Rob’s Roundup: Best of the Best of 2015 Lists

Rob’s Roundup: Best of the Best of 2015 Lists
Friday, January 15, 2016
Rob Walker

It’s been another wild, inventive, funny and odd year online, so we’ve rounded up all the best lists of the best (and worst) digital advertising campaigns of 2015.

theguardian.com – Best Social Media Campaigns of 2015

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The Guardian does a nice job of summing up some of the world’s best social media campaigns from 2015. They approach the ‘best of 2015’ mentality in terms of sheer popularity and reach – which is the default setting for social media campaigns for sure. Admittedly, it can be challenging (or downright impossible) to know how much ROI a social media campaign generated for a company from the outside, without a deep understanding of their KPI’s and access to their metrics.

From that list, I really enjoyed the John Lewis Man on the Moon campaign from the UK, which let users use a real time app to look at the moon, where it would give detailed information about its phases and other info. Very cool, shareable and interactive.

Christmas adverts are the UK’s Super Bowl moment, and John Lewis has once again proved hard to beat, though the competition is tough this year. What most impresses me is their maturity and restraint, understanding that they have a great piece of storytelling content, plus a powerful underlying social message, and that they don’t need to complicate that.

underhood.cab – Best Email Marketing Campaigns of 2015

FireShot Screen Capture #186 - 'The 10 Best Email Campaigns of 2015' - www_underhood_cab_2016_01_07_email-campaignsWe’ve seen a lot of growth in content in 2015 – interactive, video, native advertising and email marketing continue to see strong growth and drive effective awareness and ROI (when used properly). Underhood.cab does a solid job of outlining the top 10 email marketing campaigns of 2015, highlighting how original, clear and effective emails can impact brand recognition and customer loyalty.

My favorite here is the Spotify email campaigns. Incredibly personalized, Spotify identified users as being heavy listeners of a specific artist and reached out to them individually with offers (in this example giving them discounts on upcoming concert tickets). This kind of hyper-personalized cross promotion is the highest form of email marketing in my opinion.

Spotify, in knowing the listening habits of their users, have created an email designed to move them away from the computer and in front of the stage.

mathieson – Top 10 Mobile Marketing Campaigns of 2015

Praising ingenuity and interactivity over sheer reach, Rick Mathieson lays out his top 10 mobile marketing campaigns of 2015. With mobile taking over in just about every single category – 2015 was the year that more Canadians used mobile over desktop, after all – this is an incredibly important category. Mathieson is focused specifically on campaigns that utilized mobile campabilities and weren’t just extensions of a broad digital campaign.

I really enjoyed the WWF’s ‘The Last Selfie’ campaign – an enormously successful and highly original fundraising effort that utilized Snapchat’s temporary nature to tell the story of animals that live on the verge of extinction. Users had 10 seconds to click the ad, donate via SMS or adopt an animal. In one week, it had over 40,000 tweets with 140 million impressions.

What’s not to love about the World Wild Life Fund’s “Last Selfie” promotion with Snapchat, which takes advantage of the fleeting, transient nature of Snapchat snaps with short ads that show just how quickly an endangered species can be wiped off the planet.

wsj.com – Best and Worst Marketing Campaigns in 2015

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The Wall Street Journal points out some really epic wins and fails in their breakdown of the best and worst ads of 2015. From Arby’s tongue in cheek thanks to Jon Stewart for his continued mockery of them over the years during his final Daily Show episode, to Kim Kardashian’s ill-fated Instagram partnership with a pharmaceutical company (that garnered a stern reprimand from the FDA for not fully disclosing health risks), 2015 was a doozy for advertising.

My personal fave from this list is the dominos emoji campaign – order a pizza using a twitter emoji? I mean in practice it wasn’t very practical (and they have a solid online ordering system/app anyway), but I think we should grow this idea. I want sushi and burrito emojis that I can use to order food!

And because no list would be complete without it – there’s the very worst of 2015.

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