The Best Christmas Digital in 2016
3 mins read
Published on Thursday 22nd December 2016
Welcome to Digitally Lead – a monthly segment where we look back on the news stories that turned our collective heads during the last four weeks. This month we're looking at our favourite Christmas campaigns of 2016.
Retail Gift Finders
A number of retailers have launched online gift finder tools aimed at simplifying the sometimes overwhelming search for presents. Executions range from simple and classic by Topshop, ASOS (also offered in a Facebook Canvas execution) and eBay to more flashy like the NY Times holiday gift guide. We designed ‘The Joy of Giving’, a mobile-first gift finding tool for Uniqlo; aimed at making the gift search as easy as possible whilst highlighting Uniqlo as a great place to buy gifts for all your loved ones.
Bringing some much-needed magic to the Christmas shopping slog, 1 million square-feet of Covent Garden was transformed into the world's first AR shopping activation. Spanning across 140 different stores and restaurants, shoppers used the Blippar app to bring shopping to life.
McDonalds also partnered with Blippar and Amazon to give what it claims is its “biggest ever Christmas celebration”, with a blippable tray mats offering a portal into an advent calendar with interactive elements, animations and the chance to win prizes each day.
This comes at the end of a year that has seen AR really boom for consumers, with projections for the industry as high as $90 billion in the next 3 years.
Digital Advent Calendars
Christmas 2016 has been the year of digital advent calendars but our favourite has to be Quartz's '25 Days of Exchange.' Combining beautiful front end design with some really interesting content; it's kept us coming back every day since the 1st. With beautiful, simple design and animation and a really enjoyable user interaction, the experience itself is reward enough.
Lidl's Social Price Drop
In their own words, this Christmas Lidl "aren't putting a dog on a trampoline, or a carrot on a quest" but bucking the trend by letting shoppers lower the prices of festive products simply by tweeting about them. This is a smart strategy as it will sustain buzz throughout the festive period with rotating products up for reduction. While the idea isn’t new, as the UK’s fastest-growing supermarket Lidl have done well here to stand themselves apart by reinvigorating the power-to-customer mechanic.
Other notable festivities…
The Snow Fox
This years Christmas card from AKQA, The Snow Fox, comes in the form of a rather beautiful iOS app that uses voice-recognition technology to bring the wintery personalised story to life on screen as it is read. Powered by words and using SiriKit to turn voice into a reading gesture, the story centres around the adventure of a young child and their new friend, the Snow Fox.
First AI-Composed Christmas Carol
A few months back, Sony CSL Research Laboratory’s AI system Flow Machines created wrote the lyrics and melody to a song inspired by The Beatles. Lucky us - researchers at the University of Toronto have countered with their very own wonderfully unsettling Christmas Carol. The 'neural karaoke' tool sings about what it sees, so the carol is based around the Christmas tree with lights atop and presents below. Don't sing this one on your Carol run this year.