Display Advertising Shows Signs of Life

I always like to capture ideas and campaigns here that really catch my eye and provide inspiration.  Here are two banner ads that challenge the notion that this industry has nothing left in it.  They show that the right mix of creativity, humor and humility for the knowledge an end-user has about the space can create a vibrant ad.  Most importantly: they engage better than, well any other banner ad I’ve seen.  I’d imagine, like me, anyone in the interactive marketing industry would look at both these and say, “I wish I’d thought of that.”


First up is an ad from Pringles. I couldn’t click just once. (OK, I know that’s a headnod to the Lay’s campaign, but it’s for potato chips too).  I heard about it via AdFreak – key quote:

I appreciate that it isn’t flashing horrible circus colors and promising me a free Xbox or a spyware-laden “virus scan.”

It’s actually quite funny, and no surprise it recently won awards.  The one here is embedded – you can click right here and no I don’t get any referrals for your clicks.


The second ad was covered in Adweek’s TweetFreak a couple weeks ago.  This ad for Volkswagen integrates Twitter directly in the ad, scanning recent tweets for terms used and then recommending a car that is right for you.  This one is not embedded – click through to a page where you can put in a Twitter ID to see the results.

Volkwagen Twitter Ad

Of course I like the idea of integrating Twitter in a creative way – it’s trailblazing with new platforms and technologies – but I would be curious to see some of the metrics around both of these campaigns.  Any others that strike you as compelling or inspirational?

Bonus: An Offline Ad Can Inspire Too

Proving that technology, location and creativity can create a compelling mix, here’s another Cannes Lion award winner that could inspire loads of guerilla marketing ideas – imagine what Times Square could be like in New York City if all of the ads responded to what happened in front of them.  Hat tip to copyranter and @dschutzsmith for sharing.


UPDATE: For a lot more insight on the Pringles ad (not to mention some very useful resources on Pharma and social media) directly from the source agency that created the ad, see the post “What Pharma Can Learn from Pringles” from Jonathan Richman.

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How Twitter and Social Networks Can Make History

ideaEvery once in awhile a video comes along that inspires thought and challenges assumptions.  This video of internet guru Clay Shirky speaking as part of the TED series is no exception.  From the advent of the printing press to modern community platforms, Shirky uses stories from China, Iran, the Obama campaign, and other political uprisings to demonstrate the power of Facebook, text messaging and Twitter to make a real impact.  This is worth the watch.

(Thanks to David Armano for sharing this on Twitter.  Feed subscribers please click through to see the video).

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Why Everyone Should Fly Virgin America

VirginAmericaOK, this is one of those “you won’t believe me until you try it” moments. (For some it’s a “I’m not surprised, welcome to the club” moment).  I had a client presentation opportunity come up in Los Angeles and dreaded booking the 6 hour flight from Boston. VirginAmerica to the rescue.  On top of a relatively cheap fare and no line at Logan airport in Boston, the following points demonstrate VirginAmerica’s smart response to business travelers:

  • Fast and reliable wifi ($12.95 for a day, but worth every penny to be connected).
  • AC power outlet in seats.
  • Movies and TV on demand in your seat.  I was able to pause a movie to finish a chat over IM.
  • Food and drink orderable via your seat kiosk.
  • Headphone jack that fits the normal headsets everyone carries.
  • The opening video on safety started with “for the .001% of you who have never operated a seatbelt before, it works like this…” – full of humor (it’s a cartoon) but still appropriate.  I can’t think of the last time I paid attention to these videos.
  • Courteous employees left and right.

Because of these things I was able to write this post from 35,000 feet, somewhere over Kansas I think.  I was also able to keep up with work email, catch up to Ken Burbary via Google Chat, follow the MarketingProfs B2B conference on Twitter, book a future flight and hotel room with my travel agent, check in on the Rosetta Yammer network and watch Gran Torino.  It’s a good news/bad news about being able to stay connected – either way I made very productive use of the time.

The bottom line: What a great experience.  No, I’m not on their payroll, but whoever is designing this airline probably worked at Zappos.  I fly just about every week on at least two flights, and this would make a substantial difference if I could have these amenities all of the time.  Flown them yet?  Have one better?  I’d love to hear about it.

Last quick story: During the flight I was on Twitter and read this article shared by a few people about using Twitter and Facebook to find a job, and noticed the primary person interviewed was Rosetta’s own Brian Ward.  While I was somewhere over Pennsylvania I was able to get a hold of him and let him know the article ran, so he found out through Twitter with an assist from VirginAmerica.  Sweet.

Did I mention VirginAmerica is on Twitter?  They are listening and responding too.

UPDATE: Here is the inflight video I mentioned (thanks to the comments below).  Tell me it’s not memorable – 275K+ views on YouTube?

Photo credit: joits via flickr

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The First Day of School

Nerves. Jitters. Fear. Anxiety. Exhilaration.

All elements that make the first day of school unique and memorable.   My dad recently went through a similar first – branching out on his own as an enterpreneur to found Marketing Essentials International.  Fortunately he’s got forty years in the photography business to leverage, including nearly two decades at Polaroid, twelve years as the CEO of Hasselblad, a startup during the dot-com boom and most recently as head of Rangefinder Publishing (organizers of WPPI, the well known industry event for wedding and pro photographers).  Videographer Ron Dawson captured the authenticity and emotions of first starting out on your own.  Thanks Ron for this well produced and insightful video and for providing a great inspiration… Not to mention: Hey, it’s my dad.  [MEI’s first event, Skip’s Summer School, is August 16-19 in Las Vegas and worth the consideration for all photographers looking to learn from the best.]

(Subscribers via feed please click through to see the video.)

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