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Which campaigns have you seen recently that are defining the digital marketing landscape?

Genius can recognise genius, right? So, we asked this question of some ingenious folk shortlisted for Econsultancy and NMA's The Digitals Awards (we'll be handing out the awards on June 27th at a swanky swank bash).

Mark Fallows, Director of Creative Engineering, McCann

Mark provided us with an incredible list, which I’m including pretty much in full, so massive props to you, Mark. 

Play Fanta

Fanta - Play Fanta; it's pure branded entertainment. 

Wendy Clark, SVP of Integrated Marketing, calls it the new Brand Franchise, the “next level in brand communications”. It feels bigger than a brand campaign, and actually feels like Coke’s "Liquid and Linked" strategy in action.

It's a genuine digital story-centric platform that immerses millennials in content generating, playful experiences and encourages co-creation and conversations for the brand. 

Rather than relying on TV, the core of the experience is a nine-chapter digital graphic novel full of playable content that combines the talents of ad creatives, Hollywood writers, game designers and developers.

It’s too early to say whether this will be effective but it’s a vision of where other brands and agencies need go.

Vodafone Fakka

I also think Vodafone Fakka is an interesting trend in branded currencies. It combines a great insight with a simple idea to deliver a digital service that has genuine value. 


Woman’s retail is really interesting. Innovations are either shortening the journey to purchase or are facilitating a more personalised and empowering shopping experience. 

We are witnessing developments in omni-channel retailing where digital technologies are blurring on-and offline and creating more time-relevant or sensitive shopping experiences. With NFC and growing mobile penetration, M-commerce will become the centrepiece of these buying experiences. 

I’d call out these examples. Last year, online retailer ASOS’s use of AR to enable readers of their catalogue to scan and shop, was an innovative way to drive users from print to mobile commerce.

Virtual Shopping Windows

The fusion of fashion with digital/social ideas not seem to be slowing. Chicisimo, Trendabl, Go Try It On and Polyvore all drive the creation of virtual shopping windows and new shopping experiences to fuel interest and desire. 


Start-up Tapestry’s app aims to enable users to collect and curate products in-store on their mobile. Simply scanning or tapping bar-codes create virtual collections of products.

By integrating with the retailers ecom database provides retailers insights and the option to offer online offers and discounts. For the consumer they have personalised mobile shopping experience. 


Many already are experiencing Google Now’s predictive power. Innovations such as the soon to be released Rosie app will offer more personalized predictive experiences for grocery and household goods.

Fashion won’t be far behind.  

Uniqlo Magic Mirror

I expect to see a proliferation of digital technology to drive in-store traffic and purchases. Uniqlo’s magic mirror is a great example of empowerment.

United Arrows MarionetteBot

Japanese retailer, United Arrows, use of Kinect for their marionette window bot is a fun way to drive in-store traffic.

Paul Cassidy, Global Head of Marketing, City Index Limited

Ralph Lauren Kids - online video

Ralph Lauren kids was one campaign that started to change the way marketers think through the collaboration of video with digital engagement.

Levi's and ASOS - clickable video

Levi’s and more recently ASOS have both enjoyed success built upon allowing users to interact with videos and purchase products shown within video directly.

Kate Cuthbertson, head of Mobile Innovation, ASDA 


I love the latest Weetabix TV ad showing that a working mum’s day starts long before she gets into the office – very humorous and cleverly shared on social and digital.

As a working mum it resonated with me and made me sit up and take notice of the product, which solves the problem of getting a healthy breakfast on the run. 

Amanda Burningham, Media Partnerships Director, Carat UK 

Very: product placement on TV and online

Carat sponsorship recently worked with Shop Direct and Northern & Shell to create the UK’s first interactive click to buy TV product placement deal with C5 and Celebrity Big Brother.  

We placed over 100 items on the house and used TV as a shop window, not just for viewing products in a “celebrity” setting but giving viewers a complete experience from viewing to purchasing with one click.

