Now that the end of the year is quickly approaching, we thought to look back at some of the most successful digital accomplishments of 2014. Adweek has consolidated a list of this year’s Digital Hot List winners, so let’s take a look at some of the winners and what they did to change the digital landscape this year.
Hottest Digital Brand
Netflix was named this year’s hottest brand, topping out at 36 million subscribers. But Netflix’s success goes beyond the count of their user base; it comes down to their unique program offerings. As an admitted binge-watcher of both Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, I can certainly understand why the brand was named the Hottest Digital Brand of 2014. Although shares may have slumped, Netflix is looking at global expansion and partnerships with big brands like Warner Bros. to stay relevant and on the cutting edge of video offerings.
There is no question that Snapchat has taken social media by storm. The brand is worth an estimated $10 billion and has over 100 million active users. Snapchat has become a social media platform that marketers cannot ignore. When first introduced, it was uncertain whether Snapchat would support advertising or not, but after much deliberation, the brand finally dove into the advertising game. They started with ads from big brands like Samsung, Universal Pictures, and Macy’s. The biggest draw for advertisers was the huge millennial demographic that made up the majority of Snapchat’s user base. An added benefit of advertising on Snapchat is the platform’s support for video content, which is known to be a more successful means of conveying a marketing message.
Hottest Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos
Adweek named GoPro the hottest gadget of 2014. Anyone who has had the opportunity to play with a GoPro would understand Adweek’s choice. GoPro is also a leader among marketers utilizing video content to promote their brand. Their branded videos typically receive hundreds of thousands of views, and many videos receive millions. The popularity of the go-anywhere camera is reflected in the company’s revenue, shooting up 87% this year to reach $986 million.
Hottest in Native Advertising
BuzzFeed was named the hottest platform for native advertising because they manage to make ads that people actually want to watch/read/engage with. BuzzFeed’s Dear Kitten videos for Purina are a prime example of perfect native advertising. BuzzFeed managed to make native advertising content that people sought out, and shared with friends. The first two videos of the campaign were viewed by 7.4 million and 18.5 million viewers, respectively. But the most important statistic is that viewers were 57% more likely to consider buying Purina brand products after viewing the adorable ads.
Every brand named in this year’s Digital Hot List has one thing in common: ingenuity. In order to stand out in a digital landscape that is ever-changing, brands need to stay attuned to the latest trends, and even stay one step ahead of the trends and be the source of trends themselves.