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I’m a big fan of creative, engaging approaches to advertising, which is something I’ve covered before.

A lot of talk at the moment seems to be around brands using Facebook or Twitter for various campaigns, but it’s important not to forget YouTube as a potential engagement platform.

Video has historically been difficult to master as an interactive tool. Although display advertising has had the ability to encourage users to participate in an action for a while, it is limited. Despite being visual, display arguably isn’t the same as a video advertising, for various reasons.

There’s been some sterling effort recently on the part of advertisers in exploring video as an additional marketing channel and a great deal of this has been on YouTube.

It makes sense, of course. The platform offers the ability to customise channels, share content and connects with other social media technologies and tools.

On top of this, its sheer size is enough to make marketers sit up and pay attention: YouTube covers some 22 countries in more than 20 different languages. Each day, there are more than 2bn video views, with the average person spending 15 minutes on site.

There are dozens of different ways to advertise across the platform, so how do you stand out from the crowd? Some campaigns have used clever overlays, like the one from the Expendibles, but user participation (other than watching) is very, very minimal. 

However, I've managed to dig out a few brands that have taken innovative approaches to getting their audience involved.

Hotwheels - Custom motors challenge

Whacky-races style campaign for kids and adults alike. Pimp out your car and battle to become a champion. 


Desperados - The Desperados experience

Unfortunately, the video can't be embedded - but this is one of my favourites. Click here or on the image to check it out in all its glory. 

Audi - Wo ist der tank? 

A great little campaign from Audi: Where is the tank. Again, you'll have to click through here to see it in action. My German isn't all that great, but it's easy to get the gist of things. 

Tipp-Ex - Hunter shoots a bear.

If you've not seen this yet, where have you been? A well-cited classic. 


Metropolitan Police - Choose a different ending

This award-winning campaign is a couple of years old now, but is still a great example of the possibilities offered by YouTube.


Sony Playstation - Heavy Rain

A mini YouTube version of the Playstation game was released and well received. The game has already had 250,000+ plays. 


Hell Pizza - Deliver me to hell 

For some reason, we talk about Pizza a lot at Econsultancy, so this is no exception. A Great Shaun of the Dead style advert, but if you're squeamish I'd suggest skipping over it. 


Skittles - Touch the rainbow

Skittles are no strangers to experimenting with new ideas. This simple (and a little bit disturbing) idea has given them more than 3.7m views. 


Samsung - Follow your instinct 

Clever use of decision-making from the electronics giant to promote its Instinct mobile phone. 

Jake Hird

Published 9 June, 2011 by Jake Hird

Jake Hird is Econsultancy Australia's Director of Research and Education. Follow him on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn or see what he's keeping an eye on via diigo

126 more posts from this author

Comments (10)

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Thanks for the list. I've managed to miss a few of them (yes, even the Tipp ex bear one!). I just spent a few minutes typing words into the Tipp Ex ad which was great fun. So, next time I need some synthetic paper to correct something I type on my typewriter there's no question which one I'll be buying.

over 5 years ago


Scott Horsfield, Video Producer at VBM Productions

Great list

over 5 years ago



What's great is just how simple they all are.

over 5 years ago



Some of these are mind blowing, others are a little long winded (imo), but I definitely think it's the future - especially when Facebook integration customises the experience. We've done something similar for the British School of Motoring recently. I hope you don't mind me showing you (although admittedly it pales in comparison to some of these)!


over 5 years ago


File Search

I am not convinced - incredible yes, but who wants to watch these tubes?

over 5 years ago


Matt Chandler

I am most disturbed by the Skittles cat....!

over 5 years ago



A Great Shaun of the Dead style advert, but if you're squeamish I'd suggest skipping over it.

over 5 years ago

Christian Louca

Christian Louca, Founder - New Mobile Start-Up at Stealth Mode

Nice one

over 5 years ago

Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey, Marketing Consultant - Social Media and Media Relations at Human Factors International

What's really cool is that watching these videos is part of my job description!

over 5 years ago


boise seo

firstly, can you add your own background to the home screen? i saw on a review on youtube that it has interactive backgrounds, but can you put your own on it? also, is it a good phone? i was thinking about getting it, but what is your opinon on it? what do you like about it, and what do you not like about it? thanks! xx

over 5 years ago

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