The future of advertising may be unclear, but these 10 campaigns have definitely helped shape it. Here's a breakdown of the decade's top digital promotions--we're looking at you, Subservient Chicken--as selected by industry leaders at the One Club, which recognizes excellence in advertising.
Burger King's Subservient Chicken
Sit. Pick your nose. Act like a dog. These are just a few of the many commands Burger King's Subservient Chicken would obey, prompting more than 380 million people to visit its website, and introducing viral marketing and microsites to the advertising community. Not bad for a Crispin Porter + Bogusky campaign launched in 2005 to market...the TenderCrisp chicken sandwich (as a part of BK's Have It Your Way campaign). “I thought it might be successful, just because it was making me laugh,” Jeff Benjamin, executive creative director of interactive for CP+B, told the One Club.
HBO's "The Hire"
“BMW started it all,” CP+B exec Rob Reilly has said of 2001's The Hire, a much talked-about series of short promotional films starring Clive Owen, and featuring cameos from Madonna and Mickey Rourke. The four-month project lured 11 million viewers, and helped BMW's annual sales increase 12.5%, to more than 200,000 autos.
Nike +
By partnering with Apple and R/GA to create Nikeplus.com, a rich online running community, Nike lured more than 3 million members within a year of its 2007 launch--and then turned the promotion into a full-fledged property. Today, the hub touts celebrity workout playlists, an iPhone app that maps your run as you go, and online coaching tools.
Uniqlo's Uniqlock
Developed by Projector in 2008, Uniqlo's Uniqlock uses images of young, Japanese women to display time. During the promotion, the widgets and the website, Uniqlock.jp, received 68 million views from 209 countries--and placed the Uniqlo brand in front of scores of influential bloggers.
Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice
Burger King and CP+B's Whopper Sacrifice app, which had users unfriend 10 people on Facebook for a free Whopper, set the blogosphere ablaze in late 2008. Alas, Mark Zuckerberg would have none of it: The app was disabled shortly after its launch, but not before more than 230,000 users were sacrificed.
LiveStrong's Chalkbot
Web, SMS, and Twitter users submitted roughly 36,000 messages to this LiveStrong-sponsored robot, which literally "chalked" select missives along the route of the 2010 Tour de France. The Wieden + Kennedy campaign was not without a lot of manual labor, however: A LiveStrong team had to clean the Chalkbot nozzles with toothbrushes in their hotel rooms each night.
IKEA's Dream Kitchens
IKEA's Dream Kitchens allowed users to explore a 3D rendering of showroom kitchens online, without dealing with the hassle of going to the actual store. The only thing that would have made this 2006 Forsman & Bodenfors campaign better? Home-delivered Swedish meatballs. Yum.
Fiat's Eco:Drive
To rev up their eco-image, Fiat partnered with AKQA to develop Eco:Drive, a program that stores driving data--acceleration, deceleration, gear changes, speed, etc--on a USB drive, which can be plugged into a computer for analysis. That way, drivers can get relevant tips and tutorials on how to lower emissions and maximize gas mileage.
HBO's Voyeur
This website, developed by BBDO in 2008, allowed people to watch fictional scenes in "real" New York apartments. The effort--designed to promote HBO's "real stories" campaign--drew 1.2 million viewers in its first month, and the average time spent on site was nine minutes.
Dove's Evolution
Released in 2007, this 60-second, stop-motion film showed the evolution of a billboard model--from normal-pretty to Photoshopped "perfection"--as part of Dove's Ogilvy-aided campaign for "real beauty." The clip immediately went viral, generating hundreds of thousands of blog hits, and more than 3 million views on YouTube.