As we move on to our final day of 12 Days of Digital, we were happy to see the return of Spotify’s Year In Music… But there’s been a few updates for this year.

 

Last year, Spotify let you uncover your top artists and songs, but this year they’ve taken it even further letting you see how many minutes of music you’ve listened to, which artists you listened to most during the different seasons, and you can even create a playlist of your top 100 songs.

We took a little sample survey at DA to find out a little bit more about the team’s listening habits… There were some surprises (Amish, we’re looking at you and Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ being your 4th most played song this year), but here’s a playlist we’ve created based on the most popular songs here at DA: https://play.spotify.com/user/wearedigitalannexe/playlist/5tqmRkLRSovMzVpxFWhbsp

Across the small sample of about half the DA office, we found some of the most popular artists to be, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Wild Beasts, and Bon Jovi, amongst many others across a variety of genres. Even more impressively, this bunch have collectively listened to over half a million minutes of music this year. Woah!

You can discover your own Year In Music with Spotify here:

 

What we’re proud of

This year we introduced the world to the awesome Reggie Brown.

Reggie is an old school marketing expert who loves to dole out tips for fellow marketers, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. We predict that 2015 will be a big year for Reggie.

Check out his blog here: http://themarketersbestfriend.com/
You can also follow Reggie on Twitter @ItsReggieBrown

To round off this countdown, we’re also excited to introduce Fly Capture…

“Back in July we pulled together some ideas as part of a blog aimed at Rough Trade, (https://www.yourfavouritestory.com/blog/digital-technology-rough-trade/) one of these was a flyer timeline.

The idea was born out of a love of grassroots creativity, small gigs are the starting point not just for musicians but for designers too, the supporting artwork for gigs and bands offers many young designers their first opportunity to get work out in to the public domain.

For most these are unpaid jobs, but where money is tight, creativity isn’t; art styles range from lo-fi photocopies of cutout photography to immaculate typographical pieces and everything inbetween.

We’re proud to announce that in the new year, we will launch Fly Capture. A simple app devoted to new and upcoming musicians, artists and fans. The premise is pretty simple, take a picture of a flyer or poster and enter the basic gig details. Fans can then search, browse or geo-locate the best gigs based on the artwork and inline Soundcloud player.”

– Ryan Bousfield, DA Creative Director

Beta version designs:

What made us laugh

“The Disney blockbuster film ‘Frozen’ has had many viral variations since its release in 2013. From daughter and dad duets, to heavy metal guitar renditions, it seems everyone has had a pop at the hit song from the film, ‘Let it Go’.

But we think one contestant has hit the right note. Whether you love the song or it sends shivers down your spine, what cannot be argued is the singing sensation that is Oakley the puppy with his own star performance.

Snoozing in the back of his owner’s car, the Australian Shepherd dog pricks up his ears and slowly stirs from his slumber as the piano keys are hit and the track begins. It’s not long until he’s awake and alert and starts howling along with Idina Menzel, hitting every high note beautifully – it melted our hearts.”

– Danielle Bramley, DA Content Manager

 

 

DAY 11

Our favourite digital work

We’ve all heard about John Lewis’ latest Christmas campaign for Monty the Penguin… But the part of the campaign that we really loved was how well thought out the social strategy was.

Monty has his own Twitter account – @MontyThePenguin, and he has over 35,000 followers! Not bad for a fictional penguin. The tweets are brilliant, as are the images showing Monty out on the town. It’s almost believable that Monty really exists and is getting ready for his dates with Mabel the Penguin (yes, Monty’s girlfriend is on Twitter too – @MabelThePenguin).

Check it out here:

 

What we’re proud of

November was a busy month for us. We’ve worked with Massey Ferguson for some time now, but this year they were planning an expedition that would be a true challenge; they were to drive a tractor all the way to Antarctica.

The project was born from ‘Tractor Girl’ (aka Manon Ossevoort) who wanted to take the dreams collected from people across the world down to the South Pole using just a tractor, to prove you can do anything you believe in.

