5 Great online video marketing campaigns from 2011

There’s no doubt that online video is becoming more and more of an important medium for brands. Here are some of the best campaigns we saw in 2011.

1. The Inside Experience (Intel and Toshiba)
You know that experience when you’re watching a horror film and the heroine starts doing something obviously stupid (like running up the stairs) and you yell at the screen trying to tell her what to do? Well, Intel and Toshiba created an experience where your interactions could actually make a difference to the action.

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The interactive movie consists of a series of video clips that were released over eight days. It features a young woman, Christina, who is kidnapped and trapped in a room without knowing why. Her only contact with the outside world is her Toshiba laptop, through which she engaged with viewers on social networks in “real time” during her confinement. The viewers could give her suggestions and helped her to work out what had happened to her, and how she could get out.

2. Le Club (Perrier)
An edgy campaign that got a lot of attention, Perrier’s YouTube channel housed a party video that got “steamier” the more views it attracted. A thermometer on the custom channel kept track of how many views the video had received, and the level of raunchiness that had been unlocked. In the end, the video attracted over 11-million views as users encouraged their friends to watch it, in order to access the wilder versions.

3. YiaYia Disapproves (Athenos)
Quite simple in functionality, but one of the best-executed custom YouTube (or YiaTube) channels this year, was Athenos’ YiaYia campaign page. The channel housed a number of short videos where YiaYia (Greek for “grandmother”) expresses her disapproval for various aspects of modernised culture (stay-at-home dads, couples living together who aren’t married…). The only thing YiaYia does not disapprove of is Athenos traditional hummus.

Users could further engage with the campaign by sending their friends customised YiaYia videos and animated GIFs of disapproval.

4. Touch the Rainbow (Skittles)
Creepy, bizarre and wonderful, Skittles took the idea of the “interactive video” in a new direction this year when it allowed you interact with short online videos by placing your finger on the screen. The best one starts with a cat licking your finger, who is elbowed out of the way by a man dressed like a cat, who continues to lick it. Try not pulling your finger away in disgust, I dare you.

5. Dear Sophie (Google)
Google has produced some of the most emotionally resonant videos over the past couple of years demonstrating the wonder of the internet experienced through its products. One of the most heartwarming was this year’s “Dear Sophie”, which shows a father documenting his young daughter’s life through web products and writing a letter to her.

Did you spot a great video campaign in 2011 that we’ve missed? Add your suggestions in the comments.

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