTo

Why Aussie Home Loans is embracing digital transformation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in