BEST OF THE DIGITAL DECADE

Top 10

The One Club invited top digital creatives to cull the best interactive work from the past decade of One Show Interactive winners. Over 75 pieces were nominated, judges voted for their favorites, and the top ten pieces were determined. The following pieces charted the course of the Digital Decade (2000-2010) with work that was visually striking and highly interactive. From the revolutionary whimsy of Subservient Chicken and Uniqlock to projects like eco:Drive, Nike Plus and Chalkbot that wedded the real and interactive worlds, these pieces showed us what digital could be. The responsible agencies, clients and creatives are to be congratulated for pushing technological and creative boundaries and making this the decade that digital came into its own.

See the Judges | See All Nominations



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Overview: Crispin Porter & Bogusky changed the zeitgeist with Subservient Chicken, a giant chicken that does exactly what it's told. Building off the TV campaign's success, the Subservient Chicken webcam, which allowed users to give the Chicken orders live, became a bonafide phenomenon and redefined interactive advertising.

From the Team:
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Overview: BMW Films, a series of short films directed by and staring A-list Hollywood talent, revolved around a central character call The Driver, the world's best when it came to transporting people out of dangerous situations. The Driver's character traits—youthfulness, integrity, passion and willingness to take risks—reflected on the brand and the audience.


From the Team:
BMW Films response




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Overview: A sensor in Nike + shoes tracks data and transmits it to a runner's iPod, which is automatically uploaded to nikeplus.com. This digital platform allows users to set goals, compare runs and connect with a community of runners.


From the Team:
When you were working on the project, did you think that it would be one of the milestone pieces of the decade?
Nike has always been an "all-hands-on-deck-all-the-time" account, where you keep your head down and work at a pace that makes it hard to pick favorites. Because of that, when you take a breath to lift your head and see that something has been recognized, it's often a little surprising.

Also, up until the point Nike+ launched, a digital project hadn't been recognized for "best of show" honors at any of the award shows. We had entered NIKEiD the year before and received no recognition, and we felt strongly that it was one of our best pieces of work. Obviously Nike+ was also breakthrough work, but at this point, one year later, the timing was different—and the tide had changed. That year the industry woke up and saw the value of work that didn't seem like advertising.


Did the team and the client buy into the idea from the start or did it take some convincing that this would be the right solution?
Unlike classic advertising, complex software projects are far more iterative and collaborative. In the years leading up to Nike+, R/GA had worked on manual pace calculators and iTunes workout mixes that all led up to what Nike+ became. Nike already had a pedometer product that was very technical and designed for elite runners. The breakthrough for Plus was recognizing the mass appeal of running with music, making the experience as simple and intuitive as possible, and networking it to a community. No one involved needed convincing that it would appeal to all runners (provided the hardware and software worked).


Were there any technological issues that needed to be overcome in order to do such cutting-edge work?
The biggest tech issue was integrating hardware and software from three companies (Nike, Apple, and R/GA) and turning it into a simple, elegant experience for a nontechnical audience. Making sure that the data was accurate was also very important. At 2 am, the morning before the launch of Nike+, we all compulsively tested Plus-enabled shoes by running around the office, bumping into desks and fatigued programmers.

How would you describe the evolution of digital work over the last 10 years?
Where do you see the interactive/digital industry heading in the next 10 years?
I've actually been surprised by how few platforms like Nike+ have been created by agencies in the last decade. These platforms are difficult to make and sell, but they can transform a business in a way that an ad cannot. Most of the true digital innovations have come out of Silicon Valley, and I expect that will change in the next 10 years as agencies start to take on more diverse creative skill sets.



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Overview: Uniqlock is a branded widget for Uniqlo, the popular Japanese apparel chain, that features dance routines, a clock, catchy music and a weather utility. Its quirky personality and unique rhythmic execution captured the imaginations of consumers worldwide.

Click here to see the live site



Crispin, Porter, + Bogusky - Whopper Sacrifice (2009)
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Overview: The idea was simple. Facebook users were given an offer - defriend 10 people and receive a free Whopper. 233,906 people were sacrificed in just 10 days.


From the Team:
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Overview: Wieden + Kennedy built a chalk spraying printer, bolted it to the back of a truck, and hooked it up to the internet. Using SMS, Social Media, and WearYellow.com users sent more than 36,000 messages of hope and inspiration to the Chalkbot who chalked those messages over 13 stages of the Tour de France.


