Taking advertising creativity beyond the line

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Take your voice for a drive

Holden Cruze lets you use voice to control the bannerWe were honoured to have our YouTube work for GM’s Holden Cruze celebrated in Google’s Rich Media Showcase. Not surprised, though; it is a clever piece that was seriously hard work to get working, but oh-so-cool because of it. It’s clever because it uses tons of tech to deliver you a video-first ad experience. It’s clever because it simplifies the tech to tell a story: with voice-activated MyLink control, Cruze pretty much does what you tell it. So, hey, try telling it to do something you might expect from a car – like take you on a road trip, via StreetView, with your choice of music. It’s clever because we simplified the crap out of it: four destinations, four tunes, using existing frameworks and plenty of Google’s existing tech. It’s also clever because it gracefully degrades for non-Chrome users, yet still delivers the same story. But perhaps best of all, it’s not too clever. Just, kinda… fun. Click the pic, and be sure to try it in Chrome for best effect.

Holden Cruze masthead on the Google Rich Media Gallery

Extraordinary technology, made easy.

 


Gamification ain’t what it used to be…

Bonus Bonds Longer Conga mobile gameFaced with refreshing old-school Bonus Bonds (they’re national bank bonds that pay no interest, but reward holders with random cash prizes), we went back to the classics.

The existing TV campaign featured a conga line set off every time someone wins a prize. Charged with creating a lead generation campaign to bring a younger audience to Bonus Bonds, we ran with the fun, setting up an online “conga” you could join at any time to be in to win a daily prize. The more people in the conga line, the bigger the cash bonus.

But here’s the best bit: joining that conga unlocked a genuinely enjoyable old-school, 8-bit snake-type game, optimised for mobile (but playable on desktop, of course). Play as many times a day as you like, make your conga as long as you can, then share your achievement to lock in your entry.

Putting a ton of effort into making sure our game was (1) fun (2) easy (3) not toooooo easy and (4) extremely rewarding, we drove engagement, told a story and turned people’s gameplay into our own media channel. And did it work? Well, 200,000 gameplays was a bit of a bonus… and our clients were thrilled with a wildly oversubscribed Christmas quarter.


Play Melbourne. You know you want to.

Together, Tourism Victoria and Publicis Mojo created the longest-running tourism marketing programme in the world. The eighteen-year-old ‘Jigsaw’ campaign is now its tenth phase, with the launch of a new chapter: ‘Play Melbourne’ – a story to deepen visitors’ appreciation of Melbourne’s unique creative sub-culture.
Play Melbourne - reward your curiosity

The campaign integrates loads of interactive and experiential elements, including a rich digital hub for all that’s hip and happening in the city, a delightfully intriguing iPhone app, and a chance each week for an entire year to Play Melbourne and win a spontaneous visit.

The campaign is self-supporting through Social, but we had to light the fuse somewhere – and light it we did, with a set of web ads springing from the Play Melbourne story. They’re an intriguing, interactive, upmarket and enticing bunch of rich and standard banners that drive tens of thousands of visitors to the site each time they run.

It was a pleasure and a real workout to be Digital CD on this job, and big thanks to everybody in the world who was involved in making this work: the inimitable JC and the indefatigable RI; Pete Bakacs for piccies; Brendan McMahon for engineering; Matt Houltham for early wrangling; Fracture for gorgeous Flash… oh, look, just… thanks, EVERYBODY.


Sometimes all we need is a little help.

When times are tough, it can be easier to turn a blind eye with the promise of “next time, I’ll do something to help – but right now I just need to look after myself”.

Sometimes, though, a little reminder that anyone can help is all we need to jog ourselves out of that comfort zone. So, we introduced the Auckland City Mission’s smallest ever fundraiser – starting with a wee movie…

…and then we sent him out onto the streets to become the embodiment of vulnerability and never-give-up-ness. I don’t want to write an epic about his epic journey; best you click through BestAds to see the case study. I reckon it’s worth it.
kenneth raising funds for auckland city mission
I will be forever disappointed that we couldn’t get the Arduino to work with the mobile shield to get people texting a donation to keep him moving to the Mission on that last day. That would’ve been awesome – but cutting-edge stuff on a negative budget is never easy. Next time!


Cheers to your very own piece of New Zealand.

Steinlager Pure website and iPhone App

Imagine a piece of the purest land in the world secured in your name – and the chance to see it for real.



Taking the iconic-in-New-Zealand but globally tiny Steinlager Pure brand to the world was not going to be easy — especially with a budget that would barely get us one month on a Times Square billboard. We went back to the product truth and came up with a plan that would resonate with urban dwellers the world over.

