Sometimes the answer to your media question is hiding in plain sight. Well the campaigns that follow have moved beyond the traditional versus digital/social media debate and used an ubiquitous yet unexpected object to carry their brand message.

And once people's attention had been grabbed, they used some more familiar media to drive their business goals.

Warc subscribers can click through to read the full case studies, read more case studies from the North American Effies, Cannes Lions and UK APG awards, or explore our case finder and index tools.

New Museum: Recalling 1993
Medium: Pay phones

New York's contemporary arts museum needed to find a way to promote its show of art made or displayed in 1993. The campaign transported people back to 1993: by picking up a pay phone and calling a free number users could listen to a site-specific story, as told by New Yorkers. The campaign was widely featured by media outlets (over 210 million earned media impressions) and created a spike in attendance.

Cole Haan: #dontgohome
Medium: Shop shutters

Cole Haan wanted to reposition it's footwear brand from classic/comfortable to a bit more 'cool' to attract a younger age group. To capture the attention of night-time revellers, a 'you can sleep when you're dead' message in glow in the dark paint was placed on shop shutters close to selected night-life spots. The party feel was supported by impromptu Drag Queen shows and food trucks, with the whole thing generating social media engagement, in-store traffic and, most importantly, sales.

Lifebuoy: The unlikely reminder
Medium: Roti (bread)

Lifebuoy – Unilever's soap product – had a different problem: how to promote handwashing to 'media dark' rural Indian consumers. The big opportunity of the huge Kumbh Mela festival had not escaped other marketers and Lifebuoy needed to cut through the noise. A reminder to wash hands before eating was stamped on roti (an Indian bread eaten with every meal) – more than 2.5 million of them. The logistical nightmare paid off as over 5 million people were reached, a 4 point increase in brand awareness gained and market share improved.

Depaul: Don't raise money, make money
Medium: Cardboard boxes

Homelessness charity Depaul UK needed a stable income stream following a decline in donations during the recession. It decided to sell moving boxes, serving a dual purpose: making money and spreading the charity's message. Images and stories explaining the impact of buying Depaul boxes on homelessness grew interest in the charity and this ethical purchase.

Corona Extra: How the moon helped Corona find its beach in NYC
Medium: The moon

Corona wanted to increase consumption occasions in New York with a nighttime positioning, using an interactive billboard. Not so innovative, until celestial mapping incorporated the actual moon into the ad.

Hellmann's recipes
Medium: Receipts

Hellman's was the market leading mayonnaise in Brazil, but needed to increase purchase frequency for this rarely used product. The brand already had a recipe database intended for a different (under-performing) campaign, so re-purposed this by printing recipes on shoppers' receipts based on their purchases. By showing people how they could use Hellman's in new ways, sales increased 44% in stores where the campaign ran.