Technology is constantly evolving to allow us to do things faster, easier, and ideally better. That is especially true when it comes to how we communicate. For marketers, that means they always need to be expanding their creative muscles to explore how advancements in technology can allow brands to better engage with their audience—something that has been particularly key during the pandemic. To help you expand the way you think about technology and engagement, we asked readers for the best examples they have seen from any industry.
The in-game concert series that is happening with Fortnite is crazy, fun, smart, and kind of unbelievable. Their “Rift Tour” with Ariana Grande in 2021 gave players the ability to interact with new environments and complete in-game Rift Tour specific quests that unlocked custom loot. Similarly, Fortnite partnered with other artists to premier new music with outfits, gear, and emotes for players. More and more artists are now getting involved such as Bruno Mars, Tones and I, and Anderson .Paak. With digital events like this driving additional visibility for artists and brands in the Metaverse, I think we can expect to see more opportunities blossom for brands and promotion.
–Andrew Miller, EVP, Digital Activation, CMI Media Group
NFAs (Non-Fungible Animals)
One of my favorite examples of creative execution of newer technology this past year must be the work done by Publicis Groupe Germany for the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The teams created a series of limited edition NFAs (Non-Fungible Animals) that the foundation is selling to raise money to help save endangered species.
They partnered with 10 renowned artists to create the limited edition NFA crypto artwork for 10 endangered species, and the number of artworks per species is equal to the current number of animals in the wild, thereby using the inherent ability of the NFT technology to create scarcity and increase the value of the artwork.
They also made it super easy for novices to create a crypto wallet, a mandatory for owning NFTs, and created the assets on an eco-friendly blockchain called Polygon.
To date they’ve raised about a quarter million Euros to help get endangered species off the red list. It’s a great example of turning hype into help.
–Brendan Gallagher, Chief Connected Health Officer, Publicis Health
Remote Holographic Presence via PORTL
We all have seen variations of holograms throughout our lives from the old pepper’s ghost illusion technique to the newer HYPERVSN fan technology. But the past few years have shown interesting advancements in consumer, easy set-up hologram tech.
For example, at the 2021 ASH congress and this year’s CES, there was a unique refrigerator-sized product from PORTL that displayed a self-contained, human-sized hologram. A person can be beamed into the device as a hologram from thousands of miles away. This could be a great solution for KOLs and specialists who can’t attend an event live but can remote in and present as a hologram. The product does a great job making it appear as if the subject is just on the other side of the glass presenting from a sound booth. At CES, PORTL released a smaller desktop solution as well.
I’m excited to see if the smaller personal devices will ever see widespread popularity in homes or if AR/VR will keep holograms as congress booth and showroom draws.
–Max Divak, Technology Lead, Ogilvy Health
“Go Back to Africa”
Nothing in the market has harnessed the forces of technology with the creative impact of FCB/Six Toronto’s “Go Back To Africa” campaign. Brilliantly leveraging artificial intelligence to drive awareness, challenge traditional mindsets, and dismantle racism, the pan-African tourism campaign turns the racial slur “Go back to Africa” (used every three minutes on social platforms) into a positive call to action (CTA).
By high-jacking hate speech on Twitter in real-time and redacting it from its racist context, the campaign coopts “Go back to Africa” as a compelling, even inspiring CTA programmatically applied as headlines for hyper-targeted ads. This campaign also resonates because it breaks misconceptions about Africa.
As a Black American who hasn’t yet traveled to Africa, I commonly see depictions of Africa as a hot, dry Savannahs ridden with wildlife, impoverished landscapes void of any modern technology, and governed by African men carrying machine guns…you get the picture. Often, the only people posting images of the better side of Africa are white tourists, perpetuating a false narrative of colonialism and furthering a damaging stigma.
To help fix that problem, the campaign used Google Vision AI and an algorithm that pulls images from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram of black travelers exploring various parts of Africa and bringing a unique, inclusion vision of the continent. These images populate GobacktoAfrica.com—a first-of-its-kind, AI-curated content hub designed to address a startling lack of positive representation in commercial travel imagery.
–Andy Mathurin, Creative Director, Heartbeat