But every once in awhile we see a campaign that reminds us that in fact, marketing is all about engaging people at an emotional level - this is what really counts.
Take a look at this campaign that was put together to help drive donations for the Anzac Appeal in Australia this year.
This summer in Brazil, Nivea wanted to expand their engagement, particularly with mothers, and particularly related to sun protection products.
The result is one of the most interesting campaigns we've seen for quite some time, combining a branded mobile app with a disposable location tag to provide parents with peace of mind at the beach this summer.
The biggest sporting event of 2014 is undoubtedly the World Cup in Brazil, and McDonald's has launched a new campaign using augmented reality to engage fans while they are eating.
However, this past year toy company Toys R Us ran an innovative mobile ad campaign which included voice recognition to help mobile shoppers find just the right toys.
Now Secret has launched a new mobile campaign using Snap’s mobile app that encourages teenagers to customize photos and spread an anti-bullying message to their friends and family.
This year, EA Sports decided to run a very targeted mobile campaign around the launch of FIFA 14, trying to reach true football fans, and at the moment when they are most in the mood to think about football.
But NFC can be used for many purposes other than payments.
Now Guiness, the world's number one stout, has implemented a mobile marketing campaign which simply uses NFC to engage and reward customers in the pub.
Perhaps this is where NFC will finally be successful!
This mobile campaign from Diageo, which ran in Brazil, does just that. And although its not overly complex or hi-tech, it certainly adds a bit of fun and helped people express what they really feel on Father's Day.
And according to Diageo, they learned several key lessons from running this campaign.
Kimberly Clark, the company behind Huggies Pull Ups, has created a free app to help children and their parents work together through this special event.
Americanino is a Chilean apparel brand that put together a truly unique "Pop-Up" campaign based on an outdoor QR code. Their "Hypnotize" campaign convinced young Chileans to take their clothes off in public to win new fashion items!
This is exactly what Google and Coke have done. They teamed up to re-interpret one of the most iconic ad campaigns of all time, with some of the most creative use of mobile technology that we have seen.
The results worked so well that the campaign was awarded the first Mobile Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival.
When Ubisoft was preparing to launch their Wii game "Just Dance 3", one of their key objectives was to broaden the target of the Just Dance series beyond their traditional core customer base of teenage girls.
Widening the audience for the games meant finding a way to market to non-traditional Just Dance fans, and it turned out that using a mobile app was a great way to go!
However a recent campaign launched in partnership with Proctor & Gamble aims to change this by making the most of their mobile and e-commerce platforms.
Beer is of course a very popular drink in Ireland, and most people already have a favorite brand of beer that they drink on a regular basis.
So what can a beer brand do to encourage Irish men to try a different beer when they go to the pub?
Budweiser found the answer to this challenge in a very innovate mobile campaign that provided mobile coupons whose value varied according to the local weather!
Having identified that their target audience spent more time on social games than they did watching prime time television, they came up with the idea of creating an exclusive level of the Angry Birds game.
And the results were spectacular!
This past summer, Carling Black Label changed all of this, and gave football fans in South Africa the opportunity to “manage” two of the most famous teams in South Africa for one of the biggest matches of the year.
With an easy to use mobile interface, the fans responded by the millions!
When Vicks - a leading provider of cold & flu medicine - rolled out a mobile marketing campaign for their Behind Ear Thermometer they wanted to target only consumers in locations where the flu was common.
Sound impossible? Read how a special free service from Google helped them accomplish this objective!
This year, for their Christmas campaign, Coke has begun shipping Coke in an all-white can, and has been encouraging consumers to scan the can to make a contribution to the fund.
My Kitchen Table, a new cooking app from personal media company TigerSpike in partnership with Ebury Publishing brings together great recipes with innovative technology to improve the cooking experience.
This comes after the company recorded an 800% year-on-year growth in mobile revenues.
Now they have taken this commitment to the next level with the release of an iPad app that allows consumers to order their pizzas directly from their device.
This campaign from Cadbury is based around a fairly simple AR game - the clever part is that the game is triggered simply by pointing the phone at a Cadbury product!
Barclaycard's Waterslide Extreme is one of the most popular branded apps ever, and it was made purely an afterthought!
Global food chain Tesco was finding it hard to compete in the Korean market, until they decided to do just that.
Check out this very cool use of mobile!
Building on this new consumer trend, global beer brand Heineken has launched what they claim to be the first "dual screen" mobile marketing campaign around the 2011 UEFA Champions League tournament.
Heineken’s Starplayer app is a real-time mobile game that gets fans engaged with the brand and their favorite football team at the same time.
But what if you could see a new car and explore its features without going to a dealer?
This is exactly what this innovative Augmented Reality campaign does, enabling British car shoppers to see and play with the new Ford C Max car - in the palm of their hand!
The campaign is intended to use the mobile device to allow the Salvation Army to forge relationships with younger donors, with the aim of sustaining these relationships as they grow older.
Last summer, mobile agency Mobilera teamed up with media agency Outeractive to do just that for Unilever's Cornetto brand, bringing an outdoor audience participation multi-player mobile game to the millions that pass through this neighborhood on a daily basis.
The Cornetto mobile game campaign won the 2011 GSMA Award for "Best Mobile Advertising & Marketing Campaign"!
Now Apple has brought iAds to the iPad in a move to broaden the reach of the ad platform as well as to help iPad developers establish an additional revenue stream.
Now there is a mobile game - Anina Dress Up - developed by an insider in the fashion industry, that helps them do just that.
