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Top 10 mobile advertising campaigns of Q2

Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Guess are among the brands to be reckoned with in mobile advertising, leveraging a mix of native experiences, social sharing and greater interactivity to boost consumer engagement and awareness of products and services.

During the second quarter of 2015, a period notable for the release of mobile applications for the Apple Watch and greater reliance on social strategies, forward-thinking consumer packaged goods brands such as Mondelez displayed greater acumen in closing the gap between inspiration and trial on mobile. 

Automakers such as Toyota once again showed skill at building engagement with on-the-go consumers. Heading into the second half of the year, marketers are expected to evolve beyond location to deploy data available about consumers for more targeted strategies. Brands also can be expected to continue adding uniquely mobile interactive elements and developing effective native experiences.

Here are the top 10 mobile ads of the second quarter of 2015, in alphabetical order.

A Coca-Cola campaign enabled mobile users to interact with television ads for Coke Zero as a bottle poured the beverage first on the bigger screen before migrating to the screen in consumers? hands and then transforming into a coupon. 

Integrating Coke Zero with NCAA Final Four.

The strategy, which also included mobile-enabled in-stadium interactions, was part of a bigger, multi-channel effort integrated with NCAA Men?s Final Four series in Indianapolis, IN. Using what Coca-Cola called ?drinkable advertising,? the campaign was designed to encourage trial of Coke Zero among college basketball fans in Indianapolis and at home. 
 
The Coke Zero campaign focused on trying to turn traditional advertising elements into immediate trial opportunities. By making it easy and fun to try Coke Zero, the campaign aimed to address the insight that many consumers thought they knew the beverage?s taste but actually did not.  

The idea of making advertising ?drinkable? was most evident in a 26-foot-by 36-foot billboard located at March Madness Music Festival in White River State Park in Indianapolis. 

The billboard appeared to dispense Coke Zero from a massive contour bottle through 4,500 feet of straw tubing that spelled out ?Taste It? before carrying the liquid to a free sampling station on the ground.

A handful of big brands such as Gap, L?Oreal, Walgreens, Suave and Target tested a unique take on visual storytelling via a new ad unit from Pinterest that sought to make the experience less disruptive by giving users more control. 

A partnership with Visa pointed to a commerce angle as well, with Virgin America and Gymboree brand Crazy8 among the first to offer Cinematic Pins with Visa Checkout. The new Cinematic Pin is part of a suite of new services designed to make it easier for brands big and small to reach Pinterest users, 80 percent of who are on a mobile device. 

The new Cinematic Pin is an animated Promoted Pin that only moves when a user is scrolling and is part of a bigger push into monetization from the social media network.

For example, a Cinematic Pin from Wendy?s showed a basket filling with strawberries as the screen scrolled up and down, promoting the chain?s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad. 

In another example, a woman was seen shaking out her hair in a Cinematic Post from Suave about a three-step trick for voluminous, bouncy hair. 

Guess helped consumers explore its line of sunglasses on mobile via a new advertisement that asked users to snap a selfie and virtually try on different styles tailored to specific face shapes.
Showcasing engaging marketing to build affinity.

The social-sharing campaign was developed to help the brand effectively reach its target millennial demographic and also showcase engaging marketing in a bid to maintain loyalty and affinity. Guess and its agency partner, Mobext, teamed up with mobile advertising company Kargo to create the ?Try On? ad unit, which tapped a mobile device?s camera functionality and was supported by native and video ads.

Kargo?s ad unit for Guess sought to go beyond the standard and stagnant banner ad. Once users hit a mobile site on which the unit was supported, they could spot a small banner on the top or bottom of the screen.

After clicking on the ?Tap to Explore? button, the ad opened up and presented consumers with different styles of Guess sunglasses, with an invitation to try on any style that spoke to them.

The different styles of sunglasses also indicated which face shape they typically suited best. For example, Guess?s ?Illiana? aviators were well-suited for people with square-shaped faces.
 
Home Depot used mobile as an unusually cold winter wound down to reach consumers? whose minds turned to home improvement projects with native ads while simultaneously experimenting with the effectiveness of deep links. 

Two ads appeared in the mobile news feed on Huffington Post, one promoting a limited-time offer on carpet home installation services and the other, products for refreshing cabinets and bathrooms. Tapping through on the former brought users directly to a mobile-friendly page on the Home Depot site listing carpeting products available at a nearby store while the latter links to the home page of the site. 

Home improvement marketers such as Home Depot have traditionally targeted consumers with ads in the spring when many begin planning the projects they want to work on during the upcoming months. 

By updating this strategy for mobile, Home Depot was able to reach consumers where they were increasingly spending time. 

