Centraal Beheer (CB) is an insurer known for showing the shit hitting the fan in their ads. Their commercials always end with the famous pay off ‘Just call us.’ Khanna \ Reidinga, inspired by Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner, created a spoof on CB’s advertising format; with an Austrian-like accent Baumgartner begs ground control to send him higher and higher. Until… tada… he is in space. Hesling Reiding from K\R; “We were surprised that Baumgartner’s jump got so much attention in the media. Even the respectable BBC broadcasted a 60-minute during documentary about it. That’s how we picked up this idea.” Just like the previous Boss Noodles ‘viral’ a sympathetic way to create some free exposure around their new ad agency. Directed by Gerrit Willemsen (CZAR), post production by Justin Baker (the Bakery), and sound by Feike de Wit (Soundcircus Kees Kroot).
A complicated one this is. Not because of the dripping ice creams, sweaty girls, hard nipples and upskirt shot – that is actually what makes it the most simple advertising you can imagine. No it’s complicated, cause this is the second time a commercial created by Fitzroy is banned. And when you ask Fitzroy why and how it was banned, they say: ‘no comment.’ The first time this happened was last year, when a deadly accident promoted the Hyundai Velostar. At the time Hyundai Netherlands could still pretend that they didn’t expect the online rumour around the brand and blame the head office for banning it. But now of course we’re seeing a pattern. Creating shocking videos, seeding them online, and banning them shortly after the first publication. The modern equivalent of the forbidden fruit and thus all the more attractive. What makes it really complicated though is that there’s no similarity between all the different ads (in March this year the online audience was hypnotised to like the Hyundai i30), except a pay-off that reads ‘New thinking. New possibilities.’ We now understand that this brand proposition clearly only talks about the advertising, cause if there’s anything common about Hyundai, it’s the product itself. Thanks to Fitzroy though, we already look forward to the next ad.
JWT Amsterdam built a new website. Not a big deal, you’d guess. But they seem to be quite proud of it. That is, you get that impression when watching this viralesque video of the agency concept testing their own website. The website does indeed look pretty state of the art. Though we can also imagine that people are slightly disappointed after JWT raising the expectations maybe a little too high with this video. Then again, JWT might argue; it’s advertising, stupid.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Moke – it’s an Amsterdam based band that just released their third album. The Stone Twins designed the cover of the album and were also asked to create some rumour around the brand. They came up with this rather weird video to promote Moke’s new single ‘Burning The Ground’. For non Dutchies – who might be inclined to quickly ‘zap’ away – the ‘fan’ (wearing a wig that resembles the hairdos of some of the band members) in this ‘viral’ is the famed Dutch comic actor Michiel Romeyn (of Jiskefet fame). According to the Stone Twins “the film is intentionally amateur to mimic the YouTube genre and was shot in one take with a cheap camera. And the lighthearted and self-deprecating tone is to reflect the new sound of Moke and their desire to take themselves a little less seriously.” The official release of the single is on Sept 7th.
How to gain exposure as a brand new ad agency? You simply make a kick ass commercial, or rather a viral, for the fictitious brand Boss Noodles. And then you get hundreds of thousands views. Smart move. It proves this agency understands advertising. Khanna \ Reidinga is the product of Rikki Khanna (founder AKQA Amsterdam) and Hesling Reidinga (founder Pool Worldwide). The film was directed by André Maat.
If you haven’t heard about Jarno Smeets, the protagonist of one of the biggest hoaxes ever created since Dutch TV channel BNN aired the donor show (in which three people needing a kidney transplant were battling over a kidney), you might have been living under a stone. In a nutshell the recording above (directed by Floris Kaayk) of Jarno Smeets as the first man to fly like a bird with artificial wings traveled the world like a true viral – 6.2 million YouTube hits within a week. Though the handheld recording looks at least doubtful, the entire story around the project was built up so genuinely that we can easily imagine that it was picked up by such a great amount of media channels – both traditional (among which CNN, CBS, and BBC) as well as tech savvy (among which Wired, Techcrunch, Gizmodo). It was especially the blog (HumanBirdwings.net) describing the entire project that made things look so real. The first post was written already in July 2011: “My dream [is] to fly in the same way as birds do. Like Leonardo DaVinci envisioned it centuries ago”. As from then on there were regular updates with prototypes, animations of how the wings worked, interviews, and test runs. The only question that remains is, why would you want to pull a stunt like this? We asked Raymond van der Kaaij from Rotterdam/Amsterdam production agency Revolver, who was one of the leading forces behind the project. Van der Kaaij: “We initiated this with Dutch TV channel NTR to tell a story about a universal dream. By using a viral and social strategy we wanted to think beyond TV. Especially the interaction with the audience through social media were crucial for the credibility of the story.” And what a story it was. Hats off.
