"A simple concept that makes interesting use of a novel multiplayer banner technology." —juror Jay Zasa
"Simple, clever and a wonderful example of real-time collaboration (to have captured all of this in one little banner is impressive)." —juror Ranee Chung
Overview: This banner was part of a larger IBM campaign informing IT managers that Lotus Notes 8.5 includes a set of collaboration and social networking tools that make it more than just an e-mail application. To demonstrate the concept, this networked banner allowed users to join a simple collaboration, in real-time, directly inside of the ad unit. Users were given a simple set of tools and urged to collaborate with others to create unique shapes with the letters I, D, E and A in the hope that it would provide them with the insight that "ideas get better with collaboration."
• The banner had 3,786,337 impressions; 169,630 people interacted with it; and 5,652 clicked through.
• There is no real unique navigation on the banners; a simple rollover initializes interactivity.
• Eight percent of users rolled over the "send to friend" viral component on the landing page.
Comments by Tim Murray and Adam Lau:
Was the topic/subject of the project a new one for you? "We had lots of experience with the IBM brand and its core offerings. This was our first attempt at a multi-user banner."
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Creating a networked banner that had the right balance of interactivity and performance and how to best facilitate collaboration between multiple users. The trick was to find a system/interface that was simple and easily learned and also offered a reward for successful teamwork. There is a natural tendency in multi-user environments for chaos to reign. The system had to put a strong emphasis on a goal. The framing of the entire experience also had to underscore IBM's message of ideas improving through collaboration."
Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? "The audience is fairly easy to reach with targeted media, but standing out in the category is difficult."
How did this project compare with others you've worked on in the past? This project enjoyed a lot of support and collaboration between the creative team, the developer, technology and our account group. Once the interactions proved to be so successful, it became apparent how many other uses the idea could have. This allowed the project to be given more time and resources to further develop its potential—which doesn't happen very often."
How did time constraints affect your final solution? "We were unable to completely iron-out some small performance issues related to the exchange of data between the various Flash banner clients and the Media Server. This was mostly due to server proxying normal to all banner deployments. The end result was still great, but once in a while latency issues would be noticeable."
What would you do differently if you could start the project over? "There are some architectural things we would change in the multi-user version, but nothing significant about the overall communication. If anything, we would have liked to extend the idea into interactive outdoor, social media and perhaps mobile."