2014 has been a great year for all things online. The use of video has exploded and it seems that big companies have finally cottoned on to the fact that social media has a massive part to play in their social media strategies.
There have been some great online campaigns/adverts/tweets this year, but I wanted to pick out my 5 favourites from the past year. Some because of the overall genius and work that went into the concept and execution, others because they demonstrate how sheer simplicity can work wonders.
Honda released an online interactive multi-dimensional film telling the story of a man who is a doting parent by day and a bank robber by night. The film is called “The Other Side” and allows the users to switch between the two story lines by holding the letter R on the keyboard. The transition is seamless and the camera work is perfect throughout the entire length of the film. Definitely my favourite advert of 2014.
Mr Miles by Air France & KLM
Air France and KLM launched a joint campaign for the second year running for their frequent flyer programme, Flying Blue featuring Mr Miles. The online campaign was designed like a game where users had to beat Mr Miles to random destinations around the globe to win air miles. Mr Miles offered gamers clues via Snapchat and also his Twitter account.
The site itself (which has now been taken down unfortunately) allowed access to each country through the URLs endings (i.e. beforemrmilesin.jp, beforemrmilesin.co.uk) and featured integrated videos or mini games for each destination the airlines fly to. The end result was a highly engaging site and interactive challenge. Bring on Mr Miles 2015 I say.
Many companies attempt to jump on the bandwagon when Twitter reacts to a major cultural event. Most of these tweets are lost so it takes something special for a tweet to make itself stand out. One of these was released in May of this year by Denny’s in response to the breaking news that Beats by Dre had been bought by Apple for the small sum of $3 billion. It's light-hearted and amusing. It made me chuckle anyway.
Newcastle Brown Ale
We all know that the advertising shown at the superbowl is top notch with millions of dollars invested in airtime and production values. The most expensive advert ever screened was released by Chrysler and is said to have cost around $12.4 million.
Newcastle Brown Ale took a rather different approach to the Superbowl by not buying any airtime and rolling out an amusing campaign offering hypothetical teasers of what their big budget advert would have featured. This featured on online microsite entitled www.ifwemadeit.com featuring the hypothetical content scamps and videos as well as launching a tongue in cheeky native ad on Gawker. They also produced teaser trailers featuring the stars they would have included in the advert. The campaign also made use of the hashtag #Newcastlemakesapartyanevenbetterparty which also took off on Twitter. The whole campaign shows how an innovative approach can offer big wins without needing a multi-million dollar budget.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
You have to respect any campaign that can raise $98 million dollars in a single month. And that’s exactly what the #icebucketchallenge managed to do. In the comparative period in 2013, ALS raised just under 2% of that total. The format was easy – take one bucket, fill with ice and water and pour of willing/unwilling participants.
Whilst the campaign was not actually started by ALS, it is a great example of how a campaign can grow organically via social media. It plays into our weakness for self-promotion and even if some of us are guilty of only this (make a donation!!!!), the huge sum raised and increased awareness outweighs any negativity.
The #nomakeupselfie movement also deserves a mention here. Using a similar concept it raised £8 million in 6 days alone. I am sure many charities are plotting their own hashtag revolution for 2015. Good luck to them.