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A sign of the times

Let’s face it, we’ve become a nation joined at the hip with technology. So what better way to get an advertising campaign into the public eye than by putting an interactive spin on it? Interactive ads are a brilliant way to engage the public and inspire support for a campaign. And now, more and more advertisers are jumping on the interactive band waggon. We’ve been sharing plenty of them among the creative team, and here’s a pick of some of the best.
Sounds like a plan

Plan are on a mission, a mission to give girls more choice about their future. And they’re doing it with the help of some very clever bus shelter ads.
Their ads have a built-in facial recognition scanner which cleverly detects your sex and shows you a  different video depending on your gender. Girls receive the full ad which includes various success stories to inspire them to give support. And boys receive some shocking statistics and only half of the ad to demonstrate the lack of choices girls have around over the world. They’ve already had great success with more than 100,000 youtube views and 1,000 Facebook mentions. Which gives hope that Plan’s plan is grabbing some attention.
Down on the farm

Ever wanted to feed a pig without trudging through a smelly, muddy field in your wellies? Of course you have, and now thanks to Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) you can do just that.

CIWF have created the world’s first real live feed which allows shoppers to feed Patsy the pig on a giant Westfield shopping centre billboard. All it requires is a £1 text donation, after which you are sent a unique URL link which connects you to an online broadcast of Patsy. The broadcast then connects you to a machine that scatters feed for the pigs, and you get to watch Patsy scoffing away on your donation. Your donation goes towards CIWF’s campaign for free range farming and better welfare standards for animals everywhere. And we think it’s definitely something to squeal about.  
Hope to millions

Welcome to The Hope Tank, the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) first interactive billboard. Supporting their Mending broken hearts appeal, it encourages shoppers to add a zebra fish to The Hope Tank with a small text donation.

‘Why a zebra fish?’ you ask.

Well, a zebra fish has the amazing ability to heal its own heart, something the BHF want to achieve for people everywhere. They are hoping to raise £50 million for research into the fish’s regenrative abilities, which could give hope to millions of people with damaged hearts. After sending your text donation your fish will be plopped into The Hope Tank for all to see. And what’s more, you’ll even get a personalised message on the billboard, thanking you for your support.

Every cloud has a silver lining

It’s that cold, wet and miserable time of year which gets us all wishing for white sandy beaches and Palm tress. And now lowcostholidays.com are capitalising on our winter blues for their Wish you were here campaign.

Their billboard asks passersby ‘Where are you thinking of going today?’ while capturing them with a hidden camera. It then relays the image back at them with holiday destinations in thought bubbles floating above their heads.

It’s proven to be a brilliant way of grabbing shoppers’ attention, as seen in their promotional video. And it’s even better for a lucky few who view the ad at it’s competition times for a chance to win a holiday. That would be enough to banish anyone’s winter blues.

Power up

What better way to advertise a new energy efficient car then with an energy efficient ad?

Well that’s exactly what Glue Isobar set out to do to to promote the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Partnering with PaveGen, a company which harvests energy from footsteps, the campaign uses PaveGen’s floor tiles to highlight the power of renewable energy. Using Ocean’s Eat Street location to showcase the car, shoppers walking past the screen and over the tiles help to create some of the energy to power the screen.

Each time a level of energy is produced, the car is ‘released’ to give one lucky shopper a free ride home. It’s aleady leaving footprints in the advertising world, winning the Ocean Outdoor digital competition. And it’s definitely got our stamp of approval.

Creative countdown

Here at Macmillan, we’re always sharing exciting projects among the creative team. And this is our round up of what’s got our creative juices flowing this month.

  1. Helpless

Imagine going through the toughest fight of your life and then dying in a way which could’ve easily been prevented. Well, that’s just what the latest ad from St. John’s Ambulance shows. It follows the journey of a man who finishes cancer treatment, only to die as a result of choking because no one knows basic first aid. Hard-hitting and moving, it powerfully draws attention to a very big problem.

