Monday, October 31, 2011

Estee Lauder

Estée Lauder has launched their new YouTube channel which is designed to be 'Your Source for Expert Beauty Advice.'  Created by The Concept Farm, the channel houses original content showcasing Creative Makeup Director Tom Pecheux, and various global spokesmodels such as Elisabeth Hurley.  However, that's just the beginning as the channel 'features original, interactive content to engage viewers in a visual, tactile way.  The Estée Lauder YouTube channel is a self-contained platform where consumers can see product information, read ratings and reviews, get beauty tips, comment and share.'

This is the next evolution in a beauty channel on Youtube.  It's more than just a fully contained microsite. We're used to brand channels featuring beauty techniques, tips/tricks, product lines, news, as well as behind the scenes/extra content. Estee Lauder features all of that, as well as a really elegant navigation and layout, but they really take it a step further with a couple of clever features.

1) Each video has a 'products featured' icon/overlay that allows you to not only see more info about the product, but also pulls in reviews for each particular product, the product rating and also provides a shop now button.

2) All of the how-to videos include the 'makeup mirror' feature which activates the webcam and allows users to follow along step-by-step, in real-time They can see both themselves and the video on the screen at the same time.  What a great idea.

Last but not least, the channel also features a nice intro video explaining the above rather than relying on the user to discover the features which are prominent but don't get in the way of the user who wants to experience the Estee Lauder content in a more traditional way.

Have a look and a play around yourself on the Estée Lauder Youtube channel here.

Supporting Articles: Moodie Report | MarketWatch

Youtube/TED Ads Worth Spreading

Last year TED launched their Ads Worth Spreading initiative on the back of this great video from TED curator/founder Chris Anderson:

"TED’s mission is ‘ideas worth spreading.’ The dream behind this initiative is to find companies that want to communicate ideas to their consumers in the same way that TED wants to communicate with its audience. What makes ideas powerful is that they have a life of their own; an idea can reset someone’s worldview and even begin a domino effect as they pass it on to friends."

The ten winners of last year's Ads Worth Spreading initiative were all incredible pieces that went beyond what one expects from a typical ad.  They were stories that made a connection, evoked emotion, provoked thought and were all a pleasure, rather than an interruption, to watch.

This year TED has partnered with Youtube to on the 2011 Ads Worth Spreading initiative.  There's a dedicated Youtube Ads Worth Spreading channel where you can see the 10 winners from last year, explore this year's entries, or submit your own campaign for consideration.  TED will curate a final selection of ten campaigns from 2011. The results will be announced at the TED2012 conference in Long Beach, Calif. in March, and showcased on and YouTube.

Interestingly, AdAge had a recent piece looking at the 2010 winners and wondering why they didn't have more views or spread further.  The piece is a very much worth reading.  In short, the author concludes something that we all know...while creative is king, you still need media spend to generate cut through.  The full article can be read here

Supporting Articles: Youtube blog | Mashable | Creativity

Volkswagen Beetle. Juiced Up.

Volkswagen is launching a number of campaigns around the world to introduce the new Beetle. To support the Canadian launch of the new, more aggressive Beetle, the guys at Red Urban created a series of billboard and bus shelter ads.  Fairly typical right?  Well they've also created an augmented reality app that shows off 'Juiced Up' nature of the new Beetle.  Users who download the app (the posters themselves have QR codes and URLs at the bottom) are treated to a separate experience for each poster/billboard.  It's a nice way to tie together the offline and the digital, turning a flat, static print ad into a miniature immersive experience for the user.

Not content to limit the augmented reality fun to the good folks in Canada, they've also uploaded Youtube videos containing the appropriate imagery to activate the app.  That allows users from anywhere (provided they've downloaded the app) to experience what our Canadian cousins are seeing on the street.  Clicking on the annotations at the end of the above video will bring you to additional videos allowing you to hold up your VW AR app and get the experience on your phone or tablet.