From the Team:
When you were working on the project, did you think that it would be one of the milestone pieces of the decade?
Not really. We were focused on making a powerful engagement idea for Nike LIVESTRONG. The entire campaign was about empowering and inspiring people to make a difference in their life and the lives of others. The complete campaign included communications in many forms that were activated by Lance Armstrong and similar individuals who had overcome obstacles to make progress.

The idea for the Chalkbot originated out of a tangible need for engagement and contact amongst the LIVESTRONG community. Chalking the roads of the Tour de France has a been a longstanding tradition of fans and spectators. All over the course, there are messages of encouragement and motivation. This had also been adopted at LIVESTRONG events, conferences, exhibitions and gatherings. Chalking and yellow were a great way for LIVESTRONG to spread messages in and around locations at key moments.

The team was inspired by this phenomenon and devised a way for even more people to chalk messages of hope during the Tour. This rethinking of a tradition and making it digital and more widespread was a strong idea that we presented with all our ideas for the campaign looking for impact and creativity in every medium we could activate.

Did the team and the client buy into the idea from the start or did it take some convincing that this would be the right solution?
The idea for the Chalkbot was received well early on. Its feasibility was somewhat in question. This technology had never been tried on such a scale. During the evolving nature of creative presentations, the Chalkbot also evolved. In the meetings we all saw this odd-looking yellow SUV with a trailer full of nozzles. Nike saw the potential in the idea but couldn't sign off on it until we had a manageable budget. It was a leap of faith on Nike's part that paid off. It took a lot of courage.

Were there any technological issues doing such cutting edge work that needed to be overcome?
The Chalkbot was a new invention. It had several glitches and faults. The team worked tirelessly over several weeks before and during the Tour de France to make the machine work. Each night, the team would take the nozzles from the Chalkbot to their hotel rooms and clean them with toothbrushes. It was painstakingly difficult. Every morning before dawn they would test the chalking and prepare for the day's work. This process was arduous and often tedious. By the end, the team was exhausted. It was a huge experiment, and the demands they put upon themselves were remarkable. The Chalkbot, although digital, took a lot of physical labor.

How would you describe the evolution of digital work over the last 10 years?
Over the past 10 years, digital has come to mean creativity in all mediums and not just a mad rush to do things on a website. In 2000, if you talked about digital, you were making a website that you believed the whole world would come visit. This was a location or hub for communication. Brands and companies tried to duplicate networks such as ESPN or the Drudge Report. When they discovered that no one would visit them unless they did something interesting, they figured out no one needed another website.

Today, it's important to make the connectivity of the Internet useful and meaningful. The community-minded Nike LIVESTRONG efforts make the most of digital mediums. Lance Armstrong tweets every day. The multiple sites and forums offer cancer patients and survivors ways to stay in touch, share information and offer each other support. This isn't digital for digital's sake. It's a useful activation of technology that serves those in need of support.

Digital is part of real life. It's at its best when it works to connect people to people or the information and services they are looking for. When a campaign works digitally, it's because those involved have considered the potential for what can be accomplished through connectivity. Digital can be more than just TV on the Internet.

Where do you see the interactive/digital industry heading in the next 10 years?
What's clear is that digital makes analog more special and vice versa. They are not mutually exclusive but closely linked. Digital communication will be more and more competitive and will therefore offer new breakthroughs in smart ideas. Creativity in every medium will become the message. Digital will only mean that a campaign works on multiple levels. It's a business idea that is entrepreneurial for a brand to take on an initiative that will gather consensus and spark engagement and social interaction. In other words, digital will become an even more powerful way for brands to express their feelings as well as the products and services they offer and sell. In the case of Nike LIVESTRONG, the product and service is support and strength of the many while they are facing a deadly disease. The many become stronger the better the connectivity works. In a way, Nike was the first interactive brand. Just do it. Digital and otherwise.




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Overview: Visitors to this online showroom swing their way through gorgeously rendered 3D kitchens built for every taste and style, providing a cinematic canvas for exploring IKEA products.


From the Team:
The most interesting thing about this project is that it started as a brief for a print ad. Pretty soon we realized that what IKEA wanted to do wouldn't fit into an ad. So we came up with something else.

Armed with a bunch of sketches and a very rough animatic we went to see the client. Luckily they loved it. That was the easy part. What happened after that was a feverish nightmare for everyone involved. Eventually and fortunately we ended up with a pretty cool web site that we are thrilled to have on the One Show Interactive Best of the Digital Decade.

