European digital marketing research company (previously Best Marketing International) monitors almost 300 digital award competitions Worldwide. Each month we handpick our personal TOP 3 amongst all the regional winners. Three years and hundreds of campaigns later, we were faced with a question: what makes a great campaign? It seems creativity and cool gimmicks is all it takes to grab a Gold Lion. We, on the other hand, see results as equally important. Our goal is to chase down fresh successful campaigns from all around the world and gather further information from all available sources.

Marking the end of holiday season, we skipped on June and July by combining all summer award shows into a single release. Given most have already scanned through the latest Cannes Lions winners and are familiar with the work, this shortlist will hopefully add two new favourites to your list of inspiring case studies. Grabbing first place,’s AutoAds was greeted with a huge smile from our side, because it’s fun, cheeky and as effective as it gets. Runner-up Exträa HD by Häagen-Danzs is the pure epitome of indulgence and a new twist on e-commerce meets entertainment. Finally, coming in third is d Magazine with their 24/7 Newscaster campaign, which is solid proof that there’s still hope for news media, press and publishing brands if they’re willing to harness the power of digital.



First Place:’s ‘AutoAds’ by Che Proximity (The Caples winner, Australia)


Carsales is Australia’s largest portal for online car classifieds and the number one spot to sell your old car. While ad spend by new car manufacturers is on the rise with advertising expenditure increasing YOY by 7.1% to $756.4 million in 2017, the same can’t be said when it comes to the second hand car market. Therefore, carsales decided to create a tool which generates free shiny car ads for all regular Aussies. All they have to do is list their car and the data is seamlessly used to create a big, unique TV ad. Afterwards they receive an email with five personalised car ads each following a unique theme (Tough, City, Adventure, Family or Luxury). The AutoAds platform is capable of generating over 1.2 trillion possible combinations ensuring that no two ads will ever be the same. Within the first week of the campaign, over 435,215 AutoAds were generated. The campaign reached 16.8 million Australians (Australia’s population is 24 million!).

Why we love it:

Cars are an emotional topic, especially when it comes to selling your four-wheeled best friend. AutoAds recognises the importance of nostalgia and combines it with fun technology for personalisation. As a result, we see an astounding amount of content ready to flood social communities. Add in a viral surprise element like handpicking a couple of ads to run on national TV and you have a winner on your hands.

2nd Place: Häagen-Dazs’ ‘Extraä HD’ by Proximity (The Caples winner, France)

Häagen-Dazs, one of the leading ice cream brands in France, was losing momentum to its competitors during ice cream consumption’s peak period: late nights on the couch. Their aim was to come up with a relevant way to engage with potential customers during their lazy moments in front of the telly. The brand partnered with France’s biggest video-on-demand provider and introduced the first movie experience that comes with ice cream delivery. With a click of a button users could get their favorite ice cream delivered to their doorstep in just 30 minutes. As a result, Häagen-Dazs reached 2.7 million potential new customers.

Why we love it:

Sometimes the road to success depends on removing all possible obstacles on the customer journey. In this case, the experience was simplified to a single click of a button. Even if you weren’t thinking about ice cream before, you sure were now. Another bullseye is the timing – Häagen-Dazs identified the exact period they need to target and what their customers are doing at the given time. Superb understanding of consumer behavior!

3rd Place: D Magazine’s ‘24/7 Newscaster’ by Hakuhodo Inc (Cannes Lions winner, Japan)

D Magazine is Japan’s largest magazine subscription app. Web news stories and social media often quote magazines. Sadly, the latter are finding it hard to keep up with the pace and are losing their informative function. To tackle the issue, d magazine partnered with the hottest social media influencer in Japan Naomi Watanabe to create the first fully controllable newscaster with CGI lip-sync tech. Hakuhodo extracted Naomi’s voice traits, facial expressions and 3D scanning data. A real-time video generation system created videos without actual filming. Now, fresh news featuring Naomi as newscaster were going live within 48 hours. The campaign generated 240 million impressions with a video completion rate of 342% over the average.

Why we love it:

As always, Japan is a step ahead of the rest of the World. News media and press is struggling to make ends meet in the digital age. So why fight against the inevitable instead of borrowing good techniques and merging with it? That’s exactly what d magazine did with 24/7 Newscaster. They took technology, combined it with the most popular format i.e. video and brought in a social media influencer to attract the masses.

Our team of experts: Hando Sinisalu (CEO of and Ann Kruuk (Growth Hacker and Co-Author of “BOGDM: The Storybook and Storybook 2”)