Supporting Articles: Adverblog | AgencySpy

Nokia - Turn Up Your Experience

I love this clever use of technology for Nokia Argentina to promote the N8 and Nokia Ovi Store.  This interactive campaign (developed by Wunderman Buenos Aires) aims to showcase the apps that are available in the Nokia Ovi Store by inviting users to 'Turn up their campaign.'  Users can experience Angry Birds & Fruit Ninja in their browser, but in an innovative manner.  Simply install a bookmarklet whatever site you're on becomes the game, allowing you to destroy any site like you would in Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja.  See the video above of Angry Birds being played on the Youtube homepage!

Check it out for yourself at the Nokia Argentina site.

Supporting Articles: Inspiration Room | Digital Buzz Blog

Jordan Melo M8 Sneaker Launch/Projection Mapping

We've all seen a TON of projection mapping events over the past year or so, and in my opinion it's gotten so good that it's almost tiring now.  That said, I was blown away by the projection mapping for the launch of the new Jordan Melo M8 sneaker.  The whole projecting on water idea is really visually stunning and amazingly impressive.  This was all part of a much larger campaign for the new shoe, check out the article at Brand Channel for the full rundown.

BONUS: Word As Image

Former Google Creative Labs CD, Ji Lee, has a new book Word As Image.  He's created this amazing video that shows off what the book is all about, or see below:

'Challenge: Create an image out of a word, using only the letters in the word itself. 
Rule: Use only the graphic elements of the letters without adding outside elements.

Word as Image invites you to see letters beyond their utilitarian dullness. It's about discovering the magic behind the unique shapes and infinite possibilities of letters and words. This book showcases nearly 100 of Ji Lee's head-scratching word images, along with tips to help you create your own and share them at'

If you like that, it's also worth checking out the Words Radiolab/NPR video short from last year.

BONUS: Take This Lollipop

You may have already seen this, but it's still worth sharing.  Remember the Intel Museum Of Me?  That beautiful site that used Facebook connect to create a bespoke museum of Youtube from your Facebook activity.  Well here's the counterbalance to that idea...what are the risks with sharing so much of your data online?  Take This Lollipop (created by Jason Zada) serves as a warning to all of us who blindly click 'accept' or 'allow' when sharing our Facebook data and allowing apps to connect to it.  Take This Lollipop trolls through your photos, friend lists, newsfeed and other personal information and creates a chillingly dark experience.

Check it out and experience it for yourself: Take This Lollipop

(via Bozena Rezabova)

Supporting Articles: Contagious | The Creators Project | The FWA

BONUS: Life In A Day (full version now up on Youtube)

In addition to winning a Gold Lion at Cannes, Youtube Life In a Day recently picked up a UK Mediaweek award for Media Idea of the Year.  Just as importantly, for those of you who haven't seen the full film, it's available to watch on Youtube in it's entirety:

On July 24th, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their day to Youtube to take part in Life In A Day, a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth.

Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald whittled down over 4500 hours of footage into a 90-minute film that wowed audiences at the Sundance Berlin and SXSW Film Festivals earlier this year.  

Now, after releasing in theaters across the globe, the film has returned to where it all began.  Watch it for free, and be sure to explore the channel to learn more about this amazing piece of cinema history.

It's an incredible 90 minutes, so if you haven't already seen it, go watch it: Youtube Life In a Day

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beck's Green Box Vimeo Mimicry

If Youtube is for the masses, then Vimeo is for the art school crowd.  With that in mind, it makes sense that Beck's turned to Vimeo as the platform for their mimicry/takeover showcasing the experience the Beck's Key app offers as the gateway to their Green Box Project.

A bit of background...the Green Box Project is a global art fund established by Beck's to inspire, celebrate & financially support independent talent in art, design, music and fashion.  Over the course of three years Beck's will find and showcase over 1,000 individual projects.  So what's the twist?  The resulting commissions will be experienced via the augmented-reality app in Green Boxes located around the world, as well as being permanently on display in a virtual gallery online.

To kick off the project Beck's has released 30 green boxes with various virtual art pieces by renowned artists around the UK, US & Italy.  The public can download the Beck's Key app which uses GPS & augmented reality markers to enable the artistic content of the boxes to be viewed, as well as allowing users to find other Green Boxes, receive updates, etc.  It's what Beck's is calling 'the world's first global networked augmented reality gallery.'

Beck's has been engaged in various activity to raise awareness of this project, but you can imagine the challenge to convey the overall experience without downloading the actual Beck's Key app.  Enter the Vimeo takeover/mimicry.  While mimicry is common on Youtube, it's not seen as often on Vimeo.  This execution by Outside Line is a really natural and delightful way to showcase the features and experience of the Beck's Key app.

Supporting Articles: Inspiration Room | NMA | Creative Review

Great Volkswagen Art Heist

Volkswagen's new campaign for the Jetta GLI focuses around the messaging that 'Driving Can Be Beautiful.'  The 'Great Volkswagen Art Heist,' developed by Red Urban Canada, is a great way to extend that message in a genius out of home/social campaign.  So what's it all about?  Pop-up galleries featuring hand numbered, framed VW GLI light paintings (long exposure photos created by the lights/movements of the GLI and seen in their TV spot) were installed in unexpected places across various cities in Canada.  The photos were entirely up for grabs by members of the public that discovered (or 'heisted' them), the only ask was that the heisters share their steals online via the VW Canada Facebook or Twitter page/hashtag.  While the photos are replenished, they've been going fast, so users who lost out are encouraged follow VW Canada on Facebook or Twitter to get clues about where the next pop-up installation will appear.

I'm a big fan of experiments/undertakings that tie together offline and online activity and this campaign really fits the bill.  It ties in nicely with their TV spots & provides a great mechanism to get people both following and talking about the brand across various social media outlets.  Apparently VW plans on rolling out the second phase of the campaign in the next few weeks that will bring the heist into the digital space.

Supporting Articles: PSFKAgencySpy 

Youtube Space Lab

I can't help but do a little bit of logrolling here by featuring the launch of Youtube Space Lab.  YouTube Space Lab is a new global Youtube program challenging 14-18 year old students around the world to submit a video describing an experiment that can be carried out in space. The winning experiment will be live streamed on YouTube - from the International Space Station.  The winning students will get to pick between one of two grand prizes: a trip to Japan in summer 2012 to see their experiment take off, or, when they turn 18, a chance to participate in the astronaut training program at Russia’s Star City. The four other regional finalists will be given a Zero-G ride, courtesy of Space Adventures, and laptops from Lenovo.

Fast Company ran a great article about the initiative and how it ties back to the Google company DNA:

This contest is the latest Google-supported venture to push science education into the spotlight. Earlier this year, the company ran an open worldwide science fair all by themselves, where kids posted videos explaining their science projects. The finalists in the three age categories were invited to the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. After presenting for the judging panel, which included Dean Kamen, Peter Norvig, and other well-decorated scientists and science communicators, winners were picked at a live-streamed event. 

It seems Google is serious about making sure there's enough Google-worthy talent to go around in the future. "Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers is something very close to our hearts," Zahan Bharmal, the Google/YouTube project lead and unabashed space geek said at a press conference. “We believe that video can help people learn.”

See the full article here.
Check out the Youtube Space Lab channel here.

Supporting Articles:  Creativity Online | Google Blog

State Farm - Chaos In Your Town

Man...State Farm has been busy on a bunch of different fronts lately.  The past month has seen them air the evocative 9/11 - Empire State of Mind spot directed by Spike Lee, as well as enlisting Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers in their latest TV spot.  However, my personal favorite is the State Farm: Chaos In Your Town campaign.  Developed by DDB Chicago, B-Reel & The Mill, the site is an extension of the TV spot which features alien robots destroying a neighborhood.  Using Google Maps & Street View (a la Arcade Fire's The Wilderness Downtown) users enter their address to see the robots wreak destruction and havoc on their own homes.  Have a look at the video above to see Google's new offices getting the robot treatment or blow up your office/home at

Supporting Articles: Creativity Online | AdFreak

Beck's Sobriety Test App

I love this mobile app developed by Leo Burnett for Beck's 'When I Drink, I Don't Drive' campaign out of Serbia. The app gives you a sobriety test when you've been drinking, fail the test and it calls a cab for you.  The premise is simple:

Can you fit the key into a keyhole?