  2. The $#*! Kids Say 

Despite coming out in March, I only recently stumbled upon this short film for the NSPCC’s Don’t wait until you’re certain campaign. Building on the success of the book $#*!  My Dad Says, it urges people not to ignore their niggling doubts about a child’s safety. And it highlights the fact that more than half of the people who contact the NSPCC have had concerns for at least a month.  

  3. First World Problems

Don’t you just hate it when your phone charger doesn’t reach? Or when you go to the bathroom and forget your phone? WaterisLife.com uses these ‘first world problems’ in their latest ad to highlight the need for clean water in developing countries. It draws on the ever-popular Twitter hashtag #firstworldproblems to give us all a big reality check that first world problems are NOT problems.

  4. Back to the Future

Admit it, at one time or another we’ve all squirmed at our old photographs, regretting those dodgy haircuts and fashion disasters. But luckily for us, photographer Irina Werning has roped some brave souls into digging out their retro snaps for her Back to the Future projects. Here she brings the past and present together, warts and all, in a series of stunningly recreated shots.

  5. Sea Change

It’s amazing how much can change in a few hours. Since 2003, photographer Michael Marten has shown this by travelling along the British coast photographing identical sea views at high and low tide. The result is a brilliant collection of shots showing the changes to our seasides.

Fashion safety

New technology from Scandinavia (I think)… a fashion item that turns into a cycling helmet / airbag on impact. Click to watch the demonstration of it in action.

The advice of a 52 year old ad hack

Brilliant site, great advice, made me laugh.
Check out more of his stuff here

Origami master, Eric Joisel dies

Knowing the creative team’s enthusiasm for origami, in tribute to the late Eric Joisel, here’s a link to a nice piece from the New York Times detailing his development from his first piece (a hedgehog made from a single sheet of paper) to his most recent groups of musicians.
Click here for a template download to make a very handsome rat.

Adieu, monsieur Joisel.

Visual Brainstorming

Getty images has released a visual brainstorming tool called Catalyst. Not only is it great for searching for images, it’s also great for finding related (and random) concepts which you might not have thought of. Great for those times when you don’t have time/money/other to organise a brainstorm with a creative team

Good stuff eh?

Have your brainstorms illustrated, LIVE!

Earlier this year, Macmillan’s Legacies team undertook a brainstorm session with various stakeholders, including people directly affected by cancer, as to whether we could more proactively make will writing information available to PLWC through Macmillan professionals. Working with media agency Happen, the brainstorms included an illustrator who captured comments, drew them as the discussions were ongoing and then stuck them on the walls – helping develop ideas further and providing a lasting legacy (groan) as to the outcomes of the session. If you’re at UKO pop along to the 11th floor where the illustrations are pinned up. And it’s a great idea that we might want to use to really get people’s creative juices flowing…

The Big Draw – lovely online game

Nice use of technology to support this year’s the Big Draw. Come on Creatives, let’s see what you’re made of! click here to play

Charity ad ties up the medium and the message

Hand-drawn lettering supremo Alison Carmichael has been used to illustrate the message on this beautiful (and simple) ad for the White Ribbon Alliance who campaign for better healthcare for women in Africa. Creative Review has a short report here on the piece and a link to their previous profile on Alison.

Art / Commerce / Social Commentary /…

Canadian artist, Holly Norris, takes on American Apparel with a series of photos featuring disabled model Jes Sachse, entitled American Able. So what’s her purpose?

‘I chose American Apparel not just for their notable style, but also for their claims that many of their models are just ‘every day’ women who are employees, friends and fans of the company. However, these women fit particular body types. Their campaigns are highly sexualized and feature women who are generally thin, and who appear to be able-bodied.’

Indeed AA’s claim has been disputed on websites such as Jezebel which documents faces of AA as being professional models from high profile agencies such as Elite – challenging the public perception that they represent anything different from the commercial norm where women (and men) are commodified through unachievable body type promotion, at it’s most simple, and rejection of anyone outside of specific ‘social’ coda as undesirable.

‘Women with disabilities go unrepresented, not only in American Apparel advertising, but also in most of popular culture. Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’

So, my marketing chums, do we, as a foward thinking organisation, challenge stereotypes or are we guilty of being part of the blah blah norm?

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