With ad blocking on the rise and ad viewability an ever-increasing concern, brands are on the hook to produce digital campaigns consumers are willing to seek out, and not just sit through.

Swiss Army Man: Meet Your Best Friend Manny

The marketing campaign for A24’s Swiss Army Man took movie fans on as much of a journey as its marooned protagonist.

Featuring an AI chatbot, a ragdoll-tossing interactive website, unorthodox influencer activations, a user-generated blog, a real-life scavenger hunt and, for obvious reasons, free pizza, the campaign aligned not just with the movie’s tone, but displayed a fundamental understanding of its themes and message as well.

The campaign got so much traction that it even ended up interrupting Daniel Radcliffe with a text in the middle of rehearsal for a different movie. Like Manny in the movie, the digital marketing campaign was a real multi-purpose . . . tool . . . guy.

Heineken: Worlds Apart

Where A24’s digital campaign impressed with its sheer number of spinning plates, Heineken’s “Worlds Apart” activation’s strength comes from its simplicity.

Described by Fast Company as “the antidote to that Pepsi Kendall Jenner ad,” the video demonstrated the power of respectful, measured treatment of social issues, and racked up close to 15 million views in the process during a time of which some brands can’t get out of their own tone-deaf ways.

The video works in part because it keeps the brand in the back seat—both in the video itself, and its underlying message. Heineken never implies that its beer is the tool that can bridge ideological gaps, and it lets the strangers in its ad do almost all of the talking. At the very least, it proves the uniting power of furniture assembly.


Ted Baker: Keeping Up With The Bakers

Part of the problem with shopping for clothes online is the difficulty in getting a picture of how well the clothes might fit, and part of the problem with video advertising is the lack of opportunity to impulse-buy. Ted Baker solved both these issues in one fell swoop, producing a shoppable 360-degree VR experience, letting potential customers get up close and personal to the clothing and directly purchase anything that strikes their fancy.

Framing the video as a ’50s sitcom, Ted Baker used its social channels to promote the promotion as well, creating limited-time Instagram Stories for five different “channels,” drawing consumers back on a daily basis to, well, keep up with the Bakers.

Casper: Staycation Hacks

When it comes to producing exciting content, mattress companies have a bit of a tougher time of things than other lifestyle brands.

Casper leaned into this challenge, giving up on making laziness sound shareable but acknowledging that many people are going to stay in bed anyway. With its Staycation Story Hacks website, those who are fans of staying indoors don’t have to miss out on the social media attention that vacationers get.

The campaign fits with Casper’s values, gave them free press and social media attention, and most importantly was simple enough that their marketing team didn’t have to stay up too late.