Innovation is Anything but Business as Usual

Brands who remain stuck in their ways, relying on tradition and loyalty, can hope against hope that their name alone carries them through, that their competitors are just flies on the wall. But truly, it is the brands that innovate, and innovate constantly, that have staying power.

The essence of innovation may lie in R&D, but when it comes to marketing – advertising, branding, activation, etc. – innovation is equally as vital. In an increasingly digital world that is more connected than ever before, it is the intersection of innovation with brand activation and advertising that allows for consumer interaction in new, imaginative, and ultimately, beneficial ways.

Social media has the most potential to reshape the way advertisers connect with consumers. Trends like social gaming and social scheduling are at the forefront, with leading brands such as Heineken, Chevrolet, and Visa taking part.

Heineken is by far my favorite example of a brand doing it right. Across the world, Heineken finds ways to immerse itself in popular culture. Ingrained in international soccer, Heineken created the popular “Star Player” game, activating its partnership with UEFA and the World Cup in memorable fashion.

In Singapore, Heineken created a “Social Christmas Tree” – 48 LED screens towering eleven meters high – as a destination for consumers to send messages to friends and family. The tree exhibited one of Heineken’s core brand properties in an effort to unite people from across the world and truly bring social media to life.

Finally, they’ve embraced QR codes in a creative way – allowing Open’er Mustic Festival attendees to record personal messages (detailing who they were, where they were from, what their interests were). The messages were then embedded into a giant QR code sticker that was printed out and placed on their clothing, acting as a popular ice breaker amongst fellow festival-goers.

Heineken isn’t the only one to create viral ads and activations. One of my favorite work-related blogs, Brian Gainor’s Partnership Activation, compiles the best of the best. Two of my favorites take social to heart and create memorable, interactive campaigns that showcase their brand identity in innovative ways.

“Budweiser Scores with PoolBall Concept in Nightlife Settings” – Budweiser in partnership with Ogilvy Argentina:

“Voyages-sncf.com Creates an Element of Surprise with a Mystery Fan Rewards Box”:

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One Comment on “Innovation is Anything but Business as Usual”

  1. […] A while back, I talked about a few of their most innovative activations. And now they’re at it again; this time, with a theatric ad that leads to an online game called Crack the Case. The premise is basically this: James Bond doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does it’s a Heineken. […]


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