The Top 10 Digital Campaigns of 2013

Everyone loves lists! At least we do. In the spirit of Siskel and Ebert, or in Australia, David and Margaret, we (my colleague Andrew Yeoh and I) decided to put together a list of our favorite digital campaigns of 2013. Hope you enjoy, because agreeing to what entry goes where resulted in a fair bit of pain and disagreement! Enjoy.

10. WestJet Christmas Miracle

Erik Hallander: Please don’t tell me this was all staged! I prefer living in a fantasy where this could happen!

Andrew Yeoh: C’mon, you knew this had to be on the list, just for the feel good factor and in time for the holiday spirit! I love how they took the KLM Surprise gifting idea from a few years ago and extended it with an interactive Santa installation.

9. The Hobbit: A Journey Through Middle-Earth

EH: An advertisement for a movie AND a browser? I’m sold. So pretty.

AY: Absolutely immersive experience and the narration by Sir Ian McKellen (i.e. Gandalf) is just the icing on the cake. Love all the mini-games.

8. McDonalds: Happy Table

EH: Like any other great idea, “so simple!” comes to mind. Great concept.

AY: Love the fact that it appeals so strongly to the target audience (kids), also brilliantly simple in execution.

7. Chipotle: The Scarecrow

EH: If this campaign was JUST the film, I’d still adore it. But there was so much more. Nailed it guys!

AY: As a short film and piece of storytelling, rivals the best Pixar can offer. The game itself is amazing. Of course, organic farming may not be the answer to the world’s food shortage, but that’s a whole other discussion.

6. Smart TXTBKS

EH: Honestly, this is a perfect example of innovation in our industry.

AY: Great illustration of a world changing idea driven by “outdated” tech. Totally redefined the mobile award category at Cannes, epitomizing function over form.

5. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme

EH: I daresay every single person in our ~135 people strong office watched this.

AY: Already past 60 million views as we speak, while skeptics may question the effectiveness of a viral video, especially for commercial trucks, it’s still an example of cost-effective storytelling at its finest. Continuing in the rich vein of Volvo’s other stunt videos.

4. Amnesty: Trial by Timeline 

EH: I was judging Digital Asia Festival and when I came across this entry I got actual goose bumps.

AY: Loads of campaigns scrape facebook data to ‘personalise’ an experience, this is the only one that leaves you with a lasting, haunting impression. Amazing work from across the Tasman.

3. The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented 

EH: Robotics, a fantastic cause and a spectacular idea in one feel good combo. Love it.

AY: Bridging the online and offline world to raise funds for a good cause, brilliant!

2. Coke Ahh

EH: I honest to god played Cat or Not” about fifty times. Pretty sure I’m an expert.

AY: My personal favorite is the Sound of Ahh by Youtube Stars KHS. Great first “all-digital” campaign by Coke with amazing depth.

1. Oreo: Daily Twist

EH: I happened to be in San Francisco during the last day of Pride, and when I saw the rainbow Oreo in store windows I nearly lost my infamous calm. How good was this campaign!

AY: Once again, outstanding example of a simple idea with superb execution, in essence, 100 high quality print ads in 100 days – published, shared and amplified online.

But no list would be complete without a special mention. And we both agreed on this one, surprisingly special mention goes to Coin.

EH: I hope hope hope this product doesn’t get destroyed by legal blockers. It’s such a perfect utopian concept.

AY: Cutting edge tech to simplify your life. What’s not to like?

That pretty much sums up our top 10. Obviously we’ve omitted a great deal of amazing work, but subjectiveness is tricky business. In conclusion, here are some bonus insights if you’re looking to create award-winning work.

1. Do good = feel good = creative gold!

2. Create multi-layered experiences with high quality, micro-content.

3. Storytelling almost always trumps fancy visuals.

4. Make tech meaningful. Gimmicks rarely result in good ROI.

Did we miss anything out? Tell us your favorite campaigns in the comments below to continue the discussion.

May all your campaigns be creative, compelling, and world changing! Here’s to a great 2014!

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