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Cannes Forecast: "I Wish I'd Done That"


Simon Richings, Executive Creative Director at AnalogFolk London on innovative ideas

Cannes Forecast: "I Wish I'd Done That"

The surge of epic online videos and viral stunts has continued in the last year, but there’s plenty of innovation happening too. Here are three very different pieces that have given me an acute case of ‘I wish I’d done that’ in the last 12 months.

‘The Social Swipe’ for Misereor by Kolle Rebbe Hamburg

One of AnalogFolk’s aims is to use digital to make the analog world better. The Social Swipe outdoor ads for relief organisation Misereor by Kolle Rebbe Hamburg are doing exactly that. They’re also a lovely lesson in how to bring a little delight to serious interaction design.

A credit card wipe slot runs down the centre of a video ad asking for your donations. As you swipe your card visually slices a piece of bread off for a hungry hand to take, or cuts the ropes binding the arms of an imprisoned child.

I believe the claim that, behind the scenes, it’s an incredibly complicated backend and secure transaction challenge, but the user sees none of that. It’s super-simple, and I can see the idea being everywhere soon - a successor to the coin-based charity box? Possibly, though whether anybody else’s animation executions will be so good or relevant is doubtful.

‘Last Square’ for Milka by Buzzman Paris

Product innovations with marketing in mind often involve adding something. It’s often a superfluous app or a tricksy bit of packaging, perhaps. Buzzman Paris did the opposite for Milka chocolate in France. They removed something: precisely one square of chocolate from every bar manufactured during the campaign period, leaving a satisfying geometric gap. The Milka Last Square promotion allowed people to claim back their missing piece or, alternatively, kindly send it to a friend - thus living out the brand idea ‘Dare to be tender’.

There have been dozens of ‘send friends or family a product sample’ promotions, but this one stands out. The sendable sample is evident and real from the moment you open the bar, despite it, well, being entirely absent. Sweet.

‘Blinkwashing’ for Virgin Mobile by Mother New York / Rehabstudio

Blinkwashing is a Flash application on Virgin Mobile USA’s Youtube channel. It needs access to your webcam to work. Flash? Webcam? Is it 2008? Nevermind that, this is really good and I hope it brings something home from Cannes.

Blinkwashing is essentially a sales message delivered by a man behind a desk, but every time you blink the ‘channel’  changes to another comedy theme - soap opera, medieval, bedtime story…

What doesn;t change, however, is the words. Whoever is on-screen, they keep going through the mobile offer, picking up exactly where the last channel left off. It’s a pure ad, unashamedly selling you something with plenty of factual detail along the way, yet every moment is fun. That’s a bit of Bernbach-like magic, right there.

A couple of months after this came out, there was that Bob Dylan video that used a very similar trick, but Mother NY/Rehabstudio’s Blinkwashing was first. And funnier. Sorry, Bob.

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Genres: People, Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:58:44 GMT