To hype up and coming Chinese luxury brand Qeelin, ad agency Fred & Farid pulled the wool over the eyes of millions of Chinese buy tricking them into thinking the mythological creature, the Qilin, actually existed.
The agency photoshopped a puppet baby Qilin into ancient Chinese photos as well as into a video. They then released the photos and video to influential social media types on the Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat.
In less than 24 hours, as if ushering lemmings off a cliff, the stunt became the hot topic on Weibo with 30,000 reposts and 15,000 comments.
After four days -- and 35 million views -- during which internet sleuths unearthed un-altered versions of the ancient photos, it was revealed Qeelin was behind the hysteria. Yet another example of how any of us can be led off a cliff and think nothing of it.
Oh how we've wanted to write a headline like that for so long. OK, maybe not. But it did get you to click on the headline, right? And, really, clicking is what this is all about. Today, Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors has given us reason to believe that, once again, clicking on a banner is a good thing. A very, very good thing.
Miraculously, the agency was able to get Mother Teresa, Ghandi and Jesus Christ all in the same room at the same time. Three people who have gone to great lengths to save lives and well, all of mankind. Who else could possibly earn a seat at this table? A banner clicker, that's who.
In three well-crafted videos, we learn the importance of clicking on a banner. In this case, to help UNICEF deliver life saving products to those in need. See? Who says a banner clicker isn't as heroic as Mother Teresa, Ghandi or Jesus Christ?
In reaction to five proposed logos for Canada's 150th birthday, Canadian Designer Ibraheem Youssef, who was appalled at the quality of the proposed logo, took it upon himself to rally other Canadian designers to come up with something better.
To showcase the work, Youssef launched The150Logo to rally support and plead the country not to go down the path of mediocrity.
We're pretty sure anyone who looks at the official proposed logos versus those highlighted on The150Logo will clearly see how bad the official ones are and how much better Youssef's are.
See Youssef's collection of logos here.
Rampant commercialism. Black Friday. Idiots fighting over TV sets at Walmart. Is anyone sick of the disgustingly selfish focus on commercialism? Barton F. Graf 9000's Jerry Graf and TDA_Boulder's Jonathan Schoenberg are. The two men who ran into each other at a recent industry event decided to do something about it.
The two agencies have launched Bawx, a site on which, well, you can buy boxes. But with a twist. The boxes are both toys for children and a means of raising money for children's charities Blue Sky Bridge in Boulder and Charley Davidson Fund in Boston.
As explained on the site, "Consumerism is a bit out of control these days. Kids would much rather spend time with their friends and parents and a Bawx, than the latest technology. Ok, that is a complete lie, but maybe if they did have a Bawx they would spend more time with people, and a bit less time with pixels."
It's an admirable effort. All box manufacturing costs will be born by the two agencies and all proceeds will be donated to the charities. A range of boxes are available from $24.99 to $499.99. But, all the boxes are the same. It's up to the buyer to decide how much they want to donate.
It's really "The perfect holiday gift for the 2 - 61⁄2 year old who would rather play with the box than what's inside."
Intermodal transportation. Perhaps you've heard of it. More likely, you haven't. But you know exactly what it is. It's a shipping system that uses those big containers you see at various seaports that make their way from ship to shore to truck to train carrying contents that, ultimately, end up in your home. Like washing machines, jeans, beverages, light bulbs, refrigerators, computers and basically, well, most everything.
It's called intermodal because the same container can be placed on a truck, a ship or a train. It's a great way, and the main way, most everything makes its way around the world. It's both mundane and really cool at the same time. Mundane in the sense that who really cares how my sweater travels from some factory in China to my closet in New York. Then again, just how the hell does my seater get from China to my closet without falling into the ocean or ending up ion the side of the highway?
Barbarian Group has given life to this "boring" mode of transportation for GE touting the brand's trip optimizer system which helps all those containers move smoothly across the globe.
Working with British rocker Rueben Wu who captured organic terminal sounds at the CSX Intermodal Terminal in North Baltimore, the agency deftly crafted a branded video that's actually interesting to watch...and listen to.
Pitching is part of an advertising agency's DNA; it's often mandatory if an agency wants to acquire new business. With the average length of the client relationship diminishing from eight years in 1997 to only three years today, pitching is occurring more frequently
However, according to a Provoke Insights study, approximately half (47%) of advertising professionals surveyed by Provoke Insights say they are dissatisfied with the current internal approach to pitching.
"I hate the pitch process," one account professional confessed, under anonymity. "It means working 24-7 and completely wears everyone out." It is not shocking that the industry says unrealistic timelines (66%) and long work hours (65%) are key reasons for such frustration. The demand of pitching is not a new issue; management expects employees to give their sweat and tears.
Yet, can the harried pace of the pitch process be avoided? Surprisingly, employees believe these tiring work conditions can be prevented if better organization and processes were in place. "Very chaotic, no clear direction until the last minute," a media analyst mentioned when recalling his most recent pitch.
Interestingly, those who are happy with their experiences when pitching mention teamwork as a key reason for their satisfaction. "Good collaboration and clear understanding of a common purpose," an account executive indicated as success factors.
Another area of frustration during pitches is having timely access to the appropriate research and data. Forty-four percent of advertising professionals stated that if there were better availability of research and data, pitches would run smoother and more successful. More so those who received data for pitches, 48% mentioned the speed of resources was not quick enough.
An agency has one shot to deliver the right message, so research and insights are imperative. Without them, no matter how innovative the creative is, the pitch could be off base. "Winning creative should be based on research and insights. However, many times it ends up being loosely based on not enough research causing the strategy to end up being lack luster," a strategic planner stated.
Receiving extra support and resources in regards to understanding of the target audience (57%), competitive intelligence (53%) followed by trends analysis (53%), industry intelligence (47%) and social listening (42%) are key areas employees believe the pitch process can be more successful.
This article was written by Provoke Insights Head of Strategy & Research Carly Fink.