AlwaysOn favorites: Play-Doh bunnies, sunglasses, and a blender

At its New York conference, the digital advertising publication showcases a number of successful online video ads.

NEW YORK--Will it blend? This innovative ad campaign sure did.

A lot of Madison Avenue types have packed into midtown Manhattan's upscale Mandarin Oriental hotel for the annual OnMedia NYC conference, a sort of Silicon-Valley-meets-the-ad-industry event. The conference, which started Monday and ends Wednesday, is presented by new-media trade publication AlwaysOn. At the end of the day on Tuesday, AlwaysOn founder Tony Perkins announced 2007's "Best of Broadband (BOB) Awards," a hand-picked list of the top Web video ads that achieved viral success and actually worked.

Gimmicky? Of course. But after a day of panels and interviews, with plenty of talk of monetization and ROI and user engagement and the attention economy and just about every other ad-industry cliche you've ever heard of (as well as some you haven't), it was quite refreshing to watch a bunch of YouTube videos representing ad campaigns that actually worked. Actions, after all, speak louder than words.

Among the winners were winners of user-generated ad contests like Frito Lay's "Crash the Super Bowl" competition; faux-amateur clips like Ray-Ban's "Never Hide" ad; too-edgy-for-TV spots like one of Unilever's Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" ads; and naturally, "Will It Blend?" The YouTube video series from blender manufacturer BlendTec had been created without the help of an extrenal agency, and had already built up quite a fan base when it published the notorious "iPhone in a blender" video.

The full list is here. But what I'd like to know is, for every one of these runaway hits, how many equally creative Web video ad campaigns flop? I'm still a believer in randomness on the Web. But then again, I can't see any way that a guy putting an iPhone into a blender and hitting the "smoothie" button couldn't have been a huge hit.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Microsoft demos wearable holograms on HoloLens

Microsoft shows off holograms you can hold with a mixed-reality game called Project X Ray. The new game runs on the company's HoloLens platform.