We want people to drink Beck’s responsibly – that’s why we created a mobile app that tests your sobriety. When drunk, one cannot perform even the simplest task – like fitting a key into a keyhole. And, as we all know, Beck’s logo is - a keyhole with a key! So, we designed the simple sobriety test app: in order to test your driving ability, you need to keep a key in a moving keyhole for 25 seconds. Fail to do so, and the app automatically dials the cab company in your area. When you drink and drive, there’s no going Beck’s!

Genius, if only it somehow was activated automatically when you've been out on the town.

Supporting Articles: Adverblog | Branding

BONUS: The Thing Mimicry/RickRolling

John Carpenter's 'The Thing' is a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 film of the same name.  As part of the promotional effort for the film they've launched an interesting Youtube viral prank campaign that brings something unexpected to users who click on various videos with enticing or audience pleasing names.  They've created a series of teaser videos with titles such as 'HOT Girl, Tiny Bikini' or 'Cute Baby Goes Nuts Over Food.'  Users who click on the videos (or who receive the link shared from a friend) get 7-10 seconds of video before the screen shatters with the volume cranked up and The Thing snapping out of the Youtube channel.  They've created nine scare videos and users are encouraged to 'Share The Scare.'  It's a clever Rickrolling type tactic, though to be honest the actual flash execution leaves something to be desired.  That said, it's a nice way to a) provide something unexpected to the audience and b) play off video names/categories that a large number of users tend to watch.  Send your own prank by checking out the Youtube channel.

Supporting Articles: Launch

Monday, October 3, 2011

Carlsberg Cinema Experiment

Earlier this year Carlsberg scrapped their famous slogan 'Probably the best lager in the world.'  The slogan served them well for 38 years, but didn't necessarily resonate in some of the key growth markets such as Asia.  Instead Carlsberg has adopted the strap line 'That Deserves A Carlsberg' and has been activating various campaigns around the slogan.  The latest is from Belgian agency Duval Guillaume Modem:

"To reinforce the new baseline ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg’ Duval Guillaume Modem proposed an original experiment. In Belgian cinemas some innocent couples were confronted with a theatre filled with not-so-friendly gentlemen and only 2 seats left… How will they react?"

SPOILER: Most of the couples walked out, but those who stayed were rewarded with a Carslberg and a big congratulations from the bikers as 'That Calls For A Carlsberg' was projected onto the cinema screen.  Great stuff and a great way of expressing the brand values through the behavior of the people who chose to stay in the theatre.  That is, f you don't judge a book by it's cover...that calls for a Carlsberg, if you show courage by sitting amongst the intimidating bikers...that calls for a Carlsberg, etc, etc.

Supporting Articles: Inspiration Room | Adverblog | Campaign

Swedish Post - Sweden's Safest Hands

Sweden's Safest Hands is the latest campaign for the Swedish Post Office.  Developed by one of my favorite Swedish agencies, Akestam Holst, it's an augmented reality contest that unfolds on the streets of Sweden.  The challenge and messaging is for participants to carry a parcel as safely as the Swedish Post.  Here's how it works:

Forty two packages with prizes worth between 300 and 5000 SEK ($50-750) are up for grabs.  Each day, several packages are released to the iPhone app.  The challenge is to deliver the package intact before anyone else can.  If you can do that, you win the contents.  Sounds simple right?  The catch is that the app utilises the compass, GPS and accelerometer of the iPhone to measure how safe and stable each contestant is, so the user movement has to be steady and show 'safe hands.'  It doesn't matter where you are (as long as you're in Sweden), you just need to cover the distance and deliver the virtual parcel first in order to win the real parcel.

It's sort of the next evolution from the Mini getaway where the online and offline are seamlessly blended into a skill based challenge that takes place in the real world.  Those of you in Sweden can download the app here.

Supporting Articles: Creativity | Ads Of The World | Just Creative Ads

Nissan - My Versa Roadtrip

Nissan's latest campaign to promote the Versa sedan invites users to create the best road trip for the chance to win the road trip itself and a new Nissan Versa.  The campaign, developed by Hype Creative, is centered around features a great implementation of Google maps and Street View.

