Switched on: our top 5 creative tech campaigns (part 1).

Work alert

Technology has the power to connect, captivate and convince – and that’s why we love plugging it in to make marketing magic. Here’s a high five of our best dialled-in campaigns.

Our top tech campaigns
We’ve long had a love affair with all things digital and high-tech. We are unashamedly first-adopters, the first ones to rip off the packaging and plug in the latest gadget to discover how it works and how we can put it to use for one of our campaigns. To us it’s not just #MarTech, creative technology is our secret weapon in the war for attention, and it’s been our marketing USP for three decades. We’ve got a multitalented team of coders, developers, fixers and widget whisperers that have helped us win hearts and minds in both B2B and B2C audiences. In this brave new digitally disrupted world of ecommerce, fintech, NFTs, and the metaverse, emerging technologies are now even more useful and relevant.
  
Within all these complex technologies and digital transformations, there’s a simple truth: the first companies and brands to leverage new tech successfully are the ones that are going to embed themselves as innovative market leaders. Fact.   

However, all this technological greatness comes with a big, bold asterisk. You can’t just plug in the latest acronym in your campaign – Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) – and expect instant awards and record ROI. You need to know what to use, and when to connect brands, businesses and consumers in a memorable and meaningful way. From POAPs and AR singing shows to the anamorphic 3D billboards and crypto catwalks, you have a whole new digital toolbox to play with. 

Best of all: we’ve got a route map for best practice. You can use one of our five champion case studies as your next campaign wireframe (and we got another five on the way, too): 

The solution: a big and bold promo for this big-eat ice cream. Buy any Memphis Meltdown and win a Ford Ranger XL 4WD plus daily cash prizes. To make sure we connect with the brand’s fans, a simple but striking look and feel, where the prized Ford Ranger is conquering a triple-dipped, ice-cream inspired landscape, was applied to a host of POS and supported by ATL – including a giant billboard on the motorway.
1. Building an AR portal to success: Whitlock’s Tales of Delicious Demise.

Sizzle factor: Unlocking virtual portals for physical rewards. 
F. Whitlock & Sons® is a flavour-packed condiment company that needed to launch a new range of products. It started with a brilliant creative concept from 72&Sunny. The campaign artfully depicted how the product ingredients met their delicious demise, however, we were tasked with bringing this idea to life through an unforgettable digital activation.  
 
We did something that had never been done before: we created a fully immersive, interactive, gamified Delicious Demise adventure inside a Web AR portal. The game was inspired by the classic escape rooms, and players entered the portal using their phone’s camera. Once inside they were able to explore and interact with different objects in the CGI world to uncover and crack clues in order to progress to the next portal. We sweetened the deal with treasure chests and other prizes, but the biggest prize of all? An iconic campaign that broke records and conventions.  

2. Teaming up to tv ads with AR treasure hunts: Jaffa Cakes & Virtual Tokens.

Sizzle factor: Hitting the engagement sweet spot with a virtual token drop. 

Jaffa Cakes are a national treasure in the UK, so they deserved a campaign with tasty results. The challenge to us was to add seamless omnichannel engagement to their traditional TV ad format, so we crafted special digital tokens using a pioneering new technology. 
 
This is how our custom virtual token platform worked: after signing-up and watching the ‘TV’ ad via the bespoke Jaffa web app, consumers were asked to share their location. Digital tokens were then ‘dropped’ wherever they were (even inside their homes) which they could then view and collect using their phone camera and augmented reality. These virtual tokens were designed to be iconic elements from the TV ad (a crown, roller-skate, and of course, a Jaffa Cake), and by collecting them players could unlock different surprises, like a free pack of Jaffa Cakes or a Jaffa face filter. Collectors were able to redeem any product tokens at one of the four top grocer chains in the UK: Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury, and Asda) – another campaign first!  
 
The result: higher footfall, increased sales, better engagement, and of course, much happier ‘Jaffanatics’ all over the UK (we’re part of that group, too).

3. Sharing digital rounds for real rewards: CUB and Virtual Asset Tokens.

Sizzle factor: Raising funds and results with remote token technology. 

During lockdown in Australia, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) created the ‘For the Love of Your Local’ initiative to support local pubs. The campaign encouraged people to buy two-for-one beer vouchers while the bars were closed, so they could redeem them when the restrictions lifted.  
 
However, they needed help with a secure, seamless redemption system that would work across all the different POS systems at all the different venues. Bottom line: we needed to get over 150,000 vouchers to the purchasers in a format that everyone could use. Our solution had to be easy-to-use, platform-agnostic, and be able to be rolled out nationally. Easy…   
 
We created a data-rich, highly-measurable digital solution that used virtual tokens (this time in a different format to the Jaffa campaign) to safely connect 30,000 beer lovers with over 2,000 venues across Australia in a digital-first, user-friendly way. It raised over $1.8 million – we think that’s worth a toast!

4. Pouring innovation into education: Central Interceptor Discovery Centre.

Sizzle factor: Turning on the taps of engagement through technology. 

In New Zealand, one of the biggest problems that Watercare, an Auckland Council Organisation, faces, is that a large portion of the public wastewater pipes are corroded. When it rains, wastewater overflows into the waterways causing contamination. Their answer: the Central Interceptor, a massive wastewater tunnel! This tunnel is a gamechanger, but few people understand the depth of the wastewater issues and how much of a difference the Central Interceptor will make in their lives.  
 
Our job was to help educate communities about the issues, but it couldn’t be a dry, boring science lesson. So, we created a state-of-the-art Watercare Central Interceptor Discovery Centre, a decked-out trailer that can be moved around to community events, and which offers an immersive experience dialled up through technology. The trailer is split into two parts: Discovery and Adventure. The Discovery area is where the hands-on, cutting-edge interactive tech is found, including the touchscreen slide puzzle map, AR sandbox game, and VR video, while the Adventure area is a mini theatre with huge interactive LED screens on three sides. The mini theatre offers different visual and sensory experiences, like being inside the incredible Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) as it digs its way through the earth.   
 
We also created a beautifully animated character, Waimā the Longfin Eel, as a guide. Anguilla dieffenbachia is a long-fin eel which is endemic to New Zealand, and their numbers are currently declining due to ecological pressure. They live in the waterways, streams and rivers – and just like us – need clean water to survive. “Waimā” means clean water in Te Reo, and this character is used at all touchpoints.  
 
We turned a science lesson into a uniquely immersive, high-tech experience that dialled up the awareness and engagement in the market that matters: the Auckland residents. 

5. Creating buzz and high spirits: Genever relaunch.

Sizzle factor: Crafting a cocktail of success through VR and digital content. 

Genever, sometimes known as Dutch gin, is a spirit that used to be popular in the US over a hundred years ago, but since then, has been forgotten. Our client, Spirits NL, a consortium of five, premium Genever brands, asked our team to relaunch this category and a collection of European brands across America, and do so in a way that resonates with modern drinkers and forges new market opportunities and relationships. 
 
We decided the best way to do this was by celebrating the rich history of the spirit in America, fill minds and glasses with the stories of the import pioneers. While this strategy paid tribute to the past, our team used creative experiences and modern technology to add a fresh spin to help rebrand this classic drink as the tipple of choice for American tastemakers and influencers. This was paired with a Prohibition-flavoured live experience across several events for thousands of key partners, customers, and consumers. For the event guests boarded the ‘Genever Express’, arriving at the European saloons and secret speakeasies from the prohibition era. Expert mixologists served Genever-inspired cocktails, putting a modern spin on vintage bar-based tips and tricks. The modern tools of VR and digital content helped to educate the consumers on what flavour notes, botanical additions and elements make up Genever, and helped to reveal the subtle differences between the European brands. 
 
Relaunching a drinks category across America, and introducing European brands, wouldn’t be possible with a traditional PR approach and marketing campaign – it needed a creative reimagining that revitalised the American love for this Dutch spirit, and for the spirit of the times. The key ingredient in this cocktail of success? Creative technology.

WRAPPING UP:

In a time of goldfish attention spans and crowded social media channels, you need to cut through the clutter for true connections. Technology can help you build something immersive, memorable and engaging, as long as you choose the right tool (and the right partner).  

Ready to unlock new tech-driven benefits on your next creative campaign? Let’s chat over a coffee or a free masterclass. 


Author bio

Joss Davidge

GLOBAL BUSINESS DIRECTOR

With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.