2007 Digital AOY: AKQA | Adweek 2007 Digital AOY: AKQA | Adweek
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2007 Digital AOY: AKQA

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To craft connections on the go, AKQA has concentrated on building brand utilities that improve consumers' lives, rather than just using phones as simply another place for ads. For Visa's first mobile campaign in the U.S., AKQA crafted a program around the Signature card's affluent-lifestyle brand positioning. One element invited shoppers at San Francisco supermarkets to text Visa for advice on wine and cheese pairings. In another, patrons of fine-dining establishments could receive text messages detailing menus. The Signature promotion didn't represent the latest and greatest technology -- but it was determined to be, nonetheless, a highly effective means of reaching the target. And as consumer habits and hardware evolve, AKQA has come to embrace more sophisticated techniques.

To wit, Diageo's Smirnoff made its first stab at mobile with a WAP site built by AKQA. Rather than simply re-creating the Web experience on the phone, AKQA opted for an on-the-go cocktails and nightlife guide. In the U.K., the mobile site reaped about one-third the traffic of the Web site, reports Michelle Klein, Smirnoff's global digital marketing director, who calls AKQA "at the bleeding edge. They know what's happening in the technology space and they bring those ideas to us. They have their fingers on the pulse. They came with a big idea and then blew the idea out."

The big idea is, of course, at the heart of advertising. But will technological advances change that? Bedecarr