We supported this incredible journey through creating a full campaign website where people could follow the mission, complete with live updates, information about the tractor and crew, and social integration.

The team made it to the South Pole, so we’re now going to be tracking their journey back again too!

November also saw the annual Digital Annexe University held in Shoreditch too. This exclusive event brought together digitally focused individuals to learn more about the next five years in digital from industry experts. Also during the day, we treated guests to some demonstrations of the latest technologies, including Google Glass, Oculus Rift, iBeacons, and Controlr.

What made us laugh

“After waiting seven long years of what seems to be an ever persisting problem of not being able to create my waffle in the shape of my keyboard, the day finally came in November when a bunch of (frankly) geniuses decided to put the idea into production.

The keyboard waffle iron not only makes one of my favourite things in the world (waffles), but does it in style. All that for $60, bargain.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/26/keyboard-waffle-iron/

– Allan Williams, DA Digital Designer

DAY 10

Our favourite digital work

Now you might think creating a 6 hour long video of a dull airplane journey wouldn’t be the best idea for effective content marketing, but Virgin America pulled it off in a fantastic way with BLAH Airlines.

Virgin created the fictional BLAH Airlines to show how different it is flying with an airline that isn’t Virgin. Their 6 hour video shows the boredom of a regular flight. But to top off this excellent content marketing effort, was an accompanying BLAH Airlines website and Twitter, which show just how bad user experience and customer service can be.

Check out the BLAH Airlines website for yourself here: http://www.blahairlines.com/

Meanwhile, the BLAH Airlines Twitter account is filled with painfully ordinary images, and unhelpful customer service replies. Genius.

https://twitter.com/blahairlines

What we’re proud of

In October this year we launched the RewardME Membership Card and Mobile App for The Mall.

Through this app, users can gain exclusive access to information, promotions, and events, within The Mall from its retailers and outlets.

Key features include:
– Access to exclusive offers, promotions, and competitions
– Details of events being held by retailers within The Mall
– Ability to save offers or retailers to your ‘favourites’ tab within the app
– Find offers / promotions of interest to you through filtering by category
– A Mall guide complete with maps, floor plans, and opening hours

October also saw us take part in the BIMA D-Day, an event which pairs agencies with local schools to get the younger generations interested in potential careers in digital.

We were paired with Leyton 6th Form College, so we spent a day working with the teenagers at the college to open them up to digital, and collaborate with them on some ideas. It was a really positive experience, and the kids we worked with were a fantastic bunch. We can’t wait to take part again next year!

What made us laugh

Twitter can be a tough one for celebrities to get the hang of. Even when they think they’re doing something nice for a fan, it could backfire on them.

Like the time Donald Trump was asked to retweet a photo of someone’s “grandparents”. We’ve put “grandparents” in quotation marks as the couple in the photo was actually Fred and Rose West… Sadly, Donald didn’t realise this and retweeted the photo in good faith. Needless to say Trump was not happy at being fooled.

Also in this category was Billy Ray Cyrus (as in Miley’s dad) retweeting a photo of Jimmy Saville (who he believed was someone’s grandpa), and Danny Dyer retweeting a picture of a young Stalin. We will give Danny Dyer a bit of a break on this one, as young Stalin did look like he could fit in around Shoreditch, so perhaps that’s what caused the confusion.

Perhaps celebrities will try doing reverse image searches into Google before they next retweet a photo of someone they don’t know? We doubt it though…
http://usvsth3m.com/post/98718644288/can-you-spot-the-mistake-that-donald-trump-has-made

DAY 9

Our favourite digital work

We’re all in favour of a bit of nostalgia here (it’s hard to go too long in the DA office without hearing some awesome 90s tunes playing)… So we absolutely loved The Nostalgia Machine that launched back in September this year.

