Some things have evolved so quickly in digital advertising that it can be a challenge to notice shifts in our medium that have taken place at a slower rate. One of these "pokier changes" has been toward genuine traditional/digital marketing integration. Oh, sure, there have been fabulously integrated campaigns almost since the days of "You've got mail." But they sure weren't the norm.
Looking back on 2009, it's clear that marketing has made a great deal of progress in genuine integration. Perhaps it is the tough economy forcing brands to make fewer dollars work to their fullest. Or the advent of new models that recognize that digital creative and media services cannot be provided under the same financial models as traditional ones.
For whatever reason, genuine integration has happened a lot this year. Here are five brands that did it well in 2009.
1. Levi's goes forth to change attitudes
Levi's has been struggling for years to get Americans to take ownership of the brand again. With its latest campaign, it just might achieve that goal. The campaign works to encapsulate all the best parts of Levi's pioneer heritage.
Some online pundits have questioned whether the use Walt Whitman's inspiring poetry -- and voice -- is contemporary enough for the brand's target. But the campaign's extension into the digital space is as fresh as it gets. Levi's is clearly banking on a highly involving digital component to reach young, trendsetting consumers.
Yes, other brands have asked users to take ownership of campaigns before. But the campaign's website provides a visually unique forum for users to post their version of "The New Declaration." People are responding in words, pictures, and vids.
This multimedia experience leverages a broad range of new media types to drive additional credibility and impact. Most provocative of all is the Go IV Expedition, which is an intricate treasure hunt with cryptic clues and puzzles that lead to $100,000 of American explorer Grayson Ozias IV's buried treasure. Staying true to millennial passions, the campaign also includes a charitable overlay that asks visitors to identify a charity to get an additional $100,000.
Will it stick as a campaign idea? Time will tell. But what is clear is how well conceived the integration is for this campaign.
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