The Intelligence Group, publisher of the Cassandra Report,
the ongoing study of young consumers, just announced the winners of the first
Cass Digital Awards, recognizing the best youth-focused digital marketing
initiatives of 2012.
The awards honor the companies and brands that "were able to
best capture the essence and imaginations of Gen Y through their marketing
efforts" in 2012, IG said in announcing the recipients.
"This is an exciting time for the advertising industry as so
many brands are constantly breaking new ground in their efforts to engage
elusive young consumers," said Joe Kessler, president, The Intelligence Group. "We
felt that it would be worthwhile to take a step back and bookmark some of the
cutting edge campaigns that are leading the way by putting their understanding
of young consumers into play in daring and unexpected ways."
Kessler added that "the best activations have two important characteristics
in common-each is true to the brand or product it represents and each displays
an element of technology innovation or creative expression which we hadn't seen
The Cass Award winners were selected by a panel of
Intelligence Group research "experts and trend analysts who have spent the last
year investigating the most effective ways of engaging with young consumers."
The winners include: Pizza franchise Mellow Mushroom;
JetBlue; Budweiser; Ikea; The Obama Campaign; Volkswagen; Target; Bodyform; Red
Bull; Neiman Marcus/Target; Oreo; Grey Poupon; and Topshop.
Here's a complete list of the winners and a description by
the Intelligence Group of each of the campaigns:
Best Live-stream Stunt: Red Bull Stratos Live Jump
The brand sponsored Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner in a
record-setting dive to break the speed of sound. The dive was shown by more
than 40 TV stations and 130 digital outlets, and some eight million viewers
tuned in to see Baumgartner set a world record in aerospace history. A
post-jump photo of Baumgartner, shared by Red Bull on its official Facebook
page, received nearly 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and 29,000 shares-in under
an hour. And the day of the jump, Red Bull dominated Twitter, as Stratos
accounted for half of the trending topics worldwide.
Best Small Space Solution: Ikea
To demonstrate its commitment to providing furniture
solutions for those living in limited spaces-namely young, lower-earning city
dwellers-Ikea crammed the contents of an entire warehouse into a 10.5 x 8.8 cm Web
banner. Despite its small size, the resultant banner was patently shoppable and
the retailer turned the once-thought-arbitrary sidebar Web banner into a
functional, useful, even enjoyable interactive application.
Most Effective Use of a Vlogger: Volkswagen's "Don't
Make-up and Drive!" PSA
Volkswagen tapped Nikkie, a famed "haul" vlogger, to create "a
crash course to shine" tutorial, in which a typical makeup lesson is brought to
an abrupt, potentially tragic halt in its simulation of a car crash. Within
just five days of its release, the video was viewed almost 130,000 times. In
the seven months since its initial release, it has received nearly 1.5 million
views, and has sparked significant social media discussion across the Web to
Most Creative E-Comm Integration: Target's Shoppable Film
Target's fashion-savvy rom-com features a scrolling sidebar,
which displays the items currently on-screen and allows users to click to
either purchase the item or share it via social media, without disrupting the
playback. The 12-minute mini-movie was rolled out in increments over the span
of a week, enticing shoppers to return to see the romantic plot play out to its
conclusion, and the items featured were sold in-store and online for a limited
Best Online-Offline Stalking: Mellow Mushroom's Giant
Mellow Mushroom's giant felt mascot, an anthropomorphized
stoner mushroom, followed consumers in real life, which rewarded select fans
with a unique and memorable experience and created dynamic, original and
eminently shareable content, in the form of amusing video footage of the giant
mushrooms trailing their unsuspecting victims.
Best Use of QR Codes: Budweiser
Budweiser outfitted a local bar with a QR code-enabled clock
that allowed happy hour socializers to extend the much-celebrated discount
drinking hours by one minute for every Bud purchased. By summer's end, some
50,000 drinkers had used the clock to extend happy hour by a sum total of 6,000
Most Clever Campaign About the Campaign: JetBlue
In JetBlue's Live Free or Fly campaign, the company ran a
promotion that offered voters a chance to win a free flight out of the country
should their favored candidate fall short at the polls. In the wake of Obama's
victory, the airline followed through on its word, sending 1,006 lucky/unlucky
Republicans on a defeat-driven trip abroad...with, of course, the option to
return should they so choose.
Best Application of Peer Pressure: The Obama Campaign's 'Remind Friends to Vote'
President Obama's strategists executed one of the first-ever
attempts at using Facebook on a mass scale to replicate the in-person,
door-to-door efforts of field organizers. Roughly one in five people who were
reached out to through the app ultimately acted on the requested civic
duty-primarily because the pressure was exerted by someone they knew.
Best Brand Response: Bodyform Video Response
When Richard Neill posted a tongue-in-cheek comment on
Bodyform's Facebook page, jokingly accusing the brand of lying for years about
how joyful and adventurous "that time of the month" can be (when really it only
turned his "loving, gentle" girlfriend into "the little girl from the exorcist
[sic]"), the feminine hygiene product brand opted to fight sarcasm with
sarcasm. After watching Neill's comment go viral, garnering some 100,000 likes,
Bodyform posted a witty video response, featuring a fictional CEO admitting to
having sugarcoated the harsh actualities of menstruation, and rehashing the
reality in detail-all because Richard had unwittingly demanded the truth. The
dry and biting video went viral, racking up more than three million views on
YouTube and propelling the little-known UK-based brand into the comedic
Freshest Ad: Oreo's Daily Twist
To celebrate Oreo's 100th anniversary, the cookie brand
challenged itself to create a new and culturally relevant ad every day for 100
days. By the end of the campaign's three-month run, likes, comments and shares
across Oreo's social media accounts had increased by 100%-rising from an
average of 7,000 to 14,000. Through social media engagement and an element of "daily
surprise," Oreo was able to keep fans tuned in throughout, giving them a "cookie
lens" through which to view unfolding world events.
Most Exclusive Filter: The Grey Poupon Society of Good
Grey Poupon turned away some fans who tried to like its
Facebook page, "the Society of Good Taste," and implemented an algorithm that
scanned profiles for things like entertainment preferences, vulgarity and
vocabulary to determine which "likes" would be accepted and which would be
denied. Though Grey Poupon arguably risked backlash for denying certain fans
entry, it nonetheless created an interactive Facebook experience and gave
accepted applicants reason to post about it on their own pages, in the form of
a sharable badge proclaiming their worthiness and good taste.
Best in Show: Topshop Live Fashion Show
For London Fashion Week last September, Topshop transformed
its seasonal fashion show into a bona fide social extravaganza, giving fans
unprecedented access to live, real-time content, and drastically enhancing the
availability of the many brand-new featured products. The Live Fashion Show ultimately
attracted more than two million viewers, and Topshop sold out of some of its
new lines even before the live-stream broadcast was completed. By lowering the
barrier to high fashion, and essentially opening its doors to the entire world,
Topshop turned a once-exclusive event into a globally significant experience
that both engaged and excited new and existing fans.
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