Writing a message in the sand that would be visible from space doesn’t sound all that complicated, right? You just have to find a stretch of sand that’s accessible and big enough, figure out a writing tool to somehow legibly scratch whatever you want to say onto the surface of the Earth so someone could read in orbit. Okay, then it starts to seem a tad complicated.
But Hyundai did it. In January, the brand took 11 of its Genesis model cars to Nevada’s Delamar Dry Lake and had them “write” a note from a 13-year-old Houston girl to her dad stationed on the International Space Station. That note broke the Guinness World Record for “the largest tire track image,” measuring 5.5 square kilometres, or more than one and a half times the size of Central Park, all the while making it a pretty sweet story about a daughter and her dad.
Read more about it and the rest of our picks for the best in brand creativity this week.
What: The carmaker helps a girl send a message to her dad, who is working on the International Space Station.
Why We Care: A clever stunt with plenty of heart. In the behind-the-scenes video, brand creative director Gun Ho Park says the point of the campaign is to show “a car can be more than just a means of transportation, but a lifetime partner to consumers.”
What: A StreetView-style, interactive guided tour of the legendary recording studio, featuring 150 different 360-degree panoramic images, YouTube videos and archival photos from Abbey Road’s history, as well as music nerd games on classic recording equipment, like the J37 4-track recorder used on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Why We Care: Google takes a lot of flack, many times for good reason, but the company’s ongoing projects to bring cultural education and institutions to the masses has to be slapped a high five. Especially when it’s done with as much style as this.
What: Our first proper look at the plot, villain, and tiny Paul Rudd as the diminutive Marvel hero.
Who: Marvel Studios
Why We Care: The film is far from a guaranteed comic movie draw like, say, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, and the 25 other Marvel characters audiences would’ve picked ahead of Ant-Man to have their own feature film. But by the looks of this trailer–in which the jokes to explosions ratio is roughly equal–we might be in store for another pleasant surprise a la Guardians of the Galaxy this summer.
What: A race to win a pair of Reebok ZPump Fusion shoes by traveling through the streets of San Francisco on Instagram.
Who: Reebok, Venables, Bell & Partners
Why We Care: It’s a very tough proposition to serve up an unexpected experience on a familiar platform, and it doesn’t happen very often. But when it’s done, the surprise and delight it can elicit from users will be well worth it. Reebok pulls off something fun by turning an Instagram feed into a game that ultimately leads right back to the product. Also you get to run through San Francisco without actually having to, y’know, run.
What: For the U.K. launch of the Absolut Andy Warhol limited edition bottle, the brand created an iPhone app called Silverpoint, based on Warhol’s blotted-line drawings of the same name, that’s part mobile game, part mystery tale, and part experiential marketing.
Who: Absolut, Somethin’ Else, Punchdrunk
Why We Care: An ambitious piece of branded content created with creative care by agency Somethin’ Else and the amazing minds at immersive theater company Punchdrunk. And as Somethin’ Else chief creative officer Paul Bennun told us, “the entire message Absolut wanted to communicate was about art and creativity…We were able to integrate Absolut’s tactical and strategic messaging into the project without any dilution of the creative ambition.”