It’s simple, choose a year, and you’ll be presented with a page featuring the top songs from that year, embedded as YouTube videos. We’ve loved this since September and we’re still not bored of it yet!

http://thenostalgiamachine.com/

What we’re proud of

With the summer slowly becoming a distant memory, September can be a bit of a glum month. This was also the month, DA’s Office Manager, Helen Mulgan, left for a new challenge. But, Helen went out in style, as the legendary DA boyband, Boyz 4 Men, created a leaving video that would not soon be forgotten. Prepare to become the world’s biggest Boyz 4 Men fan:

Also in September, we launched our memorable SlideShare about Disney Princesses. On the surface it might not seem as through Disney Princesses have all that much to do with marketing, but this SlideShare racked up over 10,000 views in its first week alone, so we were pretty happy with it!

Check it out here: http://www.slideshare.net/DALondon/marketing-strategies-we-can-learn-from-disney-princesses

What made us laugh

In September this year, we discovered the concept of cartoonbombing. If you’ve not heard of cartoonbombing, it’s pretty much putting cartoon drawings into real life scenarios, where they’re reacting to their surroundings.

An expert of this is Troqman whose illustrations we absolutely love. Check them out for yourself here (spoiler: you will get addicted): http://troqman.tumblr.com/

DAY 8

Our favourite digital work

During the summer, it was hard to escape the Ice Bucket Challenge – everyone was getting involved, from celebrities, to politicians, to us everyday people.

While the challenge was initially just meant to be for people’s chosen charity, rather than for ALS (amyotropic lateral sclerosis) in particular, it soon became synonymous with ALS, and raised over $100 million for the ALS Association.

It was incredible watching this campaign keep on growing (especially as it wasn’t created by a charity themselves), and we were glued to our screens to see the next celebrity douse themselves with ice cold water… Even the DA team got involved!

Back in August, we counted down our Top 10 ALS Ice Bucket Challenges, which you can check out on The Drum here: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2014/08/22/lesson-making-splash-why-als-ice-bucket-challenge-has-caught-imagination-so-many

What we’re proud of

“We kicked off summer for Mercedes-Benz World with a refreshed new Event Calendar, a go-to destination for planning your next trip to the venue!

The objective was to raise awareness of the events and regular activities held at Mercedes-Benz World. Our response was a fully dynamic calendar showcasing the nearest events to date, key information on each event and the option for users to add to their personal calendar.

A great turnout this year, be sure to check back soon for a peak at the 2015 event calendar!”

– Nina Finney, DA Account Manager

What made us laugh

“We found ourselves giggling in August at this brilliant idea for adopting pets. By taking the idea of dating app ‘Tinder’, a New York based company has turned the concept of finding love via your mobile on its head… Instead of finding the potential love of your life, you can search for your perfect pet – something much more valuable.

‘Allpaws’ allows you to browse the profiles of pets in need of adoption, and by swiping left and right through their photos, you can decide which animal is potentially right for you. From dogs to cats, bunnies to birds, and even finding your ideal horse, the app provides information on thousands of cuddly critters waiting to be re-homed.

Although only available throughout the US, we’re hoping this clever, and potentially lifesaving app for many animals, makes its way over the pond so we can share the love and adopt a cute and fuzzy friend!

https://www.allpaws.com/

– Danielle Bramley, DA Content Manager

DAY 7

Our favourite digital work

We’re a big fan of Greenpeace’s campaigns; they definitely know how to make an impact.

So when this summer LEGO announced their partnership with Shell, we were blown away by Greenpeace’s response.

This viral video (created by Don’t Panic London), is set to a haunting, acoustic cover of ‘Everything is Awesome’ (the theme song from the LEGO movie), and shows a LEGO world slowly being consumed by an oil spill.

The video hit hard and has racked up nearly 7 million views. Even better? Soon after the video went viral, LEGO announced that they would not be renewing their contract with Shell. Great work guys!

What we’re proud of

A brainstorming session over a quick turnaround app we could create for the 2014 World Cup soon turned into Spotifight.

Spotifight is a web-based Spotify app that allows you to create playlists based on two opposing search terms… So you could put two countries up against each other, or even movie stars, or your favourite foods! You’ll be returned up to 40 tracks for each, which you can then turn into a Spotify playlist.