Macy's preserves all-American image with summer selfie campaign
Macy?s kicked off its American Icons summer campaign with a selfie push on social media as it sought to embody the easygoing, fun-loving lifestyle of the warmer months while cementing its all-American image. 

The selfie initiative encourages consumers to share a picture that personifies what America means to them with the hashtag #AmericanSelfie, making the consumer part of its marketing image and creating a greater connection. 

Numerous pictures were to be selected to be a part of the prominent annual Macy?s July 4 Fireworks, broadcast on national television, and a donation was to be made to non-profit campaign for Veterans, Got Your 6 with each post, all of which enticed consumers to get involved.

The #AmericanSelfie hashtag is just one aspect of the American Icons campaign this summer. Macy?s planned a slew of summer events, concerts and digital campaigns centered on warmer weather and support of veterans, just in time for Memorial Day, a national holiday that represents both ideals. 

Mondelez ramped up on mobile to drive a trial for its first limited-edition Triscuit flavor, created in partnership with Martha Stewart, placing a strong focus on Pinterest via on-pack promotion as well as native mobile ads on Facebook.
 
The new Toasted Coconut & Sea Salt Triscuit was announced this spring and Mondelez bet big on mobile and social to convince consumers to make a purchase by offering tips and techniques for how to create satisfying snacks with the unique flavor.
 
Native ads in the Facebook mobile news feed featured side-by-side images of a Triscuit box next to several crackers topped with different ingredients. 

The copy talked up how the limited-edition flavor could be used to create either sweet or savory snacks and included a link to the Triscuit board on Pinterest.

Schick USA tapped a mobile-optimized video that asked male consumers to interact with an eccentric character and vote for their top three indisposable comforts to promote its Xtreme3 razors, suggesting that consumer packaged goods marketers would be well-served to offer interactive elements in their mobile video campaigns.

Interacting with Lutz.

The video, which was created by agency Beeby Clark+Meyler and was accessible via satiric news organization The Onion?s site, as well as a dedicated site, www.comfortsofman.com/video, introduced mobile users to eccentric host Lutz, who welcomed them to ?Comfortopia: the land of indisposable comforts.? 

He then asked consumers to look at 10 popular lifestyle items, ranging from headphones, video game consoles and the Schick Xtreme3 razor, and dragged their top three indisposable comforts to the designated icons for a chance to win all 10 products.

Mobile users were able to interact with Lutz in the humorous video, which took a marketing strategy of pushing an experience rather than a product. The video, which was targeted toward male consumers, prompted Lutz to offer dramatic responses each time a user clicked on one of the 10 possible indisposable comforts.

Showtime?s new comedy Happyish took over the New York Times iPad application for a day with banners and a mood reader to promote the upcoming series premiere.

The New York Times iPad readers saw banners and advertisements for the show with an interactive display that users could put their thumb against to display the consumer?s state of mind. It then showed that the user was happy ? or happyish - along with an advertisement for the show and a link to view the full trailer. 

Accessing the Times app allowed Showtime to reach an audience that was likely to be interested in Happyish and similar programs. 

Showtime is no stranger to cross promotion with other brands and demographics. The network provided a sneak peak to the new show after the season finale of its popular drama, Shameless. This created brand awareness and tapped a larger audience. 

Toyota?s new campaign regarding hydrogen fuel was the first to use Forbes.com's new multi-platform advertising tool Pulse that focuses on engaging the mobile consumer.

Forbes.com focused on creating advertising content that integrated with Forbes? own content and best served both advertisers and consumers. 

Toyota?s campaign coincided with this goal, using mobile optimized content such as video, trivia, data visualizations and banners. 

The Toyota campaign for Forbes.com, named ?Fueled by Skepticism,? promoted Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, which were highly criticized in the past but are now regarded as adoptable. 

The campaign featured notions that were previously denounced but are now considered society staples such as sliced bread, men exploring the moon, the invention of automobiles and the personalization of computers. 

Unilever's Degree deodorant brand supported its sponsorship of a new fitness application, Sweat This Not That, with a 30-day challenge on the Apple Watch, suggesting that brands were looking to wearables marketing to connect with consumers on an-going basis through everyday activities such as working out. 

Connecting with consumers via wearables.

The app launched April 24, along with the Apple Watch, and could be downloaded on either the watch or the iPhone. Users were prompted with push-notifications to complete one challenge every day for 30 days, and received a badge that was shareable through social media to celebrate completion of the challenge. 

The 30-day challenge app was also available on the iPhone along with the Apple Watch. The program was also leveraging consumers? interest in snackable content, as the daily challenges were only a few minutes. 

According to a study by Treato.com, 73 percent of fitness wearable-users did not plan on switching to the Apple Watch for fitness purposes.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York