HSBC’s Youtube Pre-Roll Campaign From UAE Wins The Best of Global Digital Marketing Monthly Awards in March

European digital marketing research firm Best Marketing International monitors almost 300 digital award competitions Worldwide. Based on the winners of these competitions, our research team shortlists 10 works and forwards them to International expert jury for voting. Unlike the annual award shows, we select fresh campaigns every month. These campaigns are picked from the winners of local/regional award shows. Last month we monitored roughly 15 award shows from across the globe with a strong focus on hospitality marketing and MENA Cristal Awards. The top 3 offers great variety: a clever financial case from the UAE, crazy US YouTube superstars and yet another lovely app by Macca’s Australia.



First Place: HSBC’s Global View/Global Transfer by Buzzman Middle East (UAE, MENA Cristal Festival Awards 2015 winner)


For the UAE, financial services can be compared to our body’s circulatory system. 88% of the population need to make money transfers between their different bank accounts across the world. HSBC Global View/Global Transfer service enables you to do that in just 6 seconds. In order to demonstrate this speed 3 YouTube pre-roll ads were broadcasted to the global audience. The message was placed within a 6 sec timeframe. The video cursor moves from left to right representing your money passing from one of your account to another. And thus, HSBC achieved a click-through rate 3 times higher than the average.

The jury’s comments:

“It’s pretty funny that I had to sit through a 29-second pre-roll advertisement in order to watch this campaign case study video, and then another before I could replay it (I don’t even like coconut water!) Six-second pre-roll ads were an inspired choice in which to showcase HSBC’s six-second money transfer, toying with the format and tracking bar to get the message to cut through the furniture.”- Peter Roper, Editor at Marketing Mag Australia (Melbourne, Australia)

“I love this one because it’s a perfect demonstration of how to use an unpopular (and potentially annoying!) medium in an engaging and amusing way. We know that more and more video is being consumed online (e.g. on YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo etc.). However when you mention “pre-roll” most people’s eyes head to the ceiling (even among the marketing professionals I regularly train, all over the world). So how are marketers going to persuade people to watch commercial messages when they’re looking (instead) for a particular video? Well this campaign certainly offers one solution. In the United Arab Emirates, 88% of the population are expatriates who need to make money transfers between their different bank accounts across the world. HSBC uses the six seconds of the pre-roll video ad to demonstrate your money being transferred between Dubai and your home, in exactly…yes, you guessed it… six seconds! A perfect example of “The medium is the message.” (Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964). Excellent!”Mike Berry, internationally recognized digital marketing lecturer, trainer author and consultant (London, UK)


2nd Place: Choice Hotels’ Vacay Gone Cray Cray by Doner, Havas Media, and Cohn & Wolfe (USA, Adrian Awards winner)


Today, Choice Hotels places its focus on Millennials as they will soon drive the midscale hotel category. To reach them in a relevant way, Choice Hotels rolled out a social media campaign. Relying on the fact that 57% of Millennials say they update social media every day while traveling. Curated by YouTube celebrities, Rhett & Link, people were invited to share their crazy vacation stories for a chance to win a $10,000 Trip Redo from Choice Hotels. The campaign site received 795K visits,4K entries and more than 186 million paid impressions.

Here’s what the jury thought:

“User generated content can get tiring, so thank God for brand (one in a really noisy category, to boot) that can find an interesting hook and then execute it well. Similarly, internet ‘stars’ can get tiring too, but if I’m the target market for this one, I think they chose right.” – Peter Roper, Editor at Marketing Mag Australia (Melbourne, Australia)


3rd Place: McDonald’s’ Emlings app by Leo Burnett Sydney (Australia, Award Awards  winner)


McDonald’s wanted to bring back some magic into the iconic Happy Meal and create an engaging environment for the restaurant’s little visitors. The new mobile and tablet app revealed a world of cute little creatures. After a successful launch, Emlings will be released internationally (New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea and China).

Here’s what the jury thought:

“I really liked how McDonald’s have brought happy meal marketing to the generation that require digital communication. The design and interface of the app is very well designed and is a perfect example of how a brand like McDonald’s should communicate to children at this day and age.”Gamze Gurbuzatik, JWT International, Client Services Director (Istanbul, Turkey)


This time, the jury consisted of Peter Roper (Editor at Marketing Mag Australia, Melbourne), Mike Berry (Internationally recognized digital marketing lecturer, trainer, author and consultant, UK), Hando Sinisalu (CEO of Best Marketing International, Estonia), Gamze Gurbuzatik (JWT International, Client Services Director Istanbul, Turkey) and Kusnadi Assaini (Head of Division at Digital One Jakarta, Indonesia).


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