Best of digital, January 2015: Psychopath banner shows display advertising can be fun

The world’s best digital marketing for January 2015 features a display campaign that challenged users to complete horrendously mundane tasks to win some train tickets. 

Based on the winners of hundreds of marketing award competitions each year, the team at European digital marketing research firm Best Marketing International shortlists 10 works and forwards them to international expert jury for voting.

In January 2015, they monitored around 15 award shows from across the globe. The month was strongly dominated by European shows, most importantly Eurobest as the key marketing event in the region.

The January 2015 winners are…


First place: ‘Banner Contest for Psychopaths’ for by TBWA\Paris (France) is a subsidiary of the French SNCF and Expedia selling train tickets on European routes. In December, changed to The task was to drive traffic to the new site and raise awareness among UK travellers. TBWA\Paris came up with three special banners: the ‘24 hours banner’, the ‘1,000,000 clicks banner’ and the ‘587 miles scrolling banner’. People were challenged to complete one of the banner marathons and grab a free train pass. Plenty of ‘psychos’ accepted the challenge. In the end, the final click rate was up to six times higher than the average rate in the UK. Seven players managed to finish one of the tasks.

What the jury said:

Peter Roper, editor at Marketing (Melbourne, Australia):

“I really enjoy seeing creative ways of using media formats to their unique strengths, but if there’s one that hasn’t lived up to its promises, it’s online display. Until now. That’s the long and the short of why I love this campaign. Add to that the slick, fun execution and the timeless appeal of being challenged to mundane tasks for a reward, no matter how small, makes this a really neat campaign.”

Misha Coetzee, digital brand manager at Investec (Johannesburg, South Africa):

“As digital marketers we’re finding it harder and harder to break through the banner clutter. I love Voyages SNCF quirky approach and interesting use of the medium.  I also love that they weren’t afraid to target their product and campaign at Psychopaths; it certainly got my attention.”


Second place: ‘Finngenerator’ for  Finnish Tourist Board by BYROO and SEK & GREY HELSINKI (Finland)

Finngenerator’s mission was to attract interest to Finland as a unique Nordic travel destination. The simple mobile optimised web tool allowed people to generate their personal Finnish name. The tool became super popular amongst procrastinators all over the world. received over 2.4 million unique visitors from 227 different countries and the number of visitors has stayed record high after the campaign.

What the jury said:

Mike Berry, digital marketing lecturer, trainer author and consultant (London, UK):

“I love this idea; maybe Finnish people have a similar sense of humour to us Brits. (Who knew?) All tourist boards targeting foreign visitors must build a national brand; they need potential visitors from overseas to feel there is something different, unusual, interesting and/or stimulating about that particular country. The problem was that Finland didn’t have a particularly strong brand personality; they addressed this directly with a funny mobile app, Finngenerator, which allowed people to change their name into a Finnish version, based on Finnish mythology and the natural environment. Not very complex, not particularly clever and in fact extremely silly but it worked brilliantly. By the way, I’m Tapio Metsälä. And I’m telling all my friends!”


Third place: Kotak Mahindra Bank’s World’s First Twitter Banking (India)

Since 2013, social media banking has been a huge focus for financial players. Kotak Mahindra Bank in India took a brave step forward and opened the first Twitter banking service in the world. It’s called Jifi and has been rapidly growing its client base since launch in late spring 2014. This might be a ground-breaking initiative for the whole financial sector.

What the jury said:

Gamze Gurbuzatik, client services director at JWT International (Istanbul, Turkey):

“We all want our consumers to talk about our brands in social media to add more visibility and earned media for our brand, however it is not so easy to do that, especially in a world where more consumers are using social media to complain about the brands they are using. The use of gamification of Kotak Jifi, almost similar to getting miles or extra thank you points is really clever.”

This month the jury consisted of Peter Roper, editor at Marketing (Australia, Melbourne), Mike Berry, digital marketing lecturer, trainer, author and consultant (UK), Hando Sinisalu, CEO of Best Marketing International (Estonia), Gamze Gurbuzatik, client services director at JWT International (Istanbul, Turkey), Misha Coetzee digital brand manager at Investec (South Africa) and Kusnadi Assaini, head of division at Digital One (Jakarta, Indonesia).