The activity is a fantastic example of how brands can close the gap between engagement and transaction and use media as a shop window and drive sales.  

The result was a significant uplift in direct sales of the products features in a period where the retail market was suffering post-Christmas blues. 

Paddy Power and Bodyform: real time planning


Real time planning is a huge trend right now. Marketing in the moment means the relevance of advertising messages can be supercharged.  

Oreo and its dunking in the dark Superbowl ad along with Paddy Power and Bodyform are all great examples of that.

Tamara Gillan, Founder and CEO, Cherry London

Two campaigns immediately come to mind:

Carlsberg - 'Puts Friends to the Test'

Carlsberg ‘Puts Friends to the Test,’ is a stand-out campaign due to its fantastic socially driven content.  Carlsberg always tells a great story by tapping into emotions and connections.  

‘Friends to the Test’ is a viral success, and cleverly puts the brand in the middle of it all, and most importantly, as an emblem of true friendship.

Oreo. 'You can still Dunk in the Dark'

One of the most talked-about campaigns in recent memory. Oreo’s ability to action this message was amazing, and a perfect example of real-time marketing.  

With all the noise in the marketplace, relevancy is what makes any campaign cut through so when the lights went out in the Superdome there was Oreo tweeting ‘Power Out? No problem’…simply brilliant.

Simone Kurtzke, Social Media Manager, VisitScotland


While it’s not purely digital, I have to mention Three’s Dancing Ponies (#danceponydance).

It was a crazy coincidence because Three’s campaign happened just after our own ‘Shetland Ponies in Cardigans’ went viral, and Three’s PR guys actually got in touch to let us know #danceponydance was about to be unleashed.

Both campaigns had quite a bit in common: simple, cute, and built around emobait. That is, they pushed some very primordial emotional buttons which made it almost impossible to not love it and in fact eliciting an action (not just sharing it - but also actual holiday bookings to Shetland, as we found out).

Kelsey Libert of Frac.tl recently published an excellent article on SEOMoz which talks about exactly that, how the best content marketing tactics are guided by a scientific approach.

They use psychological insights about how to trigger emotional responses which in turn lead to actions. We all know that emotions drive almost all human behaviour and we’re not in fact some rational, in control person. Cialdini’s ‘Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion’ is one of my marketing bibles.

So, any campaigns that are able to trigger emotions and thus actions have my vote. It doesn’t necessarily have to be soppy ones.


I similarly love Netflix’ current 'insert me anywhere' to promote the new season of "Arrested Development as it’s just funny in really cheesy, Alan Partridge-like way, and it makes it easy for people to get involved (without having to create an entire video from scratch.

I really dislike ‘create an original video to enter’ campaigns - far too much hassle!!).

Econsultancy's Punch event is where 'Marketing meets Creative in the age of data and insight'. Curated by Creative Review, this event showcases the best of insight-driven creative. This event forms part of our week-long Festival of Marketing extravaganza.

Ben Davis

Published 13 June, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (3)

Tara West

Tara West, Senior Biddable Media Manager at Tara West

Really nice examples! I really like what ASOS are doing at the moment by making the physical and the digital meet like with their app to scan the magazine and purchase. They also did a really interesting thing with an Ellie Goulding music video. They are certainly leading the way in digital marketing among fashion brands.

over 3 years ago


Lekan Adetifa, Head Online Acquisition at Moi

Decent examples, the fart at the end of the Body Form video was totally unexpected and almost knocked me off my chair with laughter!!

While a lot of the above examples are branding campaigns, I notice some were launched with a good dose of direct response expectations.

I would really love some analysis/analytics of the returns [ROI] from the above campaigns i.e we spent £100k on so and so leading to an uplift in ? and sales of £1m etc

over 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@ Olalekan Good idea. Brands and agencies are often a little coy about revealing numbers, but we'll revisit this when we are able to show the stats.

over 3 years ago

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