Users are given the tools to build their own road trip, add a soundtrack of their choice and either invite others to participate, or explore the road trips that other people have created.  Of course this all takes place in an environment rich in Versa messaging and feature highlights.

Just plot your course, choose your friends (via Facebook), and hit the road.

Nathan Reuss

Doritos - Crash The Superbowl

Doritos has been running their Crash The Superbowl contest for the past five years.  It's a great example of brand building using user generated content.  For those who aren't familiar with the contest...Doritos invites the general public to create and submit their own user generated ads.  The  winning spots are then aired in a coveted 30-second Superbowl spot.  The resulting submissions were surprisingly good, for example here is last year's winner.

The contest has been increasingly successful.  In 2011 Doritos saw video submissions for the contest increase 38% to 5,600.  The contest finalists' videos were viewed 22 million times. Doritos also saw a 30% increase in Twitter activity and a 25% increase in Facebook activity during the contest.

That's all well and good, but after five years Doritos recognized that the concept, while fundamentally strong, is getting a bit stale.  So for 2012 they've introduced a twist.  This year's Crash The Superbowl contest will be between the best user created Super Bowl spot and a Doritos spot to be created by The Lonely Island, the comedy group/production team made up of Saturday Night Live stars.  These are the guys responsible for such hits as Dick In A Box & I'm On A Boat, as well as a ton of other SNL digital shorts.  In addition to seeing their spot aired during the Superbowl, the creator of the user generated spot will also have the opportunity to win $1 million and a gig working with The Lonely Island on creating a future spot.  So here's how it works.  During the Superbowl USA Today runs real-time consumer testing called Ad Meter.  If the consumer-generated ad wins the ad meter, the creator wins $1 million. If the ad by The Lonely Island, wins then they will donate the $1 million prize to charity.

On a completely separate note, Arch West, the inventor of Doritos recently passed away.  His family plan plan on scattering Doritos in his grave rather than roses.  I kid you not.

Supporting Articles: AdWeek | Forbes

Youtube - The Future Of Your Brand

This campaign comes out of Italy and was developed by TBWA Italy on behalf of Youtube marketing team.  It aims to show how Youtube builds brands and what the different options are for advertisers on Youtube. Rather than just run through a dry list of ad formats, this Youtube execution takes users through a customizable experience showing the options for advertising in an interactive manner.  Everything from homepage advertising via the masthead to promoted videos on search results down to pre-rolls against relevant content as well as brand channel executions.  Users can choose a pre-existing brand or create their own to see what the future of their brand on Youtube would look like.  Very nicely done.  Check it out for yourself here.

Lynx - Hot News Girl

Lynx continues to push the boundaries on Youtube.  We've seen the Tippex-like Lucy Pinder Youtube execution that ran a few months ago as well as their video explanations of Rugby rules using scantily clad models.  Now they've discovered keyboard shortcuts for scrubbing Youtube videos.  In the above video, Razorfish has created what on first glance appears to be an  innocent outtake video with an attractive news reporter.  However, using shortcuts users can have a bit of a different experience.  As the video says:

'Play this video, click on the timeline and press 5 7 3 8 to get the Lynx Effect'

I'll leave you to play around with it (no pun intended).  Say what you will, but Lynx isn't shy about going after their target audience in ways that are sure to appeal to them.

Supporting Articles: Buzzfeed | Copyranter

BONUS: Rebecca Black Telstra Sponsorship

As part of their new 'The Fun Has Just Begun' campaign, Telstra has signed up Rebecca Black as a celebrity endorser (methinks they might want to increase the $$$ in their "brand ambassador" fund).  They brought her down to Sydney to do a series of live performances of smash hit Friday.  So in case you couldn't get enough of the original video, you can see a mashup of her performances above.  But wait, what if you're not content with the 48 second video from Telstra!?  Thankfully a dedicated fan has posted the full length 5 minute live version of Friday which you can find here.

In all seriousness, considering the abuse that's been lumped on this poor girl, it's good to see her getting some endorsement deals before her 15 minutes of fame are up.  Partyin', Partyin' YEAH!

Supporting Articles: Brand Channel | Herald Sun