Marketing Daily readers loved digital and mobile stories this year, and were also drawn to new campaigns with innovative digital components, including apps that actually worked. And as one leading story by mobile application company Tapjoy and market research firm Interpret found, adults 25-34 are more likely to value the influence of advertisements, and they recall seeing more ads while using mobile apps -- particularly video ads or fully sponsored/branded apps. Half of those who saw ads on apps clicked on them. About a quarter used those ads to get another app.
A lot of apps get forgotten, but apps with valuable, relevant content don't. In a top-ten story, Starwood Hotels and Resorts proved that with its app for iPhone, iPod and iPad, via Dallas-based BottleRocket. FaceTime integration (a first for any non-Apple company), fully integrated booking, member information, comprehensive hotel searches and travel details, customer service and social media make it a great loyalty booster.
Automakers are also hitting the most-read list with new creative, new strategy and new digital forays. Take Audi's use of the TED2012 conference in Long Beach, Calif. to talk about its long-term plans to talk about such products as its battery-electric Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid. It went digital on TED's “Social Space” and via a live Twitter feed through the #TEDAudi hashtag.
Lexus piqued readers' interest by veering from tradition: instead of using the traditional auto show stage to reveal its 2013 LS sedan, the luxury brand unveiled the car at an invitation-only event in San Francisco, "Lexus Laws of Attraction." It featured celebrity couples and a photo exhibition in which they are shown with the new vehicle.
Ford Fusion got the spotlight with a nudge from the ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest for the "Random Acts of Fusion" social push. Ford gave out 100 Fusions for social buzz. Like "Fiesta Movement" and "Escape Routes" before it, the giveaways used consumers as evangelists to talk about Ford vehicles to peers through social-media platforms.
Nissan grabbed eyeballs for a new, futuristic campaign support in a multi-vehicle launch cycle. The totally revamped creative initally for the new Altima, via TBWA\Chiat\Day, used a "Wouldn't it be cool" mantra, launching with a 60-second spot on TV and 3D cinema screens. Creative, using computer graphics, shows cars "exploding" to show their high-tech components, before reassembling again. There was also a digital "Innovation Garage" component.
Off the auto turnpike, readers took to new campaigns by consumer product brands and even Marine Corps recruitment. Readers were apparently energized by the shaving division of Energizer Personal Care, which did an online campaign that mocked Gillette for its Hydro 5 shaver. Touting "Hydrating Gel Reservoir," the new ads used football and baseball themes to say men prefer the Schick Hydro 5 over Gillette Fusion ProGlide at a better price. The Paper Mate division of Newell Rubbermaid launched its first global campaign, including a big online component for InkJoy pens. The humorous message: "World's Most Stolen," carried by the company's first-ever global campaign. Ads showed people finding ways to steal the pen.
The Marine Corps had stuck to "The Few. The Proud. The Marines" for years. That's probably why the story on its big change -- "Toward the Sounds of Chaos," via JWT -- was among the top ten. The creative showed Marines heading into humanitarian and battle situations, instead of standing at attention in dress blues. The campaign also aimed to boost the diversity of the Corps. In addition to TV there is a new site, www.marines.com, in-school, cinema, mobile and social media advertising.