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.
There are approximately 32 million deaf children worldwide, and many struggle to learn to read. By harnessing Huawei's AI technology, we have created the StorySign app. Developed with an understanding of sign syntax users simply hold their phone up to the words on the page and avatar Star signs the story as the printed words are highlighted, helping parents and children learn to read together. Together with Aardman, we created the avatar using state of the art motion capture technology and animation. StorySign can be downloaded for free from the Huawei App Gallery and the Google Play Store in 10 markets across Western Europe.
Developed in response to the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown with BMW showrooms closed for the first time, the BMW Virtual Viewer represents a step change in the digitisation of customer experience. Using WebAR, it enables customers to explore the BMW PHEV range via an immersive, personalised, completely mobile experience.
The AR Virtual Viewer allows users to place a new BMW PHEV anywhere in their environment. They can customise and play with the car, opening doors, turning the lights on, even playing the radio and discovering the inner workings of a PHEV in X-Ray view. The Virtual Viewer is the first experience of its kind to offer hands-free voice navigation. By talking to the chatbot users can explore all aspects of the experience and ask questions.
For BMW we launched the Play Next podcast with Edith Bowman. We wanted to ensure that BMW became synonymous with quality new music, technology and innovation. The 10 episode podcast series replaced the brand’s usual festival activations so needed to reach a large audience and retain its cool – while helping grow mainstream appeal. As well as helping source guests, we secured five Edith Bowman interviews in print and online, two features and 900+ online news stories. Overall we secured an opportunity to see of 95 million, and a media values of £35,000.
To reach younger audiences with the third phase of our This Girl Can campaign, #FitGotReal, we worked with TikTok to launch a hashtag challenge. The video-focussed platform is the latest breakthrough social media app, that has amassed a huge audience of highly-engaged creators, 65% of which are aged 16-24. We ran a national week-long challenge on TikTok, encouraging the audience to share their unconventional ways of getting active. Social influencers, including TV presenter Amber Doig-Thorne and football freestyler Liv Cooke, launched the campaign to which was also promoted This Girl Can’s own Instagram channel. The challenge generated an impressive 53.9M views.
The public are looking to online shopping experiences more than ever before, and Pinterest has seen a boom in users planning their next big purchase. The striking new BMW 4 Series launched in the height of a global pandemic, meaning that customers couldn’t easily visit a retailer and sit in a car. So, we developed an interactive 360°experience within the Pinterest platform that allowed users to explore the luxury interior, and its latest BMW technological features, first-hand. Making BMW the first UK automotive brand to take advantage of Pinterest’s Pin Extension advertising solution.
When Covid-19 hit, elite and amateur sport across the globe came to a halt. For fans of the Premier League across the world this left a huge hole in their sporting rituals, and with the inherent links between sport and mental health, this grew concerns of people’s mental health suffering while stuck in doors. So, we created an online video content series with ex-pros talking openly about the mental health issues they suffered during their careers. Utilising the production resources of Premier League Productions, guests, such as Alan Shearer, Glen Hoddle, and Michael Owen, were interviewed in the comfort and safety of their own homes. They spoke candidly about moments of struggle throughout their careers while offering advice on how they coped in a down to earth manner for the Premier League’s global audience.
To launch the new BMW 3 Series, the most technologically advanced car in its class, we ran the UK’s first automotive personalised dynamic video campaign on YouTube. The new model is the most responsive yet, so we bought this to life online. Users were served creative that responded to multiple conditions simultaneously to create bespoke film content. The combination of location, time of day and search history created 264 individual film possibilities. The dynamically optimised campaign generated 4.3million impressions.
With the new OnePlus 8T smartphone, charging to 75% only takes 15 minutes, removing the need to worry about battery. To bring this to life in a fun way to our young audience, we coined a term #FORO – Fear Of Running Out. With the new phone, #FORO is a thing of the past! Using Giphy, we created a huge bank of assets to make it as easy and compelling for the brand and their ambassadors to communicate this and other great features in the phone. On top of this, we also created ‘in community’ assets to fuel conversations among the active OnePlus community. In just 2 weeks we reached over a million views and the campaign is still running with daily uses of the assets across all platforms.
Nearly 1 in 4 people in the UK live with a long term health condition. The one thing uniting this audience is the unpredictability their condition introduces into their days. Some days they can move how they please, and others getting out of bed can bed is a challenge. That’s why We Are Undefeatable, alongside 15 of the UK’s leading health charities, created My Daily Undefeatable – a behaviour change intervention designed to help our audience reframe what “exercise” means, appreciating every little victory. The Facebook chatbot offers regular check ins with users about how they’re feeling, how they’ve been able to move that day, and how they might move tomorrow, delivering positive reinforcement along the way.
To promote Kleenex’s Allergy Comfort range, we targeted consumers with a hyper localised message. Using Smartly powered by Accuweather, we identified days when pollen count was high in 5 areas across the UK. Consumers would then receive a localised message warning of high pollen count in their area and directing them to product purchase.
The new BMW 3 Series is the most technologically advanced in its class, so to launch the new model we knew we needed to think outside the box. To bring the new design, integral technology and superior performance of the latest 3 Series into the spotlight, we strove to capture the symbiotic nature of the car responding to the driver. To promote Alexa’s integration in the new 3 Series, we created a voice skill that gave people an audio tour of the car and its innovations. Using voice commands to explore the new design details, integrated technology and performance specifications – as well as linking to BMW.co.uk for a test drive – the Alexa skill brought the magic and power of the new BMW to life in a truly interactive, personalised way.
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 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.
As part of the BMW Plug-in Hybrid campaign “Sometimes electric, always BMW,” we partnered with Global to develop a world-first media activation for BMW. Global ran 30” Radio ads across Capital and Radio X. Each time these radio ads aired, 56 roadside digital out of home screens across London simultaneously switched to show the BMW PHEV campaign, heightening awareness among drivers.
The Big Issue’s business model was struggling to evolve in an increasingly digital and cashless world. So, we transformed the way the magazine is sold by creating the world’s first resellable magazine. Each magazine is provided with its own QR code so once buyers have finished reading their magazine, they don’t bin it, they sell it on. The result is a social echo where the money is sent to the vendor time and again. To receive payments directly, vendors needed bank accounts; however, with no fixed address they were precluded from the financial system. So, we partnered with Monzo, who changed its policy. Not only can vendors now receive mobile payments, they have also taken a vital step towards financial inclusion.
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. Through this multi-channel, socially-led campaign we had over 200 million views and 1.7 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.
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 and we achieved this in just a three week turnaround. 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).
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.
To showcase the qualities of the BMW 4 Series, we created a suite of very short, very exciting, 4-second films which were unmissable… and unskippable. Creating content that fit into the time-pressured lives of our target audience, users were served YouTube pre-roll ads which told them everything they needed to know about the BMW 4 Series, before they had a chance to skip it. Users were then sequentially re-targeted with executions to showcase the breadth of the vehicle. 4 in 4 was a digital first campaign, which ran across Social, YouTube, Digital Display and DOOH.
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. Over 50 influencers in 10 different countries spent a weekend driving the i8 through the UK, illustrating to their audience what it’s like to live ‘a day in the i8’.