You’ll never run out of music to listen to again!

http://spotifight.co.uk/

What made us laugh

We’re big fans of drag queens here, and the queen of drag is unquestionably RuPaul… Which means we’ve been hooked on RuPaul’s Drag Race (if you’ve not seen the show, think America’s Next Top Model, but for drag queens).

This year, our favourite contestant was a former American Idol runner-up, called Adore Delano. With a quirky personality and killer voice, Adore stole the show for us.

After the show, she released her debut album which contained the track ‘Hello, I Love You’. This wasn’t a cover of an old song from The Doors, it was a slightly stalkerish love song… But even better was the video to go with it…. Adore’s crazy eyes really sell it. The line of the song that always makes us laugh the most though has to be “…And when you say I’m f******* crazy I know you mean I’m cute”. Love it.

DAY 6

Our favourite digital work

Back in June, P&G aimed to redefine the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ through a campaign for Always.

The video asks the very important question “When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?”

This was an inspiring campaign, and along with the work that Dove have been doing through the Real Beauty Campaigns, this has shown brands taking big steps forward to improve the confidence of girls and women, which can only be a good thing. Keep up the good work guys!

What we’re proud of

It can be tough at a digital agency to find the time to care for your own digital presence when you’re rushed off your feet making your clients look good instead. But this year we felt it was time to give the DA website a makeover.
Several brainstorming sessions took place in early 2014 to really hammer down the user journey and user experience to create a modern, responsive website for ourselves. After a lot of hard work, we launched the new and improved DA website in June. We were happy with the result, but with digital constantly changing, it won’t be too long before we revisit it to make sure we stay ahead of the curve.

What made us laugh

The Internet’s come a long way in the last decade or so…. Which means a lot of the newer generations have no idea of the struggles we used to have to get online, and the awful websites out there.

This year at DA, we’ve had an 18 year old apprentice named Joy join the team. It’s been an eye-opening experience for us to find out how little of 90s (and before) culture he’s aware of (spoiler: he had never heard of The Rolling Stones or John Lennon before us). It’s been a constant source of amusement, which you can check out in this blog post where we tested Joy on his 90s knowledge: https://www.yourfavouritestory.com/blog/what-digital-and-pop-culture-of-yesterday-means-today/

DAY 5

Our favourite digital work

Within a crowded games market, how do you get your new release to stand out?

The team for Watch Dogs managed this when they turned some civilians on the streets of Los Angeles into master hackers in this incredible prank video. In the video, some unsuspecting people getting their mobile phones fixed are given an extra ‘hack’ which lets them control the street outside too with their phone.

But of course, when you can control traffic lights, street lamps, and cars on the street, things can get out of hand. We think it’s safe to say the people in the video were pretty relieved when they found it they’d just been pranked, and hadn’t caused a few major car crashes.

A great way to promote the new game though:

What we’re proud of

Adding to our family of Mercedes-Benz brochure apps this year was the new C-Class app.

The aim of the C-Class app was to work as a pre-sales tool for consumers, giving them the information they needed before they wanted to start specifying their new C-Class.

Launched in May this year, we were thrilled with the results of the app:
– 74% of users spend up to 30 minutes on the app
– Users spent 19% more time on app pages in comparison to their website counterparts
– The app was shortlisted for an award at The Digitals this year

Check out the full case study on this project here: http://www.digitalannexe.com/?portfolio=c-class-2

You can also download the app here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mercedes-benz-c-class/id874921732?mt=8

What made us laugh

Back in May, we were all looking forward to Summer, but there was one person that seemed a bit glum; Kanye West.

After a photo of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian ziplining showed Kanye looking a bit sad in the background, the Sad Kanye meme became a thing. Buzzfeed summed up some of the best early photos from this meme in this post here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/the-best-sad-kanye-west-zipline-memes

DAY 4

Our favourite digital work

Everyone’s been talking about Oculus Rift this year, especially since Facebook bought the Virtual Reality company for $2bn a few months ago.

