LAB’s Top 10 of 2010

Here’s a quick rundown of my own favourite marketing moments of 2010 spanning guerrilla, ambient, viral, social media and various other types of marketing. In no particular order;

1. Heineken

I said back in March this would feature on my end of year list, and it fully deserves to be here. It’s Candid Camera and Trigger Happy TV meets brand marketing. It’s elaborate without being convoluted and it still manages to make the hairs on the back of my neck stick up when the penny drops for the audience. Overall it’s been a good year for Heineken with several other memorable ads that included the walk in fridge.

2. IamAmIWhoAmI

Looking back over the year I have wrote about this music marketing effort several times, here, here, here and here. What I liked about the campaign I wrote in March (here) “an artist has harnessed the lack of her identity, and similarities between looks and music style to existing artists, to create a vacuum of information. This vacum has duly been filled with endless online chatter as to her identity thus making her one of the most talked about artists in the last few months, without anybody knowing who she is (yet). As I wrote in that piece last month, whoever it is she has somehow managed to get Christina Aquilera fans and die hard indie heads to listen to her music, two sets of fans that are fundamentally opposed, yet they are listening (so far) with open ears. If this makes the artist a hit with Christina fans and with the Indie set she has achieved something most marketers have failed to do in the past.

How Xtina fans (Christina Aguilera) thought this was her is beyond me. This thread has a staggering 567 pages on the subject matter. I wonder how many of those ‘this has to be Xtina’ fans went out and bought this after?

3. Crystal Swing ‘V’ Rubberbandits

In a year of much bad news here in Ireland we have had many funny moments. The slapstick moment when ‘man falls on ice‘ on the news , to the hilarious Rubberbandits and their Horse Outside. But one act edges it for Irish viral of the year and that’s Crystal Swing. They may lack the credibility of the highly acclaimed Rubberbandits, but it’s their unintentional success that edges them for me. For a few weeks you couldn’t move for Crystal Swing on Ellen, or with Lilly Allen, or on The Late Late Show (or on every radio station) or without hearing He Drinks Tequila. People loved or hated them, and the novelty might have worn off months ago, (their Youtube views peaked around Mid April and have grown much slower since), but the clip that ‘made’ them has still clocked up 800k in views so far. That may pale in comparison to the 4 million plus views The Rubberbandits have. But without Youtube and Twitter, Crystal Swing would still be nobodies in Cork and not plucked from small town Ireland obscurity by Ellen DeGeneres. They may return there, but they’ll have one hell of a story to tell.

4. PlaneMob

I really liked this. Clever, inventive and it really is Guerrilla marketing – taking marketing behind enemy lines as German Wings films an advert on an Easyjet flight. It’s in German but I’m sure you can get the jist of what the speech bubbles mean.

5. Samsung 3D

Remember before we were all “so over projection mapping”? Well this was the viral that really made me go ‘wow’, and it is wow. I still say its better than Ralph Lauren!

I also like the way they took the idea and added a little bit more to it on Youtube to become the first 3D takeover game.

6. ChatRoulette

2010 was also the year of Chat Roulette. When something bursts on the scene that manages to grab the zeitgeist in the way CR did earlier this year, you can be sure a marketing exec isn’t far behind looking for ways to cash in, I mean, erm, market something. I wrote about the service here and listed a bunch of marketing examples here. My own favourite example is this one from Dr. Pepper. What is the worst that could happen? Perhaps this is…

7. Old Spice

Wasn’t it good, oh so good? Wasn’t it…etc. This was great, but can I add more than whats already been said. It’s so over the top in so many ways, from the acting, to the production, to the Youtube video replies. Read about the full campaign here.

8. Tipp Ex / Val Sinestra / Arcade Fire

In this one post I summed up three excellent examples of video marketing  – Lost in Val Sinestra, Tipp Ex and Arcade Fire’s The Wilderness. All three are worthy of a mention on their own (and the latter two are below). What all three have in common, besides their ground breaking attributes, is that each of the examples allow a certain level of personalisation for the viewer. Val Sinestra pulls in your Facebook friends, Tipp Ex allows you to choose the next step in the story while the Arcade Fire pulls in bits of your life that are available on the web. Brilliant work that 2011 will bring plenty more of.

9. Augmented Reality

AR was another biggie of 2010 and I wrote a couple of posts on it here and here. What will all this converged technology produce down the line? An augmented reality world, populated by artificial intelligence created from our online selves? Perhaps, but in the meantime it’ll be full of really cool ideas like this…

Looking back at that video, the attention to detail is incredible. Look at how the computer generated ‘bad guys’ actually stand between rows of chairs, and how shooting them close up leads to a blood splatter on the screen. Although if games like ‘Manhunt’ on the PS2 can be linked to murders, God only knows what this kind of alternative reality gaming will be linked to.

10. Email Marketing for Brazilian Waterpark

I only saw this recently, and it struck me as being something really cool. In two years of writing this blog, I have never featured an email campaign for any brand, but this is just something really clever. It’s just one image, it’s so large I’ll just link to it from the Digital Buzz blog here. There must be something in the water in Brazil, because countless times I’ve featured marketing examples from that country. It would seem Brazillians know how to communicate messages in clever ways, usually using an established form of marketing such as Guerrilla or Ambient, as opposed to something that might be more ground breaking like Augmented Reality. Thats not a bad thing, if anything it shows Brazilians can really mine older forms of marketing and still find incredibly clever ways of telling us something.

So thats it, my top 10 for 2010. Feel free to agree or disagree on the suggestions above or add to mine below.

Happy new year, and see you in 2011!

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