My digital favourites from 2011

Lara O’Reilly is Marketing Week’s digital and telecoms specialist and here she gives her own view on what companies from Apple to Zynga are up to in the wired world of the web.

The internet was literally buzzing with quality digital campaigns this year, as marketers shifted more of their confidence – and budget – online.

There were so many stand out campaigns from almost every industry, with car brands to bra brands utilising Facebook, display, search and many more assets to generate sales in the “real world”.

Here’s a few of the most fun.

O2 Santa’s Grotto

As that heartwarming winter festival is just two days away, what better place to start than O2’s virtual Santa’s Grotto?

The mobile brand shoved a willing participant in a Father Christmas outfit into a present-filled broom cupboard for a week to read out requests on Twitter.

All in all, O2’s St. Nicholas recorded almost 1,000 videos, spreading good cheer across the land. A simple idea, that turned into a fantastically personalised campaign, which even saw Santa getting a bit saucy with a few celebs.

Kelly Brook Lynx Excite

kelly brook

Unilever constantly led the pack when it came to experimenting and performing on digital in 2011, with Lynx acting as its online guinea pig to test the boundaries of the platform.

In February this year, Lynx enlisted the help of “celebrity goddess” Kelly Brook, who starred in a unique Facebook app that tasked users to woo the curvaceous pin up.

The genius of the app was its use of Facebook’s API to truly personalise the otherwise novelty game. Like an FHM reader’s ultimate fantasy, Kelly Brook would address the user by name and even (using Google Earth technology) “fall to earth” and appear outside their homes.

fosters digital bus shelters

Foster’s digital bus shelters

In keeping with its “Smart  Casual” TV ad, Foster’s extended the campaign with a series of digital bus shelters.

The interactive outdoor ads allowed people to digitally “dress up” in smart or casual outfits and have their photo taken by the screen. The images were then shared on the Foster’s Facebook wall.

Hundreds of photos were posted to the wall, which were then tagged and shared to thousands upon thousands of Facebook friends.

The digital/outdoor crossover perfectly mimicked the light-hearted nature of the Foster’s TV ad series and further promoted the brand as something fun to be associated with.

Good call!

Tesco Korean virtual store

Tesco’s experimental virtual store, which was placed in various subway stations in Korea, sparked the imagination of retail and mobile marketers alike.

The wall, which allowed customers to use their smartphones to purchase goods on their smartphones while they waited for their trains, signalled a future of retail that still seems so many light years away from the UK.

The video of said wall went viral and was followed by a similar effort by online grocer Ocado. The campaign signalled that Tesco is at the forefront of developing mobile products and services to make life that little bit easier for time-poor shoppers.

Heinz “get well” soup

heinz get well

What soul-lifting food does everyone link with rainy days stuck at home with the flu? Soup, of course!

Heinz tapped into this simple insight to offer Facebook fans the chance to send their ill friends a personalised can of soup with their well wishes, rather than a simple wall post.

The cans of chicken and tomato soup cost just £1.99 and were emblazoned with a “Get Well Soon” message and the inflicted person’s name. Souper!




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