2014 Marketing Awesome Awards

On a recent podcast, we presented our first annual Awesome Awards. The purpose of these awards is to applaud some of the fun, strange, cool and unexpected marketing-related efforts from the past year.

To give our winners an extra moment in the sun—and give you a chance to check them out—we thought we’d share the full list of 2014 Awesome Award recipients here today. We’ve also included some sweet images and links. 

Enjoy the show, humans!

2014 Marketing Awesome Award Winners

In no particular order, here are the winners of the 2014 Awesome Awards…

The “I Wish People Would Have Let It Go Sooner” Award 

Winner: Frozen

This wasn’t just a wildly successful movie, it was a marketing avalanche. Disney built a very strong brand that will no doubt be raking in dough for years (maybe even decades) to come.

Frozen is more than just a movie, it's a brand

The “Best Marketing Idea That Backfired in an Unexpected Way” Award

Winner: U2 & Apple

Apple and U2 teaming up to give the public a free album (an album Rolling Stone recently ranked best of the year), what could go wrong? In our modern world, a lot. The social media complaints piled up. Bono apologized. And we got a marketing twist no one saw coming.

U2 Songs of Innocence Album

The “I’ve Been Waiting 30 Years To See This Thing” Award 

Winner: Hendo Hoverboards

In Back to the Future 2, we were promised hoverboards in the year 2015. Thanks to Hendo and a great Kickstarter campaign, that promise will be kept.

Hendo Hoverboards were a hit on Kickstarter

The “Last Hurrah for Prankvertising” Award

Winner: Devil Baby

It’s pretty safe to say prankvertising is played out. But 2014 did give us one great piece of prankvertising: the devil baby. Now let’s call it a day!

The “Flapjack of the Mobile Gaming World” Award

Winner: Flappy Bird

The most searched game of 2014 wasn’t Destiny or Titanfall. It was a Flappy Bird, a simple and addictive mobile game that became a sensation. That was before it disappeared, becoming a legend.

Flappy Bird

The “Villain to Hero Transformation” Award

Winner: LeBron James

In 2010, he made a television announcement that crushed Cleveland. In the summer of 2014, he returned to Cleveland with an elegant letter in Sports Illustrated, rewriting his own narrative as the returning hometown hero.

LeBron James returns to Cleveland

The “Guard Your Gargantuan Pile of Money with a Raccoon with a Rocket” Award 

The “Groot Award for Honest and Effective Marketing”

Winner (both): Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s the first year of the Awesome Awards and already we have our first two-time winner. Who could resist Marvel’s fun, colorful and unique marketing campaign that perfectly aligned with the movie it was promoting? It was the best movie marketing campaign of 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy marketing made the movie seem fun

The “Best Viral Campaign That Didn’t Really Go Viral” Award

Winner: HBOGO Awkward Family Video Series

This hilarious series of videos pokes fun at the gratuitous nudity HBO series are known for while also showing the value of HBOGO to the Millennial crowd. Alas, the target audience was a little too small for the series to go “full viral”.

The “Leaving on a Space Probe, Don’t Know If I’ll Be Back Again” Award 

Winner: Rosetta Space Probe

A spacecraft landed on a comet. Yeah, that really happened. The Rosetta Space Probe completed a mission it began 10 years ago in 2014, successfully attaching to a comet, escorting it as it orbited the sun and deploying a lander on its surface. Utterly amazing.

Rosetta lands on a comet

Honorable Mentions

Here are few efforts that came very close to winning awards but just didn’t quite make the cut…

The Goldblum GE Ad

The New Android Tagline

The Monty the Penguin Commercial

The Airbnb Logo Parody Song

Want more on this topic?

To hear us talk more about these awesome marketing relics from the past year, listen to the 2014 Awesome Awards episode of the Speaking Human podcast now.