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Top 10 mobile advertising campaigns of 2015

In 2015, Coca-Cola, Maytag and Toyota blazed the trail for big brands in mobile advertising with cutting-edge campaigns that advanced how to connect with consumers and build brand awareness via smartphones.

The most innovative uses of mobile advertising in 2015 engaged mobile users through rewarding experiences and interactive displays, signifying the importance in attracting consumers on their terms. The marketing industry has learned to tap into mobile for new forms of exciting campaigns which entice consumers to engage rather than interrupting their experiences. 

Here are the top 10 mobile advertising campaigns of 2015, in alphabetical order.

Rum brand Bacardi took to Facebook for its millennial-focused campaign by tapping into the social media platform?s immersive canvas advertising unit, opening up full-screen mobile viewing once users clicked on the ad.

The multi-channel campaign was aimed at adventure-seeking consumers and millennials through a new television ad as well as a social media-focused push, to better connect with the market. The problem of targeting to age-specific groups on mobile makes social media a vital for alcohol brands to leverage, especially as Facebook launched a series of new mobile-optimized ad platforms that center on keeping the attention of users? with short spans.

Bacardi was the leading alcohol marketer to leverage Facebook?s immersive canvas content unit, which took campaigns and shared with ideal markets. The platform takes up the entire mobile screen after he or she clicks on the ad within the newsfeed.

Calvin Klein launched its first-ever campaign on a dating app through Tinder, with a native advertisement that could have been trouble for the brand as it interrupted an experience users are accustomed to being ad free.  

However, the unique ad campaign stood out to users as it took on a native characteristic and appealed to the ?hookup nature? of the dating app through its suggestive content. The underwear manufacturer rolled out the campaign for its fall 2015 line of Calvin Klein Jeans and shared a ?sexy? brand image to the seductive appeal of the Tinder app. 

Many brands also took to Tinder due to the substantial amount of users and discussion surrounding the app, even though many experts were unsure of how these campaigns would fare, considering the space was not used for brand connection but for people-to-people connection. 

Coca-Cola was one of many to leverage beacon technology and brought the innovation to movie theaters in Norway, targeting and retargeting mobile users, with 24 percent engaging to redeem a free soda. 

The campaign was to gain insight on theater attendees so Coca-Cola could then attract them the following week with another deal for a free ticket to the same theater. Coca-Cola saw 60 percent of users click on the ad and 20 percent redeem the offer. The beverage giant worked with CAPA cinemas, Unacast and VG, Norway?s largest newspaper on the campaign and is working to further the program into Scandinavia and Europe in the future. 

The campaign ran at one of CAPA?s largest movie theaters in Norway for almost eight weeks between May and June, with customers who opened the theater?s mobile app at the location receiving a beacon-enabled push notification informing users of a free Coke offer to be redeemed at the concession. 

Coca-Cola?s continued its mobile prowess through a campaign for Coke Zero that allowed users to engage with an interactive television ad as a bottle poured the beverage first on the bigger screen, then migrated to mobile user?s handheld screens and transformed into a coupon. 

The innovation also included mobile-enabled interactions at stadiums, is part of Coca-Cola?s multiplatform push, which integrated with NCAA Men?s Final Four series in Indianapolis, IN. The brand labeled the campaign ?drinkable advertising,? and was designed to encourage Coke Zero trials among college basketball fans in Indianapolis and at home. 

The Coke Zero campaign aimed to further streamline traditional advertising elements into instant redemption opportunities. The unique campaign allowed users to directly interact with Coke Zero as well as receive a free product, hoping change the minds of consumers who thought they knew the beverage?s taste but actually do not.  

Hard Rock Café drove location traffic up by 220 percent by tapping into behavioral data and geotargeting, exhibiting the effectiveness of these tactics for food and beverage retailers.  

The restaurant chain aimed to increase visits and build promotion for its World Burger Tour, by leveraging a digital signal processor to drive return on investment through a series of geotargeted mobile ads. Hard Rock also tapped into consumer information through mobile to entice consumers more likely to dine out while on vacation and saw 234,000 retail visits from exposure to the ad. 

The campaign shared rich mobile advertisements with users within a certain radius 
of bricks-and-mortar locations through geo-fencing. 

Home appliance brand Maytag is spun a unique take on advertising with its one-day takeover of ESPN?s mobile site which embraced haptic technology for ads, syncing viewers' devices with powerful moments in videos.

On November 16, ESPN fans who visited its mobile site were able to view the clip while experiencing physical movements felt by the Maytag Man in his factory experience. The comedic ad showcased factory workers assembling a host of the famous spokesmen instead of home appliances.

Showtime drew up significant interaction with NY Times? readers for its recent comedy Happyish when it took over the publication?s iPad app with banners and a mood reader to promote the series premiere.

For one day only, iPad readers were served banners and advertisements for the show with an interactive display in which users placed their thumb against and then showcased what type of state of mind the consumer is in. The results always ended with the answer of happy ? happyish followed by an ad for the show and a link to view the full trailer. 

The takeover was developed to draw up awareness for the series premiere in April, and targeted NY Times? audience, as its readers are likely to overlap with Showtimes? viewers. The series is an observational comedy that follows a husband and father after his birthday, struggling with a midlife crisis when a younger man becomes his boss.

Staples drove four-times higher ROI with an interactive advertisement followed by direct response messaging compared to an ad by itself, in an attempt to gain insight on mobile advertising?s impact on sales.

The office supply retailer targeted small business owners with 83 percent media spend on mobile through a program with Carat. The first mobile ad shared a series of available products and deals through an interactive game and calculator, but it was the interactive message that followed which caused higher revenue. 

Staples saw a 77 percent increase through the interactive message campaign compared to the ads without the message component.

Toyota was the first automaker to leverage interactive technology to allow television viewers to use a mobile device or their remote control, in an attempt to strengthen consumer bonds through multi-channel experiences. 

The vehicle manufacturer used Delivery Agent?s ShopTV platform and included an interactive menu in a television spot for its 2015 Camry, with viewers using remote controls to browse the car?s features on screen or receiving info on mobile devices while they continue to watch. Results from Delivery Agents? previous brand partnerships show that primary engagement of these campaigns live on mobile devices. 
Viewers who decided to explore the Camry from mobile devices were able to enter their phone numbers on television devices from Samsung, LG and Roku to receive a text with a link. Users who clicked on the link were served an experience where they could build a Camry with the features they want and received a quote. 

T-Mobile gambled on 2015?s Super Bowl as it rolled out the first original advertisement created for NBC's mobile streaming app, with the thought that ads for live events on streaming platforms may open the door for a wide range of opportunity for marketers.

The mobile ad showcased actor and comedian Rob Riggle during the Super Bowl on NBC in the NBC Sports Live Extra tablet app and on the networks? Web site. The advertisement innovation was prompted by research results from the Consumer Electronics Association, as the survey displayed that more than half of millennials prefer to view television programs on a device other than a TV.

The campaign was a big gamble for T-Mobile as the Super Bowl is known for the year?s best advertisements on television. The move shows that brands and marketers looking to stand out amgonst the competition should regard other platforms of communication to target fans while they watch a massive live event such as the Super Bowl.