So when we found out our Creative Director, Ryan Bousfield had been working on his own Oculus project, we couldn’t wait to check it out.

Introducing ‘A Chair In A Room’… An Oculus experience guaranteed to send chills down your spine, or even make you scream (as some of the DA team did… We’re looking at you Nina).

This short clip can’t even begin to give the experience justice, but it does give a taster of it.

Ryan’s been busy working on some more episodes for this game, which we can’t wait to see.

A Chair In A Room is now also available on Google Cardboard too – great work Ryan with getting it as one of the first featured apps on the app store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.RyanBousfield.AChairInARoom

What we’re proud of

When we’re not creating awesome digital things for our clients, we like to have a bit of fun with digital for ourselves. A brainstorm around what we could do to celebrate Easter resulted in Digital Anneggs (all credit for that pun goes to DA’s Creative Director, Ryan Bousfield).

Digital Anneggs is a desktop app that lets you create your own mashed up eggs from a choice of styles. Great fun! You can then share your creations across your social networks too.

What made us laugh

“The creative team at DA are well known for their Photoshop Fridays. For those who aren’t familiar with this practice, it’s the art of picking on someone unsuspecting and turning them into something very different. It can have mixed reaction and has become a pre-cursor to beer o’clock. Perhaps Cosplay is the natural step on from this? Why go digital when you can have the real thing?

http://www.lostateminor.com/2014/04/07/guy-makes-hilariously-bad-cosplay-outfits-budget/

– Ian Weir, DA Lead Designer

DAY 3

Our favourite digital work

We spend a fair amount of time waiting for buses, but we can honestly say we’ve never experienced as crazy as this Pepsi Maxi ‘Live For Now’ bus shelter.

This augmented reality experience is experiential marketing at its best. Commuters at this bus stop were stunned when they turned their heads to suddenly see some strange (and very realistic looking) things happening on the other side of the bus shelter! From UFOs, to tigers walking up the street, people were given a bit of a shock.

This was an original way to get people engaging with a brand, and of course, then sharing their crazy experiences over social media.

The YouTube video of the bus shelter has racked up over 6 million views. Impressive stuff.

What we’re proud of

We love new technology, and we love pubs – so creating a new wearable app to help you find your nearest bar just made sense.

After the boys got hold of the Pebble watch development kit, they couldn’t wait to start tinkering with it, and soon the Bar Finder was born.

As we got ready to officially launch the Bar Finder (with only a prototype previously existing at the time), we were thrilled when Pebble got in touch with us to find out more about the launch and offer to feature the app on the Pebble Store.

 

What made us laugh

“Hover boards are something that we have dreamed of since seeing Back to the Future for the first time, and aren’t we supposed to be getting them in 2015 anyway?

So what better time release a product video showing a real life hover board, with endorsements from Doc Brow (Christopher Lloyd), Tony Hawks and Moby and many others.

The video was well shot and produced to a level that made it seem at least feasible and it fooled more than a few people prompting Tony Hawk to release and apology video.

While the HUVr video was a well produced fake it seems like we could end up with a hover board of sorts in the future, even if it does need a conductive surface to work”

– Andy Lang, DA Digital Designer

DAY 2

Our favourite digital work

“In February, Microsoft announced that a seemingly innocuous ‘glitch’ in their January TV ad was in fact part of a trans-media competition for their fans.

The 1 second glitch actually contained 25 frames of clues which over the course of 37 hours were pieced together by avid gamers working to decipher the meaning. The original clues led to hidden websites, messages on SoundCloud and cryptographic tools – which pieced together led to the ultimate prize, a Day One Edition Xbox and invite to the launch party of Titanfall (a Microsoft exclusive game)

We love this campaign. It ties above-the-line advertising with all kinds of online channels in a genuinely engaging way and is perfect for the Xbox audience. It takes inspiration from the type of games that were released at the time like Watchdogs, as well as mysterious online organisations like Cicada 3301 – and generated buzz in all of the places gamers hang out, Twitter, Reddit and games forums. Well played Microsoft!”

