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The best digital ads of 2012

The holidays are here again. What better way to celebrate 2012 than to take a look at the ads that broke through the clutter? Here is our pick of 10 ads that were not only innovative and eye-catching -- they also yielded great results for the agencies and brands involved.

Mazda2 homepage takeover with synchronized units

The creative team at JWT put plenty of zoom-zoom into this smart homepage takeover ad in which robotic arms deftly deconstruct and reassemble the entire page to showcase the new Mazda2, a newly reassembled vehicle with less weight and more zip. Developed with the brand's fun-to-drive spirit in mind, the takeover was created to promote the model's new slimmed-down design and slimmed-down pricing for the ad's audience.
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Sensodyne "Repair and Protect"

Working with creative agency Grey's concept, Clusta built and animated a rich takeover not typically used for toothpaste to promote the groundbreaking science behind Sensodyne "Repair and Protect" toothpaste. Utilizing multiple post-production techniques, Clusta animated the homepage to demonstrate the exposed areas in teethcausing pain and sensitivity and then repaired them demonstrating the toothpaste's innovative Novamin technology. The ad needed real cut through, which Clusta achieved by exposing areas of the home page using creative lighting effects and sound FX.
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Nissan Qashqai with 360 degree webcam

OMD developed a winning strategy for the launch of the new Qashqai integrated 360 degree webcam that synergized the innovative spirit of the brand with the pursuit of new emotions. The goal was to trigger the interest of users and encourage them to experiment with the brand using the so-en-vogue PC-mobile combination. This helped to position the brand as one that strives for technology and innovation. Consumers in Spain loved this ad, for obvious reasons.
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Samsung Smart TV

The main concept behind the Samsung Smart TV creative was to showcase its unique UI, together with the enriching content offered by the TV using online properties. Through subtle usage of speech bubbles, videos, and hand icon representation to simulate motion and voice control experience online, Samsung was able to create something unique that offers engaging user interactivity plus strong brand awareness and recall for Samsung. The success of the concept is reflected in the benchmark-breaking results of the campaign.
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CBS Volvo S60 in-stream video

Volvo's all new S60 is racier and more powerful than any Volvo before. They like to say it's up for some fun. That's where the idea of "Naughty Volvo" came from. The term was both provocative and polarizing, forcing people to think of Volvo in unexpected ways. This ad unit was the perfect extension to the "Naughty" campaign, giving users the chance to be naughty themselves. They could drive the car over the banner leaving behind a pattern of tire marks as well as kick up dirt, gravel and oil across the screen. This was really great execution.
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REI homepage takeover with carousel

BBDO developed a "gear that inspires" strategy targeting outdoor enthusiasts who have a symbiotic and emotional relationship with their gear: they expect gear to continually evolve through technology and their gear challenges them to reach goals they've set for themselves. The goal was to emphasize REI's deep understanding of this relationship and its ability to provide gear outdoor enthusiasts want and need in every situation Mother Nature brings their way.
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Samsung "Take Part" Olympics expandable ad

Calling all Olympic Games fans across the globe! Samsung, the official wireless partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, built this expandable banner ad to promote its Olympic games app, Samsung Take Part 2012. The app allowed you to play games and compete with friends.
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Gatorade win from within synchronized banners

Iris Worldwide developed "Win from Within" as part of Gatorade's 2012 brand campaign in a bid to build awareness and consumer education of the "G SERIES PRO" range. Utilizing Gatorade's British Cycling and Triathlon assets, it built a range of talking banner suites to showcase the science behind the range, whilst integrating teasers for three new videos, to encourage interaction on specific cycling and triathlon websites and ultimately drive purchase of the range via Gatorade's online store.
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"The Campaign" homepage takeover and trip to win!

To promote the release of Warner Bros. new election comedy "The Campaign," starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, creative agency Substance, working with PHD, designed and built a Sliver format for the MSN Sports homepage. The aim was to showcase the trailer and encourage users to vote for their favorite character by simply clicking on their face. Results were collected in almost real-time and the units "remembered" which character the user voted for so that on viewing the ad for a second time, they would get a "personal thank you" message from the candidate.
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Dannon VPAID

Dannon wanted to increase the engagement of its creative campaigns on the internet, so it agreed to test new formats that increase levels of interaction. The new VPAID interactive pre-roll was a perfect solution that converts a linear spot into something new. The user can now interact and learn more about the product and get discounts for testing.
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When you add great creativity to cutting-edge ad technology, the sky is the limit for what you can do to engage your audience. Top agencies are getting increasingly smart about their use of media, creative, and data for enhanced campaign performance. Whether it's rich media, video, dynamic ads, mobile or other emerging media, marketers must keep experimenting to take advantage of all the cross-channel opportunities technology makes available.  

Samson Adepoju is the communications and PR manager at DG MediaMind.

On Twitter? Follow Adepoju at @SamsonAdepoju. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Samson Adepoju is the Communications and PR Manager at DG, with responsibility for DG in North America. He communicates the company’s corporate and product messaging externally and serves as DG’s primary contact with outside PR...

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