Innovation That Matters

Top 10 marketing & advertising ideas in 2006


We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas we covered in 2006. Below, ten marketing & advertising favorites.
  1. Charmin’ brand space: Not quite as chic as the Parisian sanitary stop we featured a few months ago, Charmin’s public loos are nonetheless a great example of a brand space, combining the welcome relief of clean public restrooms with the most relevant space for advertising toilet paper. Procter and Gamble’s bathroom tissue brand will be operating a 20-stall restroom in the heart of Times Square. More »

  2. Agency for customer-made ads: ViTrue is creating a platform for consumers to create commercial videos for brands. Although many companies have been experimenting with consumer-generated advertising (see’s customer-made for a host of examples), up until now, this has mostly been in the shape of one-off contests held by individual brands. As the first agency dedicated to consumer-generated advertising, ViTrue intends to create structure in this arena, and a become a destination for brands to interact with consumers. More »

  3. Frozen food bistro: In Paris, bistros are synonymous with cheap and cheerful food. In Hamburg, FRoSTA Bistro serves cheap and cheerful frozen food. We’ll refrain from cracking jokes about German cuisine, as this actually isn’t a bad idea. FRoSTA, a mid-sized, forward thinking company with an active blog, manufactures premium frozen foods that are completely free of artificial additives. The bistro, which opened in November 2005, is a well-designed restaurant with chefs working in an open kitchen. For all to see, they prepare frozen foods from FRoSTA’s range. More »

  4. Bookvertising: Not quite what the name suggests, a Brajacket is an advertisement disguised as a dust jacket for a book. According to Trends in Japan, Brajackets are one of the hottest new trends in Japan. Created by an advertising agency (Setup Inc), Brajackets offer consumers a free cover to keep their book nice and neat, and advertisers a space to advertise that goes everywhere readers do. More »

  5. Let your buses do the talking: London buses will soon carry the world’s first GPS advertising. has retained 25 buses outfitted with digital LED panels that will show messages matching the bus’s geographical position. is using the GPS panel system as part of a five-month campaign to raise awareness of its local search facility. Besides intelligent buses, the campaign (developed by AKQA) also includes knowledgeable bus shelters: interactive screens on bus shelters will highlight local shops, restaurants and bars and help users find their way. More »

  6. Checking into another dimension | aloft in Second Life: Announced last year as W Hotels’ new brand for the select-service hotel category, the first aloft hotel won’t open until 2008. So, what does a brand do to create some pre-opening buzz, and give future customers a taste of what’s to come? Build a virtual hotel in Second Life, of course. Like American Apparel’s foray into Second Life (which we wrote about here: brave new retail world), aloft is set on an island within SL. More »

  7. Baby brand spaces: Turkish diaper brand Evy Baby is reaching out to parents by placing changing rooms in shopping malls. Evy Baby is showing parents of nappy-clad infants some well-deserved sympathy. The diaper manufacturer has installed changing rooms in 12 shopping centers, and is planning to open more in the near future. Each clean and cheerful baby room has a changing table and comfortable chairs for nursing. And, of course, samples of Evy Baby’s products. More »

  8. Advertising after dark: Australian Passout Marketing is using nightclub hand stamps for advertising. Inked on the hands and wrists of nightclub patrons, passout stamps are used as proof that someone has paid admission, is of legal drinking age, or can gain re-entrance to a club. Passout Marketing deemed this space too good to go unbranded, and has started working with venue owners and advertisers to stamp marketing messages on club hoppers. As they put it, Passout Marketing allows companies to "get their brand name right onto the skin of their target market". More »

  9. Bikevertising: We spoke about carvertising in previous editions, and mused about the eco-friendly opportunity of handing out free bikes, sponsored by advertisers. Amsterdam-based RedStarMedia took the entrepreneurial leap and is now doing just that: their ‘Ik Fiets Gratis’ (‘I Cycle for Free’) venture offers students in 22 university cities in The Netherlands gratis bicycles. Not surprisingly, more than 4,000 students have already signed up. More »

  10. Jet-sized gravanity: It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a picture of your wife on a camel in the Sahara, on a Boeing 737! Dutch airline Transavia recently held a photo competition that we couldn’t help but notice. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the holiday transporter invited passengers to send in pictures taken in or around one of their 87 destinations. Forty winning photos have been picked and will be printed on larger-than-life stickers, along with the photographer’s name, and stuck onto several of Transavia’s planes. More »