The real innovation opportunity in our industry lies in the very near future. So rather than thinking light years ahead, we focus just ahead of the curve. In crowded, commoditised categories, being 10 minutes ahead effectively puts you way out in front.
Innovation in advertising is about more than just new technology. It’s about new experiences that go beyond old norms, it’s about ingenious new ways of reaching the audience, changing attitudes and creating behaviour.
As part of the celebrations for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, we wanted to find BMW’s biggest fan. So in a BMW first, we built an interactive Twitter chatbot, designed to put the public’s knowledge to the test. The more you knew, the better your chance of winning the Ultimate BMW Prize Package. And we did well too, with an average dwell time of two minutes and 12.7 interactions a session (five is the industry norm).
The new Huawei P20 Pro smartphone essentially puts a professional camera in your pocket. We took its advanced AI technology, which is trained to help you take amazing pictures, and built an interactive chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Budding photographers could then upload their photos, where they were reviewed and rated by the P20 Pro’s AI algorithm. Already, we have had over 700,000 entries.
We launched the new BMW 5 Series with a Facebook first – a BMW Genius session streamed via Facebook Live. Hosted by a BMW Genius and ambassador, viewers were taken on a live tour through the model, followed by a Q&A. The event drove a highly engaged audience to BMW’s website, who then spent four times longer on the site than usual.
We developed a platform-first for Spotify. Using their data, we identified women who hadn’t listened to their workout playlist for 30 days or more. We then sponsored their listening session and took over their desktops with our brand film to inspire them to dust off their workout playlist and get moving. This media buy and data usage, which had never been attempted before, made our message so relevant and compelling that we beat Spotify benchmarks for engagement five times over.
To drive awareness and social conversation around the innovative BMW i8, we used AI to identify influencers that not only aligned with the brand and brand values, but also have a high level of influence amongst the target audience. Our influencers spent a weekend driving the i8 through the UK, illustrating to their audience what it’s like to live ‘a day in the i8’.
Coffee shop loyalty schemes are nothing new. So we offered something different to customers of our Change Please coffee. Using cloud-based AI, we developed a virtual loyalty cloud where customers simply had to tweet a photo of their cup to receive a stamp on a virtual loyalty card. Every tweet raised awareness and, with three stamps, customers received a free coffee.
To launch BMW’s online retail centre, we created software that let customers scan an image of their perfect BMW and buy it on the spot. Partnering with Shazam, the installation at King’s Cross train station became a fun and tangible way to bridge the gap between physical and online worlds.
Together #WePlayStrong invites girls across Europe to play football. But to really get girls behind this campaign, we wanted them to make it their own. From GIFs on GIPHY (which integrates into 600 platforms) to a musical.ly partnership and an iMessage sticker pack, we gave them the tools they needed to really co-create and participate. And it worked. Without any ATL spend we’ve had over 200 million views and 1.02 billion impressions, and our GIPHY channel has had over 330 million views. We were awarded a Bronze Lion at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for our efforts.