German Digital Award 2024: 6 standout cases

The 10th German Digital Award recognized the most innovative projects and creative campaigns. I have picked out my six highlights – irrespective of whether they won Gold, Silver, or Bronze – and analyzed the factors behind their success.

German Digital Award 2024: Verena Gründel discusses six cases that she found particularly impressive
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Long Covid Europe: Using games to raise awareness

What is life like for people living with Long Covid? And how is their everyday life affected by the symptoms it causes? The Long Covid Europe patient network is using gamification to raise awareness of the condition. The well-known games “Minecraft”, “Elden Ring”, and “The Witcher 3” give players the option of selecting the “Long Covid” game mode. Activating this mode quickly demonstrates the impact of Long Covid, with characters experiencing shortness of breath throughout individual game levels, being hit by a massive wave of fatigue from one moment to the next, or using precious resources because of difficulty concentrating. This is the stuff of nightmares for gamers attempting to complete game levels – as well as a stark demonstration of daily life for people living with this condition.


Influencers shared the gaming experience with millions of spectators on Twitch and YouTube in order to highlight this important issue What was particularly impressive was the huge impact of this awareness campaign with absolutely zero media budget.


Although empathizing with someone about an illness that does not affect you is almost impossible, this case manages to do so. It lets anyone experience Long Covid via their avatar, creating and raising awareness of the issue within the gaming target group.

Client: Long Covid Europe

Submitting agency: Saint Elmo’s / Plan.Net / Mediaplus



Hyundai: AI for everyone everywhere

Take a product that is yet to be launched; one that services like Midjourney know absolutely nothing about. Is this the starting point for an impactful AI campaign? Yes, it is!

Hyundai came up with the Santa Fe Midjourney! It took 19,800 training cycles to feed an AI image generation tool with the 3D geometry of the latest Hyundai Santa Fe model from every possible angle – and that even before any photos of the car had actually been taken. The result: Users can visit a special microsite or the Hyundai Worldwide Channel’s Instagram Messenger experience to use prompts that create their custom images of the Hyundai Santa Fe and show the SUV in their dream scenario The brand AI can be accessed on any device as a REST API and has been developed for global use at a range of touchpoints, including physical experiences and social networks.


The campaign has two takeaways. First, it shows how difficult it is to train generative AI to show a product in a range of settings and from various angles without hallucinating. Second, it demonstrates what all brands should be doing in the future: training current AI tools on their products and brands so that they can be part of the results from prompting.

Client: Hyundai Motor Company

Submitting agency: Jung von Matt AG



PENNY: close to customers thanks to AI audio

Hyper-local, so the message goes straight to the right audience. Supermarket chain PENNY is using AI-generated audio spots that are rethinking the format of traditional radio advertising in a way that future-proofs it. The discounter used AI and text-to-speech to automate production of 2800 different audio ads, each combining one of 26 products with dynamic prices for 220 local branches. The resulting campaign is scalable, dynamic, and can be played back in real time with the best local offers customized to every listener. As well as attractive prices, this also maximizes the feeling of closeness between the brand and its customers.


This is the future of audio advertising: as personal as possible, as local as possible, and as close as possible – produced with as little effort as possible, thanks to AI. The campaign analysis speaks for itself: the value of the perceived closeness rose by 53%, while 38% of customers said PENNY was their first choice.

Client: Penny Markt GmbH

Submitting agency: OMD Germany GmbH



Kaufland: Using K-pop to win over Gen Z

K-pop has become a global phenomenon in recent years; one that particularly captures the imagination of young people. Kaufland has deftly jumped on this trend and turned Kaufland into K-pop. The chain commissioned a Frankfurt-based K-pop producer to write the song for the campaign, then cast a genuine Korean band called JXENM – a newcomer to the K-pop scene – for the song and the music videos. Both the videos and the ad formats are detailed homages to Kaufland’s own brands, with the “Watch out for the K” campaign aimed at Gen Z in particular. And the TikTok-style of the video and sounds underlined that young people were the intended target group, featuring a catchy melody, energetic dance moves, and a striking setting.


K-pop is perfect for the brand with the capital K. The retailer has designed the campaign to be as credible as possible and was even featured on the Korean evening news as a result. That’s advertising that money can’t buy – and that’s how you capture Gen Z.

Client: Kaufland Stiftung & Co.KG

Submitting agency: la red GmbH



ALDI Nord: Teaming up with Ski Aggu for the first summer Christmas promotion

Lebkuchen on the shelves in August? Some people are delighted, while others criticize what they see as Christmas starting much too early. Just like many other supermarket chains, ALDI Nord’s “Wintertraum” (“Winter Dream”) Christmas range went on sale in branches in late summer last year. To get customers in the mood for products including spekulatius and cinnamon star cookies during the hot weather, ALDI Nord teamed up with Berlin-based rapper Ski Aggu as part of their “Spaggulatius” social media campaign. The twist was that a social media teaser from Ski Aggu announcing a new track involved him using just one single line as a statement for the ALDI brand on his channels. The strategy behind that was to mobilize the community and get ALDI Nord to produce Ski Aggu’s new music video for the song “gensehaut”. Once ALDI Nord officially confirmed the collaboration, the social media campaign was launched, putting the products front and center. Ski Aggu’s video for the song “gensehaut” shows him running into ALDI Nord to pick up festive, Christmassy snacks from their store brand range, demonstrating that spekulatius cookies and chocolate domino sweets are a hit in summer as well.


It’s hard to believe that nobody has ever thought of turning the phenomenon of Christmas cookies in September into an advertising campaign that is firmly tongue in cheek! ALDI Nord capitalized on the opportunity and created a genuinely cool campaign that has all the ingredients for a great social media stunt.

Client: Aldi Nord Deutschland Stiftung & Co.KG

Submitting agency: Accenture Song GmbH



Sparkasse: More transparency in gaming with the in-game calculator

Is gaming a cost trap? Many games let you pay for progress or assets, but the trap is that some in-game currencies make it difficult to see how much skins and other purchases actually cost. The problem then is that children and young people are particularly likely to fall into that trap. The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe wants to highlight this and has developed a free in-game calculator that makes in-app and in-game purchases more transparent. The tool displays exchange rates for 30 commonly used currencies in euros and is available as a microsite, app, or browser extension. Players can easily find out the value of in-game products in euros by taking a photo of the screen or using the browser extension.


The campaign is perfectly aligned with the Sparkasse brand DNA and is a very user-friendly way of highlighting the potential cost trap involved in in-game purchases. The well-thought-out tool has been designed for a range of applications. Very smart.

Client: Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe Newsroom

Submitting agency: Jung von Matt AG

Screenshot Sparkasse

German Digital Award 2024: Technology that is groundbreaking, innovative, pioneering!

The 2024 edition of the German Digital Award has demonstrated yet again that it is the benchmark for creative and innovative projects. The extraordinary vision of the creators has left a lasting impression on both me and the entire jury. All the winning cases are available here (in German).

Digital Digest NL_en