S.F. CDs Show Interactive Work

SAN FRANCISCO Traditional and digital agencies presented interactive projects at Ad:Tech’s Left Coast Creative marketing seminar here yesterday.

Rei Inamoto, global cd at independent AKQA, San Francisco, demonstrated what he called blurring line between on- and offline advertising with “Results for Real Life” for the Yellow Pages. The agency’s bus-shelter displays were electronic kiosks employing touch-sensitive screens to encourage interactive Yellow Page searches.

Inamoto then showed AKQA’s electronic London bus advertising, in which the message was customized to the vehicle’s route. GPS-enabled signs allow a computer to track the bus display’s movement. “We were able to deliver relevant messages to the consumers at the right time,” Inamoto said. “For example, if we were going by 3rd and King [near the new AT&T ballpark], the ad might read, ‘Need tickets for the next Giants game?’ ”

Inamoto also demoed a viral amusement park character called Zoltar to promote MSN Messenger. Plugging in a name would customize a humorous prediction of the future from the avatar. Sending the character along with his prediction would encourage use of MSN Messenger.

Jim Lesser, ecd of Omnicom Group’s BBDO West, San Francisco, discussed campaigns for ProFlowers.com and the San Francisco Zoo. For the latter, the shop wrapped city light poles in a giraffe pattern. He then showed various components of ProFlowers’ “Send love, not like” series, including several spots showing that the online retail client chose to drive traffic to the Web with an extensive TV campaign.

Lesser also showed outdoor executions for BBC World, in which a bifurcated display allowed onlookers to text message the one-word association they preferred with the subject for live ad hoc news polls. For example, framing a picture and teaser for a story on China, one side had a running count for the word “Befriend” and the other “Beware.”

Christian Haas, group cd at Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, showed how the agency “changed the conversation” from a negative controversy to a positive one for Rolling Rock. Haas said that shortly after Anheuser-Busch purchased the Latrobe, Pa., beer and moved it to New Jersey, the mainstream media and blogs said the A-B takeover had displaced workers and would ruin the brand.

Goodby created broadcast spots featuring a fictitious Rolling Rock vp of marketing (“Ron Stablehorn”) who apologized for the bad taste of Rolling Rock commercials featuring men in thongs and guitar-playing, parachuting apes. In fact, the deliberately tasteless spots had never aired and only served to entice viewers to go online and see them. Online collateral included “focus groups” surrounding proposed Rolling Rock bottles with breasts. “We shifted the conversation from real plant closings to an absurd controversy,” Haas said. The campaign inspired more than 4 million viewings of the spots in only three weeks, he said.

Mauro Alencar, ecd at Omnicom’s Organic, San Francisco, showed the agency’s online interactive comic book for DaimlerChrysler’s Jeep (“Patriot Factor”), done in conjunction with Marvel Comics and media agency PHD. Users submitted story ideas to an online vote, with the winning concept professionally rendered by Marvel artists. Alencar said the production quality of the final project, which was then printed and e-mailed to participants, showed the difference between “user-generated versus carefully crafted experiences.”

Online efforts for Jeep included a “Way Beyond Trail” interactive game. Participants could explore 45 scenes and e-mail the “emergency contact” they had entered earlier when they reached dead ends in the multi-structured story. The combined efforts doubled awareness of the Jeep model, Alencar said.