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Google touts digital campaigns as central to advertising

Google wants to show marketers how others have used its APIs – the coding that can enable digital campaigns – so they can see what already exists without needing to build a campaign from scratch. It's part of the company's effort to get a bigger slice of ad budgets by persuading clients and agencies to think about digital as a more central part of their advertising.

Some examples:

Arcade Fire's Wilderness Downtown and Nature Valley's Trail View

The first HTML5 music video for Arcade Fire used Google’s Street View to personalize the video for each person, locating it in their childhood neighbourhood once they typed in the address. Google has put a big emphasis on showcasing its creativity in recent years. Arcade Fire got a big bump in attention from people who were interested in the project. Nature Valley used Street View to promote its corporate charitable work in national parks preservation. The granola bar brand used Street View to take people to backcountry hiking trails through the Web. The hiking theme fit with the brand but presented it in a different way than advertising would. “Technology can bring an experience, much more than an ad, to the consumer,” Ms. Lamothe said.

O2's Be More Dog

The U.K.-based telecommunications company received more than 3-million views on YouTube for a funny commercial about a cat – all sneering indifference – who wakes up to the joy of life and decides to be more like a dog. The idea was that life should be enjoyed (and technology can help.) One aspect of the campaign was a mobile game that allowed people to visit a website and use their phones to throw a frisbee to the dog-like cat on the screen. Why on earth should this matter to a serious marketer? “It’s one way of interacting with the consumer and making them stay on your site a little longer,” Ms. Lamothe explains. More importantly: “It’s being playful and entertaining. You can’t always only be promotional.”

British Airway’s Interactive Billboard

Anyone who has squeezed into an airplane seat recently or been delayed in an airport knows that air travel has lost a bit of its romance. British Airways’ billboard wanted to rekindle it. It used data on flight paths to create a digital billboard where a child would appear and point upward excitedly when a plane passed by. This is part of Google’s exhibit to make a point about the creative power of data.

Coke's Huggable Machine and Molson's Passport Fridge

The vending machine that gave out Coca-Cola in exchange for hugging the machine, and the fridge that dispensed beer when passers-by placed a Canadian passport in its scanner, were not Google inventions. But Google is using them in its exhibit to get marketers thinking about the kind of invention that the tech company could help with. As the definition of advertising expands, and more companies turn to inventions that create experiences people want to share (and therefore promote on a brand’s behalf,) Google wants to be part of that development.

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