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Jon Sharpe, CEO and creative director, Play

Meet Dave. Dave is an animated taxi driver from Hackney and the star of Glue’s campaign for Visit Sweden, firmly aimed at the kind of British holidaymaker who would visibly recoil at being called anything as ghastly as a British holidaymaker. They’d probably insist on something more reverential, such as world citizen or intrepid explorer.

Dave is the nemesis of such people: a loudmouthed, xenophobic geezer with anger management issues who has somehow ended up on a long weekend in Skane, an unspoilt region of Sweden. His adventures are captured in a series of well-written shorts in which he makes abundantly clear his disquiet with all Skane has to offer. There are some great lines wonderfully delivered, my favourite being Dave’s take on the superiority of British shingle over Skane’s white sand: “It might cut your feet up a bit but at least it doesn’t follow you home like some ****ing nutter.”

All social media boxes are ticked - Dave posts on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr - but his underwhelming following perhaps indicates that a collection of smart, cleverly animated and genuinely funny shorts doesn’t make a relationship, regardless of how they’re distributed.

If there was ever a good ad for doing one thing and doing it well, then it’s The Viral Factory. This time it’s wrestling with a uniquely 21st Century conundrum: how to manufacture a profile picture that looks like you only somehow much better. The solution is a Samsung camera with LCD displays both front and rear, which allegedly makes the tortuous process of developing a hot self-shot that much easier.

The campaign features six initially attractive characters who, using hot spots within YouTube to link the videos, are subsequently revealed to be hideous creatures who even their mothers would struggle to love. Each clip then provides a step-by-step guide on how to perfect a hot self-shot, no matter how uncanny your resemblance to the back end of a bus. A strong consumer insight complemented by high production values and good use of YouTube’s increasing interactivity should see it resonate with its target audience.

The Adidas Super 7 consists of a series of short films showcasing some of the world’s finest athletes. The films offer an interesting insight into the athletes’ prowess, supported by unexpected facts and figures (Veronica Campbell-Brown can cover the same distance as a bowling ball travels to reach the pins, but a second quicker) and are beautifully shot and edited. But it’s the idiosyncratic soundtracks that elevate these above the usual sports apparel advertising.

CHI, an allegedly traditional agency, was one of the surprise packages of this year’s judging season, with work for TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse rightly scooping a host of digital awards. Its Brightening Your X Factor campaign for TalkTalk picks up where these left off. Inspired by the work of photographer and light graffiti artist Michael Bosanko, who uses long exposures and different coloured torches to draw with light, the site allows you to attempt the same via your webcam and, if you’re good enough and resist the urge to draw inappropriate body parts, be featured in The X Factor ad breaks.

None of these are strictly digital campaigns. They’re imaginative integrated campaigns that have digital technology at their heart and use it to seamlessly extend their ideas, empowering, connecting and entertaining people. In a world I’m reliably informed is post-digital, isn’t that what we all should be doing?

campaign of the month

AGENCY COMMENT
Warren Moore, founding partner, CHI & Partners

For TalkTalk’s sponsorship of The X Factor, we developed the idea of ‘Brightdancing’ using a Flash-based site to let people create images in light.

The campaign used multiple interactive channels - TV, mobile and social media - to engage users. TV ads invited people to go online and create their Brightdances. All they needed was a webcam and a light.

Users can see their dance in the gallery section of the site and watch other people’s. If a video is liked it could be shared via email, Twitter and Facebook. You can also download a mobile video and a real-time Brightdancing clock screensaver.

Each week during The X Factor, Brightdances are picked from the site and used as TV idents, which can be seen by up to 12m viewers during the Saturday night shows.

CLIENT COMMENT
Olivia Streatfeild, marketing director, TalkTalk

This is a truly cross-functional campaign. It takes viewers beyond our TV spots and lets them engage with the brand by creating their own light-graffiti video. Response has been great, with 1,000 entries in the first weekend.

We’re offering people the chance to get involved in something that’s unique and looks pretty cool. The opportunity to become the star of idents on the biggest show in the country is a fantastic pull.

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Published 2 September, 2009 by NMA Staff

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