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Lots of marketers will tell you that the key to modern advertising is to be less interruptive—inviting viewers into experiences that feel more like entertainment and less like bombardment.
But a new campaign from ESPN and agency R/GA decided to go hard the other way, finding and surprising people with individualized messages that seemed to appear on their phones as if they’d been spotted by the all-seeing eye of advertising.
The stunt, aimed at driving viewership of the NBA Finals, hinged on Apple’s often-forgotten AirDrop