Yesterday I stumbled upon the first major digital campaign that builds upon LinkedIn’s open API – Volkswagen’s LinkedUit campaign here in the Netherlands (Source). The online special builds up on the Volkswagen Passat campaign ‘Nogal vol van zichzelf’ (‘quite full of himself’) and uses your LinkedIn connections to discover profane information in your profile and compares it to an opponent’s data in your LinkedIn circle of connections. The more information your profile contains the more likely you will win against an opponent of your chosing.

Volkswagen’s online special is light weight fun, looks nice and is well integrated with LinkedIn – which is of course the actually interesting aspect of this digital campaign. Because of course – Achtung Amsterdam and Volkswagen could have alternatively used Facebook Connect. But they went for innovation and decided to use LinkedIn’s open API.

I am still not so sure about the campaign use of LinkedIn’s open API. The business platform opened up more than a year ago which was seen as response to Facebook’s success with an open ecosystem. But by now only few campaigns were built on top of that.

American Express tried it as well with In a rather boring online experience you can upvote some of your professional LinkedIn contacts to be eligible to win gift cards for April 27 which is (believe it or not) Administrative Professionals’ Day aka Secretary Day. Yawn!

In both cases I was a bit under the impression that the idea to make use of LinkedIn’s open API predefined the creative idea. Even though I like the Volkswagen example I still think it does not fit right. I think there is plenty of room to make use of LinkedIn’s new openness for many types of marketing-related interactions (Recruiting, B2B, Knowledge Sharing) but I somehow think these fun little campaigns do not really fit to LinkedIn – it is professional data and I simply want to see it treated accordingly by marketers.

But in fact – I would like to learn more about good cases that make use of LinkedIn’s Open API. Do you know any? Are there clever alternative purposes that you have seen or that you can think of? Please leave a comment…