Interactive adverts: Press the red button now

Interactive adverts can be a joy or a pain, but expert eye Scott Gronmark assesses some of the more memorable ones



David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson kick each other's balls in one of the first interactive ads to suggest that pressing red is as much about keeping punters with your brand as it is to do with ordering brochures. Nothing but extra video behind the red key, and no boring boxes to fill in - just a nice video present from Adidas.

Chemical Brothers


Viewers who did as they were told during this 10-day campaign for the Chemical Brothers' aptly titled "Push the Button" album were taken to a virtual jukebox allowing them to hear snippets of some of the tracks; 280,000 fans accepted the invitation and 22 per cent of them, we're told, went on to buy the album.



Viewers who've just watched the somewhat bewildering Happy Days ad for the C3 are presented with an interactive feast: the character-based menu system is fun and original; the extra video is jolly; and the "Which character are you?" quiz is an engagingly sneaky way of presenting some extra car facts. 'A' for effort.

Depaul Trust


This ad for the Depaul Trust homeless charity features a young man kicked out by his stepfather. The audience is asked to make choices on his behalf; chillingly, all responses compound his problems. Too complex for anything but a broadband TV service, this early classic aired on Kingston Cable in Hull. Creatively outstanding.



Viewers choose from an on-screen colour chart, provide minimal information using the remote control, press send - and three days later a sample arrives. Simple, cheap, easy to do, and takes barely any time at all. Direct response i-ads that don't use video won't set the world alight, but it's nice when they use the medium this well.

Harry Potter


The i-ad for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire represents a nice little goodie bag: extra footage from the film, a promo for the tie-in game featuring the young stars discussing the avatar versions of themselves, and an un-insulting competition that actually requires some recall of the book. Effective.

Honda diesel


They took one of the great TV ads of 2004 and added what it had been crying out for: a bouncing ball and words so we could sing along to the insidious "Hate something, change something..." ditty. Far too many extra features, but the recordings of viewers' pet hates and how they'd change things was an innovative touch.



The funniest i-ad: spot-on self-reverential five minutes of marketing folk talking nonsense. The sound one of them makes to indicate the speed of broadband is worth missing five minutes of any TV programme to catch. Interactive advertising as sheer entertainment, with a few facts slipped in when you're not looking.



Serious faces now as interactive creatives play with the "triple-distilled" concept by repeating the TV ad three times until viewers pressing red get what they want - a happy ending. Cool, engaging, and oddly affecting, given it's about glum rich people. Interactive drama has been difficult to crack; nice to see advertisers taking on the challenge, and winning.



Apart from giving details of T-Mobile's new "Web'n'Walk" service - how to get it and what it costs - this i-ad gets real by offering video of actual Londoners needing to get things done (buy flowers, find a joke shop, whatever) being shown how the service can help them. Convincing - and ultra-pert Caroline makes a nice change from Covent Garden's usual stalkers.

Volvo S40


Swedish villagers all buy the same make of car. About one in 10 viewers who spotted the interactive symbol pressed red (435,000) and spent an average of six minutes interacting - no doubt watching the spoof documentary about the so-called "Mystery of Delaro". A classic example of the 30-second advert acting as a teaser, with interactivity delivering the sticky coup de grâce.

VW Golf


This offered viewers the chance to watch the magically updated Gene Kelly "Singin' in the Rain" routine over and over, and a making-of film that, for once, actually told you what you wanted to know. Oh, and a poorly arranged vertical menu leading to bumf about the car in tiny letters for people who like that sort of thing.

Scott Gronmark is MD of the interactive media consultancy, Scott Gronmark Associates and former Head of Interactive TV for the BBC.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Charter Selection: Graphic Designer, Guildford

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Charter Selection: This renowned and well establish...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas