30 November 2008
TALES FROM THE TRENCHES
Your client is launching a new washing powder. First of all, he doesn’t want to use any print or TV: he
wants to focus on online (particularly an advergame), in-store and some street/grassroots marketing.
Second, he doesn’t want to sell the ‘whiter than white’ angle—and you can’t use “Dirt is good.” You’re
the creative lead for the whole thing. What’s the ‘big idea’? And how do you execute it?
The joys of birthday working
I THINK we’d do a character-based
playing the game because you want to
thing, along the lines of Mr.Sheen or
win the car.
THOUGH EVERY day brings new smiles and
Mr.Muscle. You want something fun
And we could develop on the magic
new challenges, the day of my birthday was
and engaging that works across cul-
theme, combine the game into a site
indeed special. Five minutes after walking into
tures. Given that we’ve only had 24
with Mr. Magic teaching magic tricks.
the office, I got pulled into a pitch briefing. It
hours for this, and we don’t have the
And we’d have an online banner cam-
came as no surprise that we had to come up
brand name, we’ve come up with the
paign introducing the promotion and
with initial thoughts by noon to be executed by
idea of ‘Mr Magic’. The theme of the
the character, but also driving traffic to
the end of day. What did come as a shocker was
campaign—based on the product
the game and the magic site.
the brief that stated they were not looking for a
benefits—being: “Abracadabra, watch
We’d maybe tweak them, too, to-
concept in the campaign.
wards some kind of environmental
On one hand, I was trying to work up a cam-
I think magic is something we all
awareness and education. The need
paign that had ‘no core idea, and on the other’
loved as kids—whether it’s Paul Dan-
to be clean and green. If you’re talk-
hand, I had ‘the suits’ chasing me on other jobs.
iels, David Copperfield, Siegfried and
ing about any product in the world,
Roy, or just your drunk uncle show-
that’s a hot topic. And appropriate to
ing you some card trick—so it’s going
to evoke some nostalgia. It’s just a fun
In-store, we’d look at regular point
way of communicating the benefits of
of sale collaterals like cut-outs and
the product while engaging people, as
shelf talkers with the mascot, but also
opposed to being product- or features-
have him performing magic tricks—
focused. And the character gives you a
distributing samples, and little magic
great hook for the whole campaign.
tricks for the kids. It’d get plenty of at-
So if you look at online we could do
numerous different games that pitch
tention, but it’s also a point of interest
and communicative of the brand itself
Mr. Magic against various dirt-related Managing director
challenges or adversaries. You could
Another idea is ‘Mr Magic’s Play
go retro—Pacman or Space Invaders,
Area’, which is a supervised play area
zapping or avoiding germs—or more count vouchers—sent via direct mail—
in the shopping mall with our mas-
contemporary, like a Sims thing. It’s creating brand loyalty. That’s also an
cot there, and game stations installed,
potentially viral and, again, shows the opportunity to allow the company to
where families can leave their kids and
benefits of the brand. send out sample packs and get people
go shopping while the kids play the
We want to make it fun, but also to experience the product.
game and win prizes. That’s position-
drive sales. There has to be a point to
I did—at least—get to cut a lovely chocolate
Perhaps we’d make the first 20
ing the brand as ‘part of the family’.
having a game. So we could tie it in
cake (courtesy of my colleagues) in between
games free. But in order to play further
We could also run a ‘Magic Hour’
with a promotion. Whoever’s top of
rushing around. And to get wished and kissed
you need to redeem the points you’ve
promo—at either random or adver-
the leader board wins a grand prize—
(thrice over, alternating each cheek) by 1, 2,
won. So with the points system, you
tised times—where the product is
3…15 people. I lost count after that.
significantly reduced. That could be
I think magic is something we all loved
Then I had to rush to a very, erm, interest-
communicated through advertising or
ing recording session, throughout the entire
as kids—whether it’s Paul Daniels, David
PR and would generate some hype.
length of which the client sat demanding each
Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, or just your
In terms of grass roots, we’d run
voiceover be retaken, time after time after time
something like ‘Mr.Magic’s Spectacu-
drunk uncle showing you some card trick—so
(x20), only to go back and choose the very first
lar Show’. A road show entertaining the
take. All the while I was reassuring myself that it
it’s going to evoke some nostalgia.
whole family. And the mascot could
would soon be over.
participate in existing events like the
Then the sound engineer goes, “Sorry, but
Rugby 7s, or the Red Bull Air Race. Ac-
a year’s supply of washing powder or a
I’ve got to leave urgently”. I nodded vigorously,
either get discount on the product—
tually, the rugby may not be the best
car, maybe—which is good for young
like a dancing doll, and took over the scene.
so the game’s driving sales and getting
place—he’ll get stuff thrown at him.
adults, but could also encourage kids
Finally, the session was done and I headed
that consumer experience—or you
But you get the idea. And there’s the
to win something for mum, so it en-
back to resume my mission at work. ‘The suits’
keep going for the grand prize, so you
potential to extend the environmental
gages the whole family.
were so eagerly awaiting my return that the
continue getting exposed to the brand,
awareness angle with community rela-
As a repeat mechanism to get people
doors were opened for me as I entered.
and it’s not costing the client anything.
tions stuff too.
coming back, you could create a points
I don’t remember the rest of the evening.
You could even extend it to on-pack
We really like the idea. It’s a shame
system they can redeem against dis-
And I don’t mean that in a good way.
codes to get an extra 20 points to keep
there isn’t actually a client!
OUT OF CREDITOUT
The wThe orld is facing its biggest financial crisis for de- is squint at your receipt and match the last five num-
ccaades. The British gode vernment has slashed VAT for the bers with the digits on your card. Match all five and
first t time in 17 years, the Dubai stock market has fallen get 100 per cent cashback. The ad is more than a little
to its lo its owest point in four years, while the Dubai govern- condescending. And the simple-minded model looks
ment rmen ecently announced they were a whopping $70bil- like he’s just sat on something painful.
lion in debt. And ylion et—judging by these ads—you’d be Visa, meanwhile, opts for a classier route, with a
ffoorrgigiven for thinking that Dubai had taken The Atlantis’s tagline of “Exclusive privileges for the select few.” And
garish (OK, so wgaris e weren’t invited) opening to heart and apparently chocolate is the best way to illustrate that
decided tdeci o spend its way out of the meltdown. promise. Yes, make us feel special, but don’t we de-
That’Th s what Visa and Emirates NBD are hoping, serve something a little more ‘exclusive’ than choco-
anywayanyw . First up, with a headline displaying no ap- late? Although—if the economy continues its impres-
preciation of irec ony, is Emirates NBD, which promises sion of a boulder in a pond—that might be the kind of
“number“num s that make sense to you”. All you need to do thing we’ll have to buy on credit in the near future.
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