a drumroll please...

either another year has passed, or we've been dropping my daughter off in the wrong classroom since september.

so it's time to hand out the 2nd annual Murkie™ Awards, because if there's one thing we in marketing are good at, it's patting ourselves on the back and handing each other trophies.

it should be noted that, of all the winners this year, none of these ads actually ran. that's not because DDB Brazil did them. it's because none of them are technically ads. rather, they're just really smart ideas that help brands grow. sorry - i meant Really Smart Ideas That Help Brands Grow™.

Best Website: Shocking Barack by Brammo.
what a brilliant, brilliant effort. brammo was a little-known company in ashland, oregon that makes electric motorcycles or, as they call them, "the most efficient transportation in America." so they came up with a really simple idea: give a motorcycle to President Obama. the site documented their journey, and is a great lesson in digital.

1) create an ownable URL. seems like a no-brainer, until you see how many efforts lack one.
2) create a story. brammo wanted to give an electric motorcycle to the president. simple enough.
3) make sure the story can spark discussion. it would've been easy to do a "cross-country tour" from the company's headquarters in ashville, oregon to washington dc. instead, they started in detroit, and re-traced the trip the auto executives took via corporate jet when they went to ask the government for billions in bailout money. the juxtaposition created a hell of a lot richer story.
4) let your audience get involved. there were a bunch of ways to engage the audience. you could donate an AC outlet (after all, we're talking electric motorcycles). you could donate a couch for the night. you could have your name written on the motorcycle. you could contact the white house and lobby on the company's behalf. or, if you know someone who knows someone (obama's from chicago, after all), you can use back-channel efforts to make a face-to-face meeting happen. that's a lot of involvement.
5) use what's out there. this was an insanely cheap site to create, and it utilized content or communities that already existed, from a simple blog format to Google Maps to Couchsurfing.org to using the usual social media suspects such as twitter and facebook.
6) be relevant to the product. you can put this point first, or use it as a dramatic finish like i did. either way, it's the most important point here. the whole Shocking Barack effort grows out of the product and helps shape the spirit of the brand in one fell swoop. just lovely.

best app: i'm sticking with my favorite one from earlier this year, ColorSnap by Sherwin-Williams.
with ColorSnap, you take a picture of a color you like, then point to the spot in the picture where that color appears. the app will give you the exact color breakdown, as well as suggest accent colors. awesomeness. like the aforementioned Murkie™ winner, ColorSnap provides (and repeats) some important lessons in digital.

1) be useful. again, seems like a no-brainer, but the internets (or "Google Machines" as they're more commonly known) are littered with useless, one-sided drivel. an RGB breakdown of each color? that's pretty damn useful.
2) close the loop. not only does the app let you select colors, it will even find the nearest retail outlet selling Sherwin-Williams paint, turning attention and information into sales. wicked smaht.
3) be relevant to the product. there it is again, that most important point.

best use of augmented reality: lego.

augmented reality was a hotly contested category, but lego wins out for 2 reasons:

1) it brought cool technology to the store level. it even incorporated the packaging. yes, doritos incorporated the packaging as well, but the idea wasn't as relevant to the product
2) it was relevant to the product. you saw that coming, didn't you? creating a moving 3D version of what's inside the box made the box even more attractive. again, good stuff.

we were going to give a Murkie to Regretsy in the category of "best use of digital to provoke a rethink" but because it's a parody of the popular site Etsy, that would be like giving a Grammy Award to Weird Al Yankovic. wait, we did what?

thanks to the 15 ideas staff for sifting through all the award entries, and congratulations to this year's Murkie Award winners.


Brammofan said...

As one of the earlier followers of the "Shocking Barack" campaign, I wanted you to know how fun it was to follow this journey, not only through the posts and videos, but because of the realtime gps map that showed their location. On the first day or so, they tweeted "wish we had some handwarmers" and some guy in South Africa responded that they had them at a mall they would reach in about 15 minutes. How cool is that?

15 ideas said...

how cool? VERY. out of curiosity, how'd you come across the campaign? for me, brammo's crowdsourcing approach to their logo helped put the brand on the radar, so when they launched Shocking Barack, they already had my attention.