Friday Forum – We bring the hottest questions from the Chinese Social & Digital space to our brightest minds.

What's the most genius use of technology in a brand campaign?

Lucie Wong
Communication Strategist / We Are Social


New York Times' campaign 'Displaced' adopted VR technology to create an immersive documentary telling the stories of children affected by war.

Brands adopt new technology to engage with the audience, but often with the focus on delivering commercial and/or entertainment value. I personally believe technology is at its best when it brings people together for more than just fun and this campaign did exactly so.  

Immersive technology disrupted the way of storytelling and creates a much stronger impact on the viewer than words and pictures ever can.


Michael Russam
Copywriter / We Are Social


For me, the answer is Burger King’s ‘Whopper Detour’; when the brand used geo-tracking on their mobile app to give customers that had been within 600m of a McDonald’s restaurant a 1-cent Whopper at the nearest Burger King. Now, this is a famous example of a brand using technology within a campaign that won a Cannes Grand Prix, and trolling McDonald’s is something that Burger King falls back on a lot. However, the combination of trolling, cheeky brand-building and leading customers on an actual, physical journey makes it feel fresh. Plus, it boosted their app downloads by 1.5 million.


Elena Tan
Copywriter / We Are Social


Voice-recognition technology has been a part of our daily lives from smartphones to smart speakers. Beyond creating voice marketing commercials for smart products, this is a genius experiential tool to match the habits people have and give them content in seamless and relevant ways. And it doesn’t have to be complex. For instance, Coca-Cola launched a voice-activated dispenser to encourage passers-by to say “yes” into a microphone which triggered a chilled bottle of the new Coke ‘sugar free' product. Sometimes simple activations have the biggest impact.


Thomas Johnson
Copywriter / We Are Social


Genius is a strong word, often overused, but never has it been more apt than that time in 2016 when Taco Bell launched TacoBot. This AI waiter allowed patrons to order on Slack, where TacoBot could make recommendations, facilitate the transactions, and engage in conversation – because tacos should never be eaten alone. 

In a tongue-in-cheek way, this was a great and knowing use of technology in a brand campaign; by creating SmarterChild’s employable older brother, Taco Bell was able to amplify its brand voice and generate a buzz, joking that innovation and futurism were a key part of their brand culture.