If it is true that the iPad is really just like an iPhone with a larger screen, than innovative brands should be able to combine the interactivity of an iPhone with the graphics of an iPad to come up with a great user experience for marketing.
Now fashion brand Gap has done just that.
In the past Gap has launched iPhone apps to bring GAP fashion to their customers. Now they have teamed with agency AKQA to launch an ambitious iPad application to really take advantage of the beautiful iPad screen.
The £20 million campaign includes TV, print and digital advertising including high impact takeovers on MSN, Yahoo, YouTube and a brand page on Facebook.
However, recently Crown Imports (importer of Corona beer), mobile ad network Greystripe and market research firm ComScore have joined together to announce the results of Corona's recent "Win a Beach Getaway" campaign which ran across Greystripe’s mobile advertising network.
The numbers show the campaign was very effective at increasing in both brand awareness as well as purchase intent.
One of this summer's biggest box office cinema hits is Iron Man 2 - the story about a billionaire technical genius who fights crime as the armored superhero Iron Man. Given the high-tech nature of the film, it was a natural promotional fit for launching a new, premium mobile phone, and not surprisingly, augmented reality was the technology chosen.
In this article we see how LG Mobile Phones teamed up with Marvel Comics, Paramount Pictures, and Total Immersion to execute a campaign utilizing both mobile-based and PC-based AR.
A few months ago MobiAD's Jim Cook participated at the M-Football event in London. On the panel were several mobile agencies and a mobile operator each of whom had run successful campaigns based around football and sports.
In this article we'll look at several of these campaigns, covering a wide range of brands and campaign mechanics. The common thread is that they all successfully used sports to build a connection between the brands and their audiences.
1GOAL is bringing together footballers, fans, charities, corporations and individuals to achieve the ambitious aim of education for everyone.
The Yellow Pages is one such service. When it began almost 50 years ago, it was a book that consumers could use to find local businesses. As the internet boom took off, Yell.com became popular, and as mobile internet grew, an iPhone app was launched.
And now Yell has upgraded their iPhone application to include Augmented Reality, providing the most up to date way for people to find their local businesses.
Now Nike is taking this one step further with their mobile app campaign Nike True City. This is a location-based city guide - with a social media component - for six of Europe's most interesting cities, all done with Nike style and flair. Check it out.
To help build this relationship, leading French cosmetics company Lancôme used both an iPhone app as well as social media to launch "Declare Indigo", the new fall line of make-up by Aaron de Mey, Lancôme's Creative Director of Make-up.
The iPhone app lets women try out the new color combinations, get make-up tips from Lancôme experts, and even share their creations with their friends!
So a few months ago Toyota launched a special version of their mobile site that was optimized for the iPhone.
And now, Toyota has released The Prius Experience App, a free iPhone app that uses the unique features of the iPhone to engage with individual consumers, and also connects the consumer to a large billboard display in New York's Times Square!
This year IBM decided to take advantage of the newest mobile technologies to make the event even better. See how they combined location awareness, augmented reality, and twitter feeds to provide a unique branded utility to help fans better enjoy the event.
And one thing Adidas has found through research is that marathon runners don't achieve their goals alone - it requires a lot of support from family and friends to make their personal dreams a reality.
To promote their their sponsorship of the 2009 London Marathon, Adidas decided to use mobile technology to help the runners and spectators stay connected during the race, by providing the Mobile Marathon Tracker, and Personalized Runner Messages.
With such unusual designs, IKEA felt they had to do something special to help customers imagine how this furniture would fit into their houses, so they turned to a mobile augmented reality solution.
The Portable Interior Planner application gives customers the ability to see exactly how the new designs will look in their home, without the need to actually move any furniture!
This was one of the first campaigns to exploit visual interactivity to engage consumers, and although the campaign is no longer active, it is still a great example of creative use of innovation for marketing.
Recently, one of Coke's major soft drink brands, Fanta, teamed up with Ogilvy Advertising to bring out a mobile application for teens using a new technology that (as far as we know) has never before been used for mobile marketing.
The Fanta Stealth Sound System brings teens together by letting them talk in secret, without adults even knowing that they are communicating.
So the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in the UK turned to mobile marketing to help them connect with this hard to reach group.
thmbnls is a free, 22 episode mobile soap opera that was launched earlier this year and which is a key element in DCSF's overall Want Respect? Wear a Condom campaign.
Nissan ran a campaign recently to promote the innovative features of their Murano line. At the same time they ran a detailed research project among consumers to gauge the effect of the campaign. What they found was a big jump in product awareness - over 30% - as well as a significant improvement in the overall image of Nissan.
Thanks to a new iPhone application recently launched by Freemantle and Zumobi, fans will have the opportunity for an even deeper engagement with the show, whenever they want to, where ever they want to.
In the TV series a Terminator can locate its victim no matter where they are. What if that could be done in real life as well? Agencies 20:20 London and Incentivated did just that, putting together a campaign with a great use of mobile location plus video that has won numerous awards in the past months.
The result was the innovative mobile marketing application Guinness Passport to Greatness, that won the 2008 MMA award for “Best Use of Mobile Marketing". It featured an interactive guide to the tournament, plus information about Hong Kong nightlife, and could even speak Cantonese!
We thought it would be a good idea to share a number of these with you to give an idea of the wide range of marketing approaches that companies are taking.
So here is some information on a few mobile apps that we think you will find interesting.
(From our recent interview with Shaun Gregory, CEO of Blyk UK.)
From our recent interview with Shaun Gregory, CEO of Blyk UK.