Digital campaigns and traditional advertising are much like oil and water. Rarely do they mix together and when they do, it's usually a case of tacking on Facebook integration for the sake of it. However, there are a number of great campaigns out there that thought outside the box and delivered some truly innovative campaigns that bridged the gap between real world and digital. Here are some of our favourites.
Facebook Face Recognition
In Israel, Coca-Cola decided to combine Facebook and face recognition technology to create FaceLook. By setting up machines across a theme park, it gave visitors a way of logging into their Facebook account using only their face and allowing them to post status updates. Simple, and a great example of the real and virtual worlds blending together.
C&A's Facebook 'Like' Hangers
When Brazilian fashion retailer C&A decided to make its hanger digital, it came up with a brilliant idea to show how popular certain items are. They did this by allowing its hangers to display the number of likes each piece of clothing got on Facebook. That way, when customers wandered into the shop, they could see what the most wanted items are. This would make them more likely to purchase the item if they saw that it was more desirable. (Note: English subtitles are available by selecting captions in the video)
Singapore's Biggest Tipping Jar
Designed to promote a reality TV series called 'Can You Serve,' BHH Asia Pacific created this giant vending machine which was filled with $1 coins. People could choose the establishment they wanted to tip by 'liking' it on Facebook. Once they did, a $1 coin would roll down the machine and make its way into the tip jar.
Twitter Vending Machine
South African brand BOS Ice Tea created this vending machine in Cape Town that serves you beverages whenever you tweet it. Through its own account, users would tweet the vending machine using the hashtag #BOSTWEET4T and it would dispense them a drink.
Swedish Army Recruitment
Looking to find 4,000 applicants for 1,500 new positions, the Swedish armed forces came up with a unique way of getting people's attention. Revolving around helping others (since that's what the armed forces do), a large box was placed in Stockholm city centre. Different individuals were locked in the box for a minimum of one hour with no contact from the real world. They could only be saved by those on the outside, who would replace them and the cycle would continue.
KLM Live Reply
For a while, KLM could do no wrong with its social media campaigns, releasing hit after hit with amazing regularity. This stunt was to show that KLM replies to every single tweet within an hour of it being sent, and it did this by setting up a human powered billboard that showed the reply in real life.
Tesco QR Code Shopping
The original and by far the best example of its kind, Tesco set up a QR shopping area for busy commuters in South Korea. This allowed them to do their grocery shopping while they were travelling to and from work since their lives are so busy. The success of the campaign wasn't enough to make QR codes any greater than a fad, but it did prove that if you give it the right angle, they could be very useful.
Facebook Connected Wristbands
RFID hasn't received much love in recent times - although Samsung and Sony are trying to change that with its NFC tags - but much like Tesco's QR codes, RFID can really enhance an experience provided it's implemented correctly. Mobile network provider Orange did this by getting attendeees at the Roxy Pro 2011 surf event to sign in with their Facebook account and transfer that data to a bracelet that contained RFID technology. From there, people could post to their profiles and win daily prizes.
Angry Birds Live
Created for T-Mobile, people in Barcelona got to play a real-life game of Angry Birds through a smartphone and see the destruction unfold in front of them as they played. Genius in every sense of the word.
Another great use of QR codes displayed at the beginning of 2012 where Heineken, at a music festival, decided to give everyone personalised QR codes. Those attending the event could scan them and find out something interesting about said person, giving them a nice icebreaker.
The Amazing Mind-Reader
Not one that strictly uses social media, but still a great way of using social to hammer home a point. An online bank gets a 'psychic' to tell unsuspecting visitors detailed information about themselves, showing just how much information we reveal about ourselves online.
The Literal Twitter Follow-back
Pizza chain Mellow Mushroom took the concept of following on Twitter a bit too literally as it dreamt up of the this great campaign. For everyone who followed its Twitter account, it would have its mascot literally follow them in real life. With family and friends in on the act, it made what could have been a creepy idea into something fun.
Mercedes-Benz Twitter Race
Using only the tweets of fans to run their cars, Mercedes-Benz created this innovative campaign that pitted four drivers against each other, choosing their own path to the finish line. Four tweets was the equivalent of one mile and so it got a lot of engagement that made it a massively successful campaign.
KLM Meet & Seat
Another KLM entry, this time using the power of LinkedIn to connect you with passengers on your flight. Making it an opt-in service, you can choose what information to reveal about yourself and see a seat map of the plane, showing who else opted into the service. It wasn't as successful as its other campaigns but it did show that KLM was trying to take social media in a different direction, and give it more practical uses.
The Real-Life Facebook Wall
A small village in Switzerland called Obermutten decided to take the concept of the Facebook wall literally by creating their own physical Facebook wall. Anyone who liked the page would have their page printed out and put on the wall. What was a small campaign exploded in size, to the point that it was more engaging than Lady Gaga's, Coca-Cola's and Justin Bieber's Facebook pages.