Not long ago Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of ad agency holding company WPP, proclaimed creativity was slowly fizzling out in Western nations. Others, such as BBH’s Sir John Hegarty, have said the industry has become too obsessed with technology and it has forgotten that creativity is often the driving force of the industry.
To celebrate creativity around the world, but also to educate creatives and marketers in the US, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has released its first-ever “What Works & Why: IAB Global Insight Report.”
It features 18 of the most effective digital ads from around the world and dives into why those campaigns succeeded. In previous years the IAB has focused its insight reports on ads from the US. This year marks the first year that it has created a global report.
“There’s so much great work from all around the world but because of our own resistance to other cultures we aren’t able to see it because we don’t think about other places,” David Doty, EVP and CMO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, tells Business Insider.
To create this list, the IAB reached out to affiliates across the world (in 33 countries) and asked them to nominate a handful of award-winning campaigns. Then, the IAB spoke with some of the most well respected people across the business, from advertisers to marketers and publishers, to find out what makes these campaigns better than the rest.
We’ve complied a few of the top innovative digital ads from around the world, but the full report, featuring all 18 ads plus insights, can be found here.
'Push To Add Drama' was deviously created by TNT Belgium to publicize the launch of the US-based TNT network in Falnders, Belgium. TNT took to the streets of Flanders and set up an ominous red button with a big arrow pointing to it reading 'Push To Add Drama.' The ad focuses in on a few brave souls that decided to push the button, and the events that unfolded after they pushed it.
The ad brought in over 39 million views on YouTube, received 290,000 likes, and had more than 4.1 million shares on Facebook making it the second most shared ad ever, according to the IAB.
Here's a look at TNT Belgium's launch campaign:
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TNT had a big mission to live up to when launching in Belgium. The launch overseas needed to live up to TNT's signature tag line, 'We Know Drama,' but in a completely new environment. Luckily, the idea of drama seems to transcend easily overseas and as Marcel.li Zuazua, CEO and founder of Herraiz Soto & Co explains, the message in this campaign is simple and to the point.
'The principal ingredient of surprise converts fiction into the best supporter of reality. Living it in the first person is the perfect accompaniment,' Zuazua says. 'Using spectacle as communication is a great creative route.'
By taking the drama we all know and love from our TV sets and bringing that chaotic madness to life, TNT Belgium was able to win over YouTube viewers and got more than 2,100 blogs and news sites across the world talking about the brand.
'The World's First Really Live Pig Feed' connected people living city lives to those in the countryside. More specifically, it gave people a chance to feed some very hungry pigs.
Compassion in World Farming set up a giant billboard in London, which was connected to an actual farm in Buckinghamshire, over 50 miles away. The billboard gave people a chance to hop on their smartphones and donate one pound to feed a pig an apple. The best part was that users could then use their smartphones to throw the apple to the pigs and could look to the billboard to see the apple being thrown.
People threw over 500 apples in just five days and over 500,000 people saw the interactive billboard.
Check out the billboard in action:
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According to Rich Coggin, a creative partner at Spinnaker London, the pig feed campaign is so succesful because it was so brilliantly simplistic. It took a big issue that Compassion In World Farming wanted to tackle, educating people about organic and free-range farming, and made it relevant and important for people living miles away in a big city.
'Pigs seen in the City. It's such a lovely, simple idea -- bringing people closer to understanding the issues of world farming through a clever, technologically driven concept that's memorable, fun, and original,' Coggin says of the campaign.
The campaign won the IAB MIXX UK's Boldest Brand Award in 2013.
A shocking video of a millionaire attacking and discriminating against an employee in Mexico, paired with the shocking statistics that 30% of Mexicans feel their rights have been violated lead to an enormously successful Twitter campaign.
Oglivy & Mather Mexico and the Memory and Tolerance Museum teamed up with the National Autonomous University of Mexico to create a visual depiction of discrimination and harmful dialogue through a gun that was connected to Twitter and updated in real time.
Some of the country's trending hashtags for example were actually offensive or insulting, but this campaign used that to its advantage, firing off red paint bullets to demonstrate the harmful language people were tossing around online.
The 'Tweetbalas' or 'Tweet Bullets' campaign created a paint gun machine that fired off red paint bullets for every 20 discriminatory tweets.
'Tweetbalas' had over 2,000 Twitter mentions in just 18 hours and eventually accounted for $US900,000 worth of free advertising. According to Javier Dorrego, CEO of marketing agency Crossmedia, Ogivly & Mather Mexico's 'Tweetbalas' leveraged social media and digital advertising to reach people all over the world and spread an important message at the same time.
'Digital advertising is not only about creating big ideas for existing media, but also about inventing things that can powerfully communicate a brand message in completely unique way,' Dorrego says. 'Ogilvy did just that with Tweetbalas.'
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