That plan: When you buy a Steinlager Pure, you get a piece of pure New Zealand. There’s a great video of the result, here.

It took a while, but we worked with our client (the wonderful Ben Wheeler) to reserve 120 hectares of native New Zealand forest and wetland, in the name of Steinlager Pure drinkers in our launch markets. The deal: Buy one Steinlager Pure, enter your code, and you get a unique piece of this iconic part of New Zealand reserved in your name. Buy another, and you add a chance to visit your piece of land for real – courtesy of Steinlager.
Steinlager Pure coaster showing unique code portion
Steinlager Pure was a niche brand launching into behemoth beer markets like the US, Canada and the UK, so we had to make sure the idea would cut through. Posters showed actual shots of the land, divided into unique portions. Coasters were cut from those poster images, each containing an innovative snap-to-open code. Buy the beer, get the coaster (already a unique piece), then enter your code via SMS, mobile site or on the App to get an instant reward right at the point of purchase.

Of course we added easy ways to spread the word through social networks, and ultimately we’re starting to build a database in each market for regular dialogue. But making the exchange feel very real for participants was key, and a standout element is the iPhone App with its goosebump-inducing motion-controlled panoramas – along with an Augmented Reality compass-based Pure finder that even shows you where and how far away your piece of purity is.


Treat your customers like rock stars

Who wants to be treated like a number? Nobody – that’s who. That’s why Virgin Mobile came to Publicis Digital for help with bringing the idea of a digital Members’ Lounge to life.Virgin Mobile Members' Lounge - treating customers like rock stars

As the iconic underdog battler brand on the Australian mobile scene, Virgin Mobile had all the right in the world to leap into social marketing boots and all. Our team at Publicis Digital in Auckland – Andre, me, Jeremy and Rochelle – conceptualised and designed an approach designed to break through the corporate culture and treat Virgin Mobile “members” like, well, rock stars.

Based in a slick, ultra-fluid site built by our team in Australia, and driven via a Twitter feed packed with surprise gigs, topups, freebies, shoutouts and more, the Members’ Lounge leverages Virgin’s unique personality and familiar rock star personality to create what was at the time a completely new style of customer retention community, pushing highly customised content and offers to Virgin Mobile customers – or should we say, members. One of those wonderful projects when strategy, ideation, design, development, the web tools to make it happen and a fully engaged client results in something really cool. Me likey.


What’s next is up to you.

A quick-step journey through sites best sited to a life lived to the full

A quick-step journey through sites best suited to a life lived to the full

Not your ordinary website for not your ordinary beer: when Steinlager Edge debuted as the mid-strength beer for those living life to the full, we knew we had to pull something out of the bag to not only help explain the product benefit, but to cut through — with an idea that actually added value to the web experience, rather than interrupting it.

Visit the site

The result: a seamless, swift, iFrame-based choose-your-own-adventure journey through some of the best local content – selected purely for those to whom living a full life is not about doing less, but about doing it all.

Your journey begins at one of many clear-cut web ads (with up to three times average click-through) inviting you to decide what’s next. We set up multiple journeys based on themes like Work vs Play, and Home vs Away, and lead you through sites that prove the web is not just for email and news, but inspiration and opportunity. Each site was carefully selected to help provide ideas for getting ahead, getting away, or getting inspired — and each step was also closely tied with an occasion to drink.

Every page featured an iFrame journey selector, acting as a stepping-stone to the next

Every page featured an iFrame journey selector, acting as a stepping-stone to the next

Using iFrames allowed us to control the journey, while providing full, uninterrupted access to the entire content of each site that agreed to join us in promoting Steinlager Edge – right down to ensuring Flash movies would still run under our overlay (thanks CactusLab!)


Drawing a line in the sand.

Standing our ground with words writ large

Standing our ground with words writ large

All the ingredients in Steinlager Pure are sourced from the purest place on earth – New Zealand. New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance is one of the reasons we can make this claim. With the permission of the estate of the late Prime Minister of New Zealand, David Lange, we brought to life the words from the 1985 Oxford Union debate – where David Lange made his case against pro-nuclear forces. At that time he drew a line in the sand that is now seen as one of the defining moments for New Zealand.

As a precursor to the launch of a new campaign for Steinlager Pure, words from that debate were written in the sand on New Zealand’s shore. The link at the conclusion of the film takes the viewer to a preview of the commercial, a fuller version of the debate and further information about Steinlager Pure.