Good looking and clever

Exploding books, extraordinary challenges, a clever cafe app, and other cool digi projects. Here's a look at the Interactive Marketing finalists in this year's Best Design Awards.

As Paul Catmur wrote last year, the marketing bit often seems to be forgotten in the world of digital marketing. But here are a few that combined the two and were deemed worthy of a place in the interactive marketing finalists category at the Best Design Awards. 

Wellington's Resn got two nods, both for international clients. Earlier this year, prolific crime author James Patterson devised a digital scheme to promote the release of his novel Private Vegas. In the lead up to the official release of the publication, he made available a single edition of the book that would self-destruct after 24 hours. While the lucky purchaser would also be treated to the additional perks of flights to a secret destination, two nights' accommodation at a hotel, a five-course dinner with the author and a pair of gold binoculars, the $300,000 price tag meant that it was limited to the super rich.    

After the initial promotional push for the $300,000 book, Patterson then released 1,000 digital versions that would self-destruct "in spectacular fashion" after 24 hours and Resn was commissioned to build the site. The time limit on the book was only 24 hours, but users could sabotage the timer to gain extra time to complete the pages. And although all 1,000 copies of the book have already been downloaded and destroyed (the campaign only ran for five days), the website still provides information on the elite few who were able to access the books. 

In January Resn partnered with Droga5 New York to create a website about the most important meal of the day, breakfast, for belVita Morning Win’s Breakfast Bites. The site features 15 mini-games where players can throw food into a hat, protect their coffee from caffeine-zombies or even shave off a variety of beards. The games take centre stage while an image of the product sits at the bottom left-hand site of the screen.

Special Group also got two finalist nods for 2degrees Play the Bridge and Smirnoff's Instagram Your Fridge. 

In the style of some of the more progressive recent marketing ideas where the real and the digital worlds collide, such as Sky and DDB's Bring Down the King, 2degrees and Gladeye turned the Auckland Harbour the bridge into a giant mobile, musical plaything that moved to music chosen by the public.

Doing this took more than six months of planning and co-operation from NZTA, ATEED, Google Play, Sony, Universal and Warners (bridge lanes were officially closed in the early hours of the morning for one week to allow Sydney-based lighting company 32 Hundred Lighting to climb up and install over 1,000 LED light tubes by hand). And the campaign clocked up impressive interaction numbers, including more than 50,000 song requests via playthebridge.co.nz.

Smirnoff's #PurePotential campaign showed punters how almost any ingredient could be used to create a quality cocktail. And its follow-up campaign by Special Group (and Young & Shand) invited the public to post a picture on Instagram of the inside of their fridge. Smirnoff's dedicated 'mixologists' then went online to the "Instagram bar" between the hours of 6 and 10pm, mixed up a refreshing beverage from the ingredients they could see and then had Arvid Erikson film it.  

DDB Group (which now does less of Lion's digital work) was also recognised for its work on Steinlager's Live Dive. 

Steinlager asked Kiwis to head to the moody, watery '102 metre' website, choose their favoured depth and then either turn on the recording function or request a phone call to leave a message of support. Underwater technology supposedly meant the messages were played to Trubridge as he descended. The site featured interactive points of interest along the way as visitors scrolled down to his end point of 102m (for instance, 45m is the depth an average bottle nose dolphin dives to, 71m is the height of the Beehive and Trubridge's melon-sized lungs are the size of oranges at 100m). 

Auckland commuters were also able to experience the dive as it happened thanks to a ‘tweeting sonar’ streamed across digital billboards around the city, a first for the country. Like a real-life version of the site, the tweets shared his journey at each stage of the dive. 

Touchcast's Be Counted campaign for Spark is also in the mix. Spark launched a campaign to highlight the fact that the Commerce Commission’s proposed wholesale charges are up to 80 percent higher than the median of comparable countries, which was approximately $180 per connection per year, and asked punters to send a message saying they weren't happy about it. Spark said the campaign, which was modelled on similar consumer-focused regulatory efforts such as Uber's recent appeal for public support around transport regulations (Generation Zero's SkyPath submission was also along similar galvanising lines), paid off, driving awareness of the make-up of customer charges, putting Spark firmly on the side of its customers by showing it's committed to giving them more value, and driving click-throughs to the website and submissions to ComCom. In the end, it managed to get over 50,000 New Zealanders interested in regulatory process, which is an impressive achievement. 

Assembly also made it through with its campaign for PwC and Deustch Inc, Extraordinary Challenges. The site features a range of interactive 3D-animated stories that bring to life some of the complex projects PwC takes on every day "from using big data to fight cancer to helping a domestic airline fly international". 

"Beautifully rendered 3D environments, extensive motion capture animation, and rich, reactive sound design combine to create an experience that is both educational and entertaining. To create the best experience across devices and bandwidths, a team of designers, coders, and animators worked hand-in-hand from start to finish."

Supreme Supreme cafe in Christchurch launched last year and Sons & Co created a website and a clever 'double shot' feature, which asks users to take a photo that features themselves with an app, post it to Instagram with #supremesupreme hashtag and go into the draw to win a year of free coffee. And there have been some pretty creative efforts so far.

Alt Group rounded out the finalists with its PageProof site.  

The Best Design Awards celebrates the best of New Zealand design. See all the 2015 Interactive finalists at bestawards.co.nz