Click to see demo site



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Overview: After downloading eco:Drive to their PC, users plug a USB stick into their Fiat and it records and analyzes their acceleration, deceleration, gear changes and speed. This allows them to calculate total mileage, CO2 produced, and other driving metrics. Tutorial films then walk them back through their journey explaining their good and bad habits and giving advice on how to improve.


From the Team:
When you were working on the project, did you think that it would be one of the milestone pieces of the decade?
You never think that, you just have to believe that what you are doing is right. If you believe that, and focus your passion and enthusiasm on that, then the outcome will be a success. We don't produce work for awards, we create products that we hope people find useful and delightful.

Did the team and the client buy into the idea from the start or did it take some convincing that this would be the right solution?
The clear conviction that Fiat had in the idea, together with their irrepressibly innovative nature meant that from day one we all knew this was right thing to do.

Where there any technological issues doing such cutting edge work that needed to be overcome?
Of course. Innovation is difficult, and making technology easy, isn't. But nothing is impossible if you have the right people with the right motivations working on it. Everyone involved, from Fiat and AKQA, were inspirational individuals whose determination, belief and passion drove the project through what others might consider insurmountable technical issues.

How would you describe the evolution of digital work over the last ten years?
More and more people understand the difference between gimmick and innovation. The work has matured as the available technologies have allowed it to. But I believe the greatest evolution has been attitudinal; it always is when something new, and possibly threatening to some, comes along.

Where do you see the interactive/digital industry heading in the next ten years?
I hope there isn't a 'digital' industry in ten years, if there is then something has gone very wrong. My hope is that agencies and brands stop thinking in terms of channels; consumers did years ago.



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Overview: The interactive incarnation of Voyeur allowed users to move from window to window and story to story, pausing to review scenes or changing the soundtrack to create an entirely new mood.


From the Team:
HBO Voyeur




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Overview: Ogilvy created this artful time lapse video to demonstrate the work and artifice that goes into creating the image of the "poster girl." The resulting viral video encouraged mothers and mentors of young girls to get involved with the Dove Self Esteem workshops.


From the Team:
No one creates work thinking "milestone". That's something other people decide. We believed that Evolution would have impact, but primarily on girls and women, not on our industry. We hoped it would demonstrate a different way of doing things, but never anticipated that it would be a sea change.

Just over 4 years old, yet it seems like a century since Evolution burst onto the web. The first successful branded "viral" video, it was a riveting film with a strong message. Its challenges weren't technological. They were tactical. Waaaay back then, no one was sure if branded video would catch on. Would its audience find it? Could it expand that audience? Start a conversation? Engage people in a relevant way? Would it be rejected because it was from a brand?

Evolution couldn't have happened except in an environment of openness, trust and partnership; our clients had heart for exploration, support for experimentation. It was exciting and fun the way great collaboration between agency and clients should be. The creative team of Tim Piper and Mike Kirkland approached the project with tremendous passion for the brand mission and obsessive attention to a thousand details. Planets aligned. And it was part of a landscape that has completely changed in 10 years.

Even 3 years ago, most of us still thought of the web as another screen or channel. We used it to run commercials or post print ads that people could click. We took the usual tricks of our trade and stuck them in a new place. Can't get away with that anymore.

Our brands have to intersect with people where they conduct their lives. They have to have a point of view rather than attempting to be everything to everyone. They have to "do" not just "talk". Which means we need to create relevant experiences and offer utility, not just entertainment. As a result, amazing things have happened in the blink of an eye: Google lab, Whopper Sacrifice, Nike+, Orange Balloonacy, T-Mobile – the list goes on.

It's the hardest time we've ever seen, but also the most exciting. The whole model is in flux. Everyone is trying everything. And anyone who isn't will be a museum exhibit before they know it. The future: never stop experimenting.





Well that's it, the 10 Best examples of Interactive Advertising of the past decade as determined by some of advertising's top digital creatives. Be sure to check out all the nominations pulled from our One Show Interactive archives.

Join us January 11, 2011 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, for The One Club Best of the Digital Decade Gala, and rub elbows with these award winning digeratti.







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The One Club champions excellence in advertising and design in all its forms. It is the world's foremost non-profit organization devoted to elevating creative work in the industry. The One Club celebrates the legacy of creative advertising, inspires working creative professionals and nurtures future generations.

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