How to advertise the movie ‘Plan C’ about a corrupt cop? Mmm. We would probably advise our client to seed the trailer, cause as you know a trailer conveys the most (and sometimes only) attractive bits of a movie. But we have to admit, we are a bit traditional. What you could also do – when you’re a creative agency – is link the word ‘corrupt’ to Anonymous, cause Anonymous is hip and happening and that’s exactly the image you want to attach to your movie. So what you do is you just pretend as if Anonymous exposes a corrupt cop, by releasing some audio fragments about a dirty deal. With a bit of luck these bits will become viral and when people eventually find out that it’s a hoax they will get into the mood and visit Plan C. But that’s not all. On top of that, you pretend as if Anonymous is not amused with your hoax. They retaliate by releasing the film showed in this post and hack the website of the creative agency – which today is back to normal again, for hat matter. And this will all generate lots of free publicity for both the movie and your agency. That is, in theory, of course. We’d go for Plan A. Created by Pool Worldwide.
The new LG TV is so thin that you can easily smuggle it outside a store. The film made us immediately wonder why you want to be looking into a security camera when stealing a TV. But when you know that this viral scored 2.4 million hits on YouTube within 2 weeks, receiving the message that LG has the world’s slimmest TV, you can only call it a job well done. Created by Y&R.
There’s not many ad agencies that open a second office in the same city – especially when you live in the village called Amsterdam. Agency Nothing did though. And not just at some random location, but at IKEA. When we asked Nothing, is this a PR stunt or is there something else you’d like to share with us, Michael Jansen, partner at Nothing, answered; “Our office at Spaces [their current office building, AAB] is not very spacious. Maybe it’s good PR, but it’s especially the great m2 price, compared to the €250 per m2 we pay at the Herengracht, that lured us to this new location“. O.k., we get your point, a sense of humour it is.
Last Thursday the SpinAwards were divided between the top digital agencies in the Netherlands and Belgium. In ‘Online’ there were two golden awards; ‘Philips wake up the town’ (A fantastic concept by Tribal DDB) and ‘Hi-Tec Liquid Mountaineering’ (a very strongly executed viral by CCCP – judged as the best mockumentary of 2010 by Adage). There was one silver in Online; KLM Surprise (see embedded case film) – this also won gold in ‘Cross Media’. KLM Surprise winning two Spins was indeed a surprise. The concept is quite thin; passengers at Schiphol airport using Twitter or Foursquare were given a special gifts that matched their travel plans – seeding the shaky film footage online didn’t make it a stronger concept. In our opinion the only fair award for this surprise would have been in ‘Social Media’. Speaking of social media, in this category Boondoggle won silver for ‘Take Mokum’ – “a great way to activate your audience” is how we judged it back in September. The three awards for Boondoggle made it digital agency of the year – regardless the surprise a fair decision. KLM – also winning a second golden award for iFly Magazine in ‘Content’, created by Born 05 – became digital advertiser of the year. Considering the amount of innovative stuff KLM has created in the past year, their award was entirely deserved. Muse & Ice Mobile won gold in ‘Innovation’ for their app ‘Appie’. Indeed one of the more innovative concepts we’ve seen last year. Another gold went to the addictive game ‘Noisia Infection’, created by Flavour – “playful branding”. A very strong SpinAward (gold) went to the Blurshirt for Beachmasters (party holidays for teenagers), in the category ‘Young Talent’. It was created by Nik Sluijs and Nanette Visser of de Willem de Kooning Acadamy. The shirt has a shotcode underneath the collar so that, when embarrassing pictures are uploaded on social media, the face above the collar automatically gets blurred. Now there’s a concept that taps into a serious target group need.