5 Most Innovative Marketing Activation Campaigns


When I was younger, television used to be the device that occupied most of my time. Not anymore.

In the last year, I have spent more time in YouTube than I have watching TV. Nowadays, I spend more time on my laptop/cell phone than I do by reading a book, newspaper, watching TV and listening to radio, combined. Let’s face it, traditional media are gradually being replaced by something new. And so are traditional advertisements.

There’s no denying the fact that traditional advertisements are still important and effective. But the new mediums have fueled and strengthened another type of  promotion, the integrated “Marketing Activation Campaigns” . These type of campaigns are on the rise and have already proven their worth. In the last decade or so, we have witnessed some fabulous campaigns which took unprecedented steps towards increasing Engagement with Consumers, just by taking advantage of the new technologies and/or media.

Today, I am not going to share any analysis. I would rather share Five of my favorite Marketing Activation campaigns and my reasons for loving them. Here they come:

Marketing Activation Campaigns: Campaigns which focus on increasing engagement with consumers and generating positive word of mouth

1. T-Mobile Angry Birds Live

Barcelona, Spain

What I love about it:

  1. The Idea: T-Mobile associated itself with the most popular game of that time and capitalized on the hype that came with it. They then translated the smart phone game to a real life experience. This translation into a different medium was the major factor that made this campaign shine.
  2. Size Matters: I belong to the group that believes that size matters (at least in marketing)! T-Mobile could’ve easily recreated the virtual world of Angry Birds in a smaller setting; and they could’ve placed copies of that smaller setting in multiple locations. Instead, they focused on one big activity and made it large enough to leave a mark. That is what I love most about this campaign, the sheer scale of the setting.
  3. Unforgettable Memory: The prime objective of such campaigns is ensuring consumer engagement, on and off site. It’s important to create an event interesting enough to bring a large number of people to the scene, and to give the people a memory which is good enough to share with their friends on social media. T-Mobile took care of the both the parts masterfully as they launched the campaign in an open space which could accommodate a large number of people. And was the event worth sharing? Just think about it in this way, if you were present there that day in Barcelona, wouldn’t you have taken pictures and videos of those pig-hitting Giant Angry Birds and shared them in social media?

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Italy.

Tesco Home Plus

What I love about it:

  1. The Idea: Tesco faced a rather common challenge; the challenge of increasing sales to minimize the gap with the market leader. But they wanted to do it without increasing the number of physical stores. Tesco countered this challenge by first identifying the two major behavioral changes in its target consumers’ lives; Koreans’ increasing use of smart phones and their decreasing free time. The company then coupled them together, and came up with this brilliant idea of converting areas where people have to wait everyday into “Virtual Marketplaces”. With the help of smartphones and this gem of an idea, they converted people’s waiting time into shopping time. In the end, though they actually did increase the number of stores, in the form of virtual marketplaces,  they didn’t need to open any physical store.
  2. Piece of a Puzzle: What I loved about this campaign was the way it connected two unrelated factors and made them work for the cause. This made the final idea so neat that it felt like a completed puzzle without any pieces left.
  3. Direct Impact on Sales: Another interesting thing about this campaign was that it not only promoted and strengthened the brand but also positively affected the sales directly and immediately.
  4. New Distribution Channel: The major change this campaign brought in was the out of the box ideas which gave birth to a new distribution channel for the brand. The core idea of using common place waiting areas and converting them into shopping spaces was brilliant and very relevant for the target group.

Advertising Agency: Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, Korea

E-Mart Sunny Sales

What I love about it:

  1. The Idea: E-Mart wanted to change a negative into a positive. They were looking to find a way to increase sales during lunch time. To address this problem, they came up with an idea to offer discount to consumers during this hour. The waytheyofferedthediscountwasthemajorfactorthatmadethiscampaignsouniqueandinnovative.
    • There are companies in Bangladesh which can take a cue from this kind of time-specific campaigns and convert lean periods into highly profitable ones. In fact in the last Ramadan, restaurants in Bangladesh did so by promoting Iftaar and Seheri offers which more than covered for the sales loss they incurred during the lunchtime in Ramadan.
  2.  Nature & Technology: E-Mart targeted to change the sales pattern during lunch time by offering discounts. They decided to use QR codes, scanning which would reveal the discount or “Sunny Sale” to the consumers. However instead of printing the QR code, they made a 3D panel, where the shadow of the panel created the code. And they made the 3D panel specially so that the shadows showed the specific QR code only during lunchtime. The way they blended the technology with their offering was just outstanding.

Advertising Agency:Cheil Worldwide, South Korea

Coca Cola Share a Coke Australia

What I love about it:

Everything! This campaign created a direct connection with consumers, strengthened the brand image, encouraged huge consumer interaction, increased sales, and showed most importantly solved a problem the brand was starting to face. This is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant piece of work in marketing, ever.

If you haven’t seen this video already, you must now.

The campaign was developed by Ogilvy Australia.

S-Oil Here Balloon

What I love about it:

  1. The Idea: S-Oil promoted their brand in a unique way. Rather than talking about selling oil, they generated a conversation about saving it. They did this by addressing a common problem in Seoul, and the way they did made the campaign so powerful. By addressing the problem and connecting it with their brand offerings, S-Oil uplifted its brand image significantly.
  2. Positive Emotion: Though this campaign involved the least amount of engagement with the brand( compared to the other 4), I still think it’s a very effective engagement campaign because of the way it associated a positive emotion with the brand icon. It can be said with certainty that the sight of a S-Oil balloon either made the onlookers feel relieved or happy. Developing an icon which inspires happiness is no easy task, and S-Oil had done that quite effectively.
  3. Like, Share & Comment: This idea didn’t directly take advantage of any new technology, yet its effectiveness was propelled when the idea was shared through YouTube and other social medias.

Advertising Agency : Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, South Korea


Integrated Marketing Activation Campaigns : The Future of Marketing

Consumer Engagement is one of the most rewarding yet challenging aspect of Marketing. With Marketing Activation Campaigns like the above, consumer engagement is becoming much more effective. Also, because of the incessant and rapid progresses in different sectors of technology, traditional advertisements are slowly losing effectiveness. And for the same reason, Consumer Engagement, PR and Word of Mouth are gradually becoming much more important. “Virality” is now being considered as a parameter in judging the success of a campaign. Because of the fact that the above mentioned campaigns can generate positive Word of Mouth and PR while increasing engagement with consumers make them highly effective. Campaigns like these are the future of advertising. True, it’s hard to come up with and launch a campaign with similar  profound impact, but in a world where every one seems to be connected via the web, it’s worth the effort and expense.

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