– Iain Reid, DA Creative Technologist

 

What we’re proud of

“Van Experience Live 2014

In February, the countdown to Mercedes-Benz Van Experience Live 2014 began. Van Experience is a yearly event hosted by Mercedes-Benz where possible buyers, owners and curious van drivers can put Mercedes-Benz vans to the test through series of challenges. From skid track right through to driving in different terrains.

We had the challenge of creating a bespoke website to house, not just the past event but, also this year’s too in an engaging way. We created a modular, fully responsive website to accommodate content both past and present.

Live content, such as images on the day and challenge results, were also updated on the spot while the event went on with daily content coming in each day.

This was a massive feat that was pulled off thanks to the efforts of all involved.”

– Allan Williams, DA Digital Designer

What made us laugh

During this year’s Super Bowl, Radio Shack announced in style their move away from their traditional stores, to their new-look modern ones.

This ad called ‘The 80’s called, they want their store back’ features some well known faces from the 80’s, including Hulk Hogan, Alf, Dee Snider, and more, coming in to reclaim the store to take it back to the 80’s. The video is a great tongue-in-cheek message from Radio Shack to let people know they’ve finally got with the times.

DAY 1

Our favourite digital work

So it’s that time of year again where we’re counting down the 12 days of digital.

To kick things off, we’re taking a trip down memory lane back to January 2014…

Do you remember the Devil’s Due movie? We didn’t, but we did remember this great viral campaign that helped promote it: Devil Baby Attack

Unsuspecting New Yorkers encountered a baby’s pram in the street, but when they took a look inside they were greeted with an animatronic devil baby. Bloody terrifying. Even worse, the pram was remote controlled so it could stalk people too.

This was a great way to generate interest in the new movie, and the YouTube clip became a viral sensation, having racked up over 48 million views since January.

 

What we’re proud of

“DA Labs are a big part of the Digital Annexe culture, as we want to constantly be pushing ourselves to get even better, and through experimenting with new technology and possibilities for ourselves, we can in turn help make our clients better.

In January, we held a week long product sprint with a few members of the team. The outcome? Echolo. We wanted to explore how iBeacons could fit into a retail environment – and more specifically, how they might work with a multi-shop scenario like a shopping mall.

Our prototype on-boarded the user by selecting their favourite types of item and brands. This meant that we could prompt appropriate actions when the user approached a beacon, rather than simply throw any old offer at them.

Our first iBeacon placed by the ‘mall entrance’ (our office main door) simply welcomed our testers to the ‘mall’ – which also meant they opened the app and it could begin to scan for other beacons.

The next beacon was placed at a ‘shop entrance’ which as they passed was picked up and checked against their preferred brands to see if it matched anything – and if so, presented an in-store offer in exchange for a ‘like’ on Facebook.

The final beacon was placed at ‘Point of Sale’ – and when the phone was brought within a couple of inches of the counter it automatically ‘liked’ a Facebook page and then unlocked the discount barcode for the customer.

We had almost all of our staff run through the scenario, and we learnt a whole lot about where the journey worked and where it didn’t – as well as the limitations of iBeacon technology in certain environments.

This kind of exercise was very useful – within a week, with only a few members of staff, we were able to create an incredibly high fidelity prototype and test some of our ideas and assumptions – not only is this great for our internal learning, but we can pass this onto our clients.”

– Iain Reid, DA Creative Technologist

 

What made us laugh

One thing that brought a smile to our face this January was this blueberry muffin that looks a lot like a chihuahua. Or is it the chihuahua that looks like the muffin?

DA’s Gabor Gyory sums it up perfectly:
“I love the confused look on the dog’s face and how being confronted by a squashed muffin thrust him into an existential crisis.”

http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/01/24/when-you-look-into-this-chihuahua-blueberry-muffin-it-also-looks-into-you/

Leave a Reply