Digital technology creates infinite possibilities for experimentation and creativity. For marketers, this means there's lots you can do, and lots you wish you did. We asked five members of Google's Creative Council, a group of creative thinkers from today's top digital agencies, to tell us about a recent campaign or project that made them envious.

Written by
Google Creative Council
April 2012


Johnny Vulkan

Partner, Anomaly

The Verbalizer

In a Nutshell: A microcontroller board used to build creations with Google’s Voice Search for Desktop

The Verbalizer is one of several ‘experiment-meets-art-meets-communication’ ideas to come out of the talented and curious minds at digital agency Breakfast in Brooklyn. Like many of their other projects, it builds on a popular or emerging technology and adds a new layer to make that technology more fun, more human or accessible – in this instance, encouraging us to think about how we might play with Google Voice Search. I love the fact that there are companies wanting to tease other people’s technology in this way. Some ideas will scale while others may simply act as provocation and inspiration for the rest of us. Either way, it’s the freshest kind of thinking out there.

Gareth Kay

Chief Strategy Officer/Associate Partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Kaiser Chiefs: The Future is Medieval

In a Nutshell: Fan-based social marketing for Kaiser Chiefs’ comeback album

Wieden+Kennedy launched the new Kaiser Chiefs album not by making ads, but by thinking about how technology can re-imagine the concept of the ‘album’ in a music environment increasingly defined by single-track downloads. Fans can create their own album by choosing 10 of the 20 official tracks and designing their own artwork. But the real magic comes by turning these fans into media and retailers. Each is given their own webpage hosting their version of the album alongside social media tools to share it and banner ads for their blog. For every copy they sell, fans receive a pound. It’s a brilliant way for a band to break back onto the scene by harnessing the power of a fan base.

Edward Boches

Chief Innovation Officer, Mullen

It Gets Better

In a Nutshell: YouTube messages of support to LGBT youths

While magazine columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller posted their first video in September 2010, this YouTube initiative to bring hope and support to LGBT youths really took off in 2011 after video contributions from the likes of Barack Obama and Lady Gaga. By tapping into a collective anger and inviting anyone to join the community to share their message, It Gets Better demonstrated the power of genuine human stories, the impact of video, and the remarkable reach that can be achieved by crowdsourcing content. Best of all, it reminded us that in the age of social media you don’t need a lot of money; you just need a good idea.

Best of all, it reminded us that in the age of social media you don’t need a lot of money; you just need a good idea.

Rei Inamoto

Chief Creative Officer, AKQA

Homeplus Virtual Store

In a Nutshell: Tesco brings QR code shopping to South Korea’s subway

I hate QR codes. They exemplify everything bad about technology: Ugly, clumsy, and often fluffy. Tesco’s Homeplus Virtual Store, however, was a different case entirely. By leveraging QR codes on South Korea’s subway, it took what can feel like a clumsy chore and turned it into a convenient process by making shopping extremely accessible while people commute. Every now and then, we see ideas that are creative and innovative. But it’s pretty rare that we see something that is creative, innovative, and could be a global game-changer. While this idea is still unproven at a mass scale, it just could be something that pushes us forward into the future.

Chet Gulland

Executive Director of Strategy, The Barbarian Group

Toyota Backseat Driver

In a Nutshell: Gaming app offers kids the sensation of driving the family car

Now that we all have amazing little computers in our pockets, how are you going to use them creatively to give people a better experience with – or alongside – your product? This is a brilliant use of mobile to enhance time spent driving with the family. Smartphones are the new pacifier on long drives. This app gives kids their own driving game to play in the backseat, mimicking the actual movement of the car through GPS. Today, the best ads are ones you can use, and this is something everyone in the family can appreciate. And since the game can be played in any car – regardless of make or model – it’s also a clever way to sneak the Toyota brand into the backseats of the competition.