Marketers never cease to amaze me. After even just a few years in the industry, it's tempting to sometimes think you've seen it all. But you haven't, and you never will. Because new great marketing ideas that leverage the latest technologies are always around the corner. So many, in fact, that some slip through the cracks and don't get quite the recognition or accolades they deserve.
You likely missed some of these campaigns because most of them originated overseas. But let's set our baseballs, pies, and American pride aside for a second and recognize that great work happens everywhere. You might want to consider taking a page from these creative endeavors when you head into your next brainstorm.
Eristoff: "Howl With The Wolves"
It's "the first digital and real-time interaction ever between humans and wolves." OK. That sounds ridiculous. But it's a "first," and sometimes that's all it takes for a campaign to get noticed.
In Belgium, Eristoff vodka -- "vodka from the land of the wolf" -- challenged its fans to prove they were the real "nightwolves" they claimed to be. The brand set up a live webcam feed with a pack of wolves and let Facebook fans howl at the wolves. The ones who got the wolves to howl back (19 people actually achieved this) were "accepted into the pack" and awarded tickets to a dance festival.
Maybe live chat sessions with wolves aren't a fit for your brand. But maybe you can come up with something as awesome or bizarre that is.
Stussy and FreshCotton.com: "Baked"
OK, so this campaign wouldn't have flown in the U.S. -- not until very recently, that is. And even now, only in a couple of states.
This campaign represented a partnership among Stussy, European online fashion hub FreshCotton.com, and Chef Misha Sukyas. A special Stussy Amsterdam tee was offered exclusively through the Amsterdam-based FreshCotton. The retailer featured the shirt in its spring collection lookbook, which was re-engineered as Amsterdam-inspired cookbook. And by "Amsterdam-inspired" we mean -- yes -- laden with the use of street-legal drugs as ingredients.
The campaign was complete with cooking videos featuring Chef Misha, and kudos to the campaign for keeping the cuisine haute. We're not talking pot brownies or lollipops here. We're talking dishes like "veal in a salvia divinorum crust with magic truffles and marijuana."
With marijuana now legalized in both Colorado and Washington, it will be interesting to see which brands in the U.S. have the brass rocks to align themselves with what is an increasingly accepted subculture.
Original Source: 3D audio experience
Original Source, a U.K. shower gel brand, is letting its customers pick its next special edition fragrance. OK, so crowdsourcing a version of a product via your fans isn't new. But the way the brand is doing it is. Rather than handing out samples or simply describing the fragrances to people, the brand is encouraging people to put on their headphones and virtually experience the fragrances via a "3D audio experience."
(Seriously, put on your headphones for it.)
The Facebook-based campaign collects votes for the scents via comments, "likes," and retweets. It also asks fans for three-word reviews of the fragrances, one of which will be used on the winning product packaging.
Tourism Victoria: "Melbourne Remote Control Tourist"
Tourism must be a challenging business these days, so I like to see regions getting creative with their marketing. In this case, Tourism Victoria launched the "Melbourne Remote Control Tourist" campaign. The idea was to give people the opportunity to "go before you go." In other words, they could explore Melbourne before visiting. This was accomplished over a five-day live period during which online visitors could direct real people in Melbourne (the "remote control tourists") to be their eyes and ears in the city.
The resulting video, when the many hours of footage were distilled, is pretty cool and a great testimony to Melbourne and the people who live there.
Speaking of innovative tourism boards, the Canadian Tourism Commission also nailed it back in 2012 with its "35 Million Directors" campaign, which crowdsourced 65 hours of footage from its citizens and edited it down into a pretty amazing two-minute promotion for Canadian tourism. Three cheers for the great white north!
Haagen-Dazs: Concerto Timer App
Lest I be accused of being unpatriotic, let's wind up back in the good ol' U.S. of A., shall we? Did you get a load of the Haagen-Dazs Concerto Timer app this past summer?
Now, I got bored with augmented reality for augmented reality's sake a while back. But the thing that is charming about this app is that it serves a real -- albeit trivial -- purpose in a unique way. When you point your phone at your carton of Haagen-Dazs, a musician appears on top and plays you a two-minute concerto. That, according to the ice cream, is how long ice cream should be allowed to temper (warm up on the counter) before eating.
Yes, it's silly. But it's fun. And in a stroke of brilliance, the app allows you to add more musicians to the performance if you point your phone at multiple cartons of Haagen-Dazs. And since I personally require no fewer than eight pieces in my ice cream orchestra, this campaign will be going straight to my thighs.
Drew Hubbard is a social media strategist and owner of LA Foodie.