Doktor Proktor and the end of the world. Maybe – The Monsters Campaign

Aschehoug Publishing built an exhibition consisting of life size monsters to publicize Jo Nesbo’s children’s book Doktor Proktor and The End of the World. Maybe. The exhibition, taking place at the Natural History Museum in Oslo, gave the ‘Moon Chameleon’ and 23 more animals in the book each their own ‘story’; and broke all attendance records for an exhibition at the Museum. Meanwhile, the book topped bestseller charts – the first Norwegian children’s book ever do to so.

The Brief
Our task was to launch the childrens book ”Doctor Proktor and the end of the world. Maybe” – about Doctor Proktor, the children Bulle and Lise and their fight against the cruel monster, The Moon Chameleon. We had a small budget of $100,000 to cover everything – our fees, production, and media spending. Knowing books are losing the battle for childrens attention in Norway and sales are going down, we knew we couldn’t go the traditional way, but had to come up with something that would create buzz, attention and PR itself.

Creative Execution
The creative idea: A big exhibition of full sized monsters – “Doktor Proktor’s Sensational Collection of Animals You Wish Did Not Exist”.
Starring the Moon Chameleon as the main attraction, but also showing 23 other animals you really wished didn’t walk the earth. Some of them from the books, and some of them we made up.
We contacted Norway’s most famous puppet maker and his team of artists – and asked the Natural History Museum in Oslo to host the exhibition. They were all enthusiastic about the project – and the exhibition would never have come to life without their positivity, dedication and great efforts.
Together with the exhibition we also came up with the idea to write a children’s book about the animals of the exhibition. So we made that one as well – and put it out for sales in book stores all over Norway.

The Goal of PR
To create as much buzz, attention and PR as possible around the Doktor Proktor books, especially the new one. We hoped to sell about 15,000 copies.
The target audience were children between 5 and 12 – and their parents.

Documented Results
– Headlined the TV news twice prime time on Norway’s biggest TV broadcaster (NRK), once even live from the exhibition.
– Massive media coverage: front pages on national newspapers, headlined national radio news and an endless number of articles in both printed and online media.
– It is by far the most media covered promotional campaign in Norway for years.
– A new all time high attendance records for the museum – so far 75,000 people have visited.
– Every second child of Oslo has attended
– The book went to no.1 of the sales chart of all Literature – as the first Norwegian children’s book ever.
– The three Doktor Proktor books have sold over 70,000 copies (extremely high in Norwegian standards) since the opening.

Advertising Agency:  Try Advertising, Oslo
Copywriter: Lars Joachim Grimstad,
Art director: Egil Pay
Year: 2011

When the art director is a 3 years old child… (Children’s drawings in advertising)

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

El Observador (against sexual abuse of children)

Olay (anti-ageing cream)

Drypers DryPantz

Santa Cruz Zoo

Benedict Language School

Suncream for kids


Yogurt Danonino

La Vache Qui Rit (mini cheese)

Lucky Dog (pencil)

FutureSport Gym

Land Rover

Winston Tennis Racquets

Istituto Movere (against child obesity)


TBWA/Paris for Amnesty International – Death to the Death Penalty (the story behind the campaign)

On October 10 2010, the fourth European Day Against the Death Penalty, Amnesty International France launched a commercial to mobilise support amongst decision-makers and the general public for its campaign against the death penalty.

The film, created for Amnesty International France by advertising agency TBWA Paris, used life-like wax figures to depict four different methods of execution: firing squad, hanging, beheading and the electric chair. In each scenario, the wax figures melt then crumple – powerfully illustrating the campaign’s strap line: ‘Death to the Death Penalty’.

In a chiