The campaigns that got us talking this week

As another week draws to a close we look back at the experiential marketing highlights. The campaigns that made us sit up and take notice include fashion brands creating rap documentaries, electrifying ad hoardings, apps that match your music collection to the perfect drink and interactive running subway billboards.

Guess who’s created a music documentary?

We’ve seen plenty of brands looking to harness the creativity behind music as opposed to just the celebrity surface package that traditional endorsements provide. Now it’s the turn of American fashion brand Guess, as it looks to uncover an artist’s back story in order to facilitate a deeper connection with music’s roots.

The brand has teamed up with hip hop artist Theophilus London and men’s magazine GQ to develop a social media-based web series to tie in with the publication’s November music issue. The online series - which is currently available to those who ‘Like’ the brand’s Facebook page - is comprised of five videos, each featuring Theophilus talking about his music and fashion inspirations, with the final short film showcasing a day in the life of the artist as he outlines the next steps in his career.

However, its not all digital fare on offer…the social media campaign culminated with an exclusive VIP event on November 3 at the Sayer’s Club in Hollywood, hosted by Theophilus himself.

Outdoor ads with the shock factor

Halloween may be done and dusted for another year, but for some brands the fright fest is a daily event. Take for example 13th Street, the Universal cable channel in France that specialises in suspense-based content.

The channel wanted to showcase that it offers the scariest movies available on TV, so what better way to do this than by creating a scary billboard. Now we’ve seen plenty of scary outdoor ads in our time, and we could name check a fair few horror movie ad hoardings that have fallen foul of ad regulators. However, this outdoor campaign – based in France – was designed specifically to scare only willing participants. Holding a 3D torch handle on a forest background revealed a ghost when the torch lit up, and clutching a door handle would turn on the lights revealing a dead body. So far a nice bit of tangible interactivity…but that’s not all. When the image was revealed the viewer is blasted with an electric shock from a graaf generator built into the ad.

It’s a great piece of work, but we wonder if you could actually get away with electrifying the crowds of school children that tend to congregate at bus stops in the UK.

Drinking songs

It’s the end of the day; you want to kick back with your favourite tunes and a drink in hand, but how do you ensure you have the perfect beverage accompaniment to your soundtrack? Easy, you use Drinkify, an online app created by some incredibly clever coding types at Music Hack Day in Boston, which pairs your music selection to the ideal drink. So a Bombay Sapphire Gin is apparently the thing to sip while listening to Daft Punk, whereas a heady mix of blood and wheatgrass juice is the in tipple for Slayer fans.

It’s a simple little app, delivered with a touch of Mad Men 60s décor and cocktail recipes to boot. We’ve even seen a few bands tweeting their drink pairings. Lots of good PR behind this one – makes you wonder why a major drinks company isn’t behind it.

Tubeway runway

Subways are usually areas that are void of any real stimulus, piled high with weary commuters during the peak hours or lost souls in the evening desperate to get from A to B. On the whole ad billboards haven’t exactly helped to alleviate this feeling of otherworldly despair and hopelessness that impregnates the underground existence.  However, a recent billboard initiative from the ASICS footwear brand has turned a static subway billboard ad into an interactive experience that positions its core product front and centre.

Designed to coincide with its sponsorship of the ING New York City Marathon the brand installed a 60-foot video wall at the Columbus Circle subway station, inviting passers by to attempt to outrun US marathon runner, Ryan Hall.

It’s a simple proposition, executed really well. The brand also made good use of its ambassador, with Ryan even popping up to try and outrun himself. However, what we really like about this experiential activity is how it delivers a simple, shared experience for people in what is usually a very stayed environment.

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