The MMA Smarties went live on this week. The Mobile Marketing Association Smarties Global Awards are presented to campaigns that use innovation and creativity to successfully push the boundaries of mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is still relatively new, and so effectiveness is hard to achieve. But the following case studies showcase some interesting techniques and emerging innovations. Here's a very brief run down of the campaigns that I thought were noteworthy, and why.

Heineken: @WhereNext – The beer brand used social listening, geo-targeting techniques and a Twitter app to provide its male millennial target audience with real-time recommendations for nearby venues and events to people in 15 cities around the world. It won the Best in Show award.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technology featured in this year's MMA's. Owlet Baby Care uses wearable technology and a smartphone app to monitor a baby's health while simultaneously reassuring parents about their baby's wellbeing. Oral-B, the dental hygeine brand, created an app that converts users' physical brushing into data. The app then offers advice based on the data i.e. 'stop brushing so hard'. A good illustration of utility marketing. Elsewhere, Hammerhead, a navigation platform for cyclists, developed an intelligent navigation device and a mobile app that uses crowdsourced data and real-time feedback to identify, map out and improve cycle routes worldwide.

Volvo Cars North America utilised Google Cardboard, Google's virtual reality platform, to help people touch, feel and experience the XC90 car model that was months away from hitting the showroom. The Google Cardboard app enabled its young, tech-savvy luxury car buying audience to have a truly immersive VR experience that featured a stunning drive, an original soundtrack and escapist narrative. And Audi, the automotive brand, used a VR element in its mobile campaign to promote its new Audi TT model. Expect to see more use of VR platforms as sensory marketing comes to the fore.

Crowdsourcing techniques were also utilised by the Singapore Red Cross who created a mobile app to crowdsource blood donations and recruit new donors. This provided the charity with a valuable long-term solution without the large media budgets of traditional awareness campaigns.

We Energies, an American energy company, embarked upon a mobile search campaign to improve its visibility at the optimum time and place - during power outages.

Hellmann’s the mayonnaise brand, created a ‘what’s for dinner’ app to engage with Mums at a key point in the consumer journey by providing recipe ideas for the evening meal.

Lastly, Hungry Lion, a fast food chain in South Africa, used a gamified coupon scheme to reach its 18-40 year old target market and increase sales.

Warc subscribers can view the full case studies here.