Campaign: Football365 WAP site
Agency: Beyond Interactive London
Creative credit: collective agency effort
Whether we welcome the idea of advertising delivered directly to mobile phones or not is a moot point - a recent survey revealed that 45 per cent of users would accept this if it meant cheaper calls, while 55 per cent opposed it. Whatever the public's views, however, it looks like this new advertising channel has arrived.
The London new-media agency Beyond Interactive lays claim to having produced the UK's first WAP (wireless application protocol) advertising campaign for the popular football website and WAP site football365.com, which was launched in March 2000. The campaign featured a WAP-served text link, which allowed users to cross networks and seamlessly access football365.com's website.
'The campaign allowed us to trial WAP advertising in the UK very effectively,' Rick Sareen, the director of Beyond Interactive, says. 'We've learnt a lot about making WAP work for us and we will be doing more activity through this and other emerging platforms for our clients.'
CLIENT: BRITISH AIRWAYS
Campaign: A revolution's here
Agency: Agency.com/Real Media
Creative credit: Steven Mulholland
The internet may have changed our lives, but it's still frustratingly slow, even for those of us with iMacs, which were supposedly designed for streamlined surfing. One way of turning this to a client's advantage is through transitional online ads (aka 'superstitials').
These utilise the downtime when pages are loading to thrust short ads at bored visitors. The hope is that they won't be deemed intrusive, but will, in fact, prove to be a welcome diversion from watching a web page gradually build itself up.
British Airways, one of the most active non-technology brands on the internet, launched what its agency claims was the first transitional campaign in July. In a pioneering deal with Times Newspapers, brokered by Real Media UK and Agency.com London, a three-second media rich ad was activated when users clicked on the travel or business link on The Times' homepage.
This offered up-to-date information on BA flights and holidays available.
This, in turn, linked to the airline's website for those keen for further information. Not the most visually exciting campaign but an interesting demonstration of the potential promotional powers of new-media technology.
CLIENT: EMIRATES AIRLINES
Campaign: Sydney challenge
Producer: David Fathers
Designer: Nick Morland
Traffic's award-winning 'Sydney challenge' campaign is an example of how web-based marketing can be integrated effectively with below-the-line work. In essence, it takes the form of a mouth-watering competition, simultaneously drawing attention to Emirates' new flight route from Europe to Sydney.
The campaign targeted active ABC1 professionals aged 18-35.
Strategically placed interactive Flash banners, press ads and direct mail were used to lure entrants to the website, www.emirateschallenge.com, where they were offered the chance to take part in an extreme sports event in Australia. The four chosen contestants would then battle it out to win long-haul airline tickets and dollars 2,000 in prize money.
As well as orchestrating the entire integrated campaign, Traffic created the microsite www.emirateschallenge.com. This included an ambitious opening Flash film and details of how to enter - which 1,800 people did. The site brought added value to the promotion, with photographs and diaries provided by the contestants.
According to Mark Wooding, the client services director of Traffic, the project was an interesting way of achieving good 'online data capture and to build up a relationship with the target consumer, which is difficult to do on a sustained basis using traditional media'. The microsite, he continued, attracted 5,000 individual registrations and the average dwell time was more than seven minutes.
Even now, there's more spin-off potential to be had from the campaign.
The entire event was recorded as a video feature and may well make an appearance as a docu-drama on a cable or satellite channel.
Campaign: Orbital marketing
Agency: Modem Media
Producer: Alex Comyn
Lead creative: Mike Stone
Designers: Jo Vickers and Neil Barrie
An example of 'orbital marketing', whereby special nuggets of information and functionality of one site are placed on other selected sites for promotional means. 'The typical advertising model simply describes the product or service it is promoting,' Simon Jefferson, the account director of Modem Media, explains. 'This campaign went one step further by physically demonstrating it.'
Designed to attract traffic to the Financial Times' website, this ingenious online campaign used a number of different technologies to present working elements of FT.com on third-party sites. Macromedia banners provided users with the latest news headlines, comment, analysis and profiles updated in real time from FT.com. Flash banners touted its news by e-mail service, while HTML banners allowed visitors to search archives and select areas of interest without visiting the mother site.
'The technology to do this kind of thing had been around a while,' Jefferson says, 'but no-one had thought to use it in this way. The campaign was driven by the idea rather than the technology.' Page impressions on FT.com went up by 100 per cent and registered users by 50 per cent.
Campaign: 330i launch
Creative team: Anson Harris and Paul Banham
Imagine you are reading a newspaper and an ad suddenly came to life. A vacuum cleaner in the corner started up, or a bottle of wine uncorked before your eyes. You'd certainly remember it. WCRS's startling rich-media campaign for BMW has roughly the same effect.
There you are, minding your own business, reading the latest football stats on Sky.com, when a silver Beemer drives right across your screen.
Above the car is an elegant Flash banner supporting the proposition with BMW's distinctive black and blue roundel and the pay-off: 'An i that's difficult to catch.'
The campaign was designed to create excitement around the launch of the BMW 330i, the new 3.0 in-line six-cylinder engine, and went online on 1 October.
'The technology (DHTML) allowed us to deliver a compelling message in an interesting way without compromising the advertising heritage of BMW,' Steve Vranakis, WCRS's interactive creative manager, says.
The ad was placed on several internet search engines, including Lycos, Yahoo! and AltaVista, in addition to Sky.com, iii.co.uk and Sports.com.
Agency: SohoLondon/Associated New Media
Creative team: Sam Sansbury and Jamie Innes
In just four weeks, the team at SohoLondon put together a tactical micro site (90minutes.co.uk) featuring a challenging interactive sports game for Nike. Part of an integrated campaign that drew heavily on Wieden & Kennedy's 'training camp' commercial, which saw a soccer dream team attempting to kick balls into a Fiat car, the game 'used Shockwave and Flash in ways it hadn't been used before for graphics and sound,' according to Nick Henry, SohoLondon's managing director.
The game was based on the concept of challenge and reward, and consisted of a series of training exercises. As you completed one challenge, you moved up to the next level - there were nine levels in all. If you successfully completed the final level, you were eligible to enter a competition to watch Ronaldo, the Nike-sponsored Brazilian footballer, playing in one of the major Italian stadia.
Elsewhere on the site, Nike's range of training products was heavily featured. In October, the month of its launch, it achieved 50,000 unique hits. In November, this figure doubled to 120,000. The average user session was around 30 minutes. 'Which goes to show how bloody difficult the game was,' Henry says.
Creative: Diesel in-house and ehsrealtime creative departments
Picking up on the subversive tone of much of Diesel's print advertising, the 'Joanna' campaign successfully capitalised on new-media foibles and obsessions to promote the brand. In essence, it was a highly elaborate stunt centred around a fictional Polish country and western star called Joanna.
A heavily promoted personal appearance at a London night spot was used to launch a series of new-media promotions, including an MP3 download of her latest single, a fan-club site and a 24-hour webcam strategically positioned outside her front door (though she never actually set foot out of it).
The new-media activity tied in with the print effort, with the Diesel catalogue presented in garish celebrity gossip magazine format. More than 9,000 people signed up to Joanna's fan-club, while more than 10,000 reported sightings (many highly complex and ingenious) were posted on to the website by surfers. The site attracted 400,000 unique users, drove up sales on the Diesel virtual store by 20 per cent and increased the customer database by 28 per cent.
As well as complementing Diesel's enduring proclivity for kitsch, the campaign worked without recourse to conventional advertising, which may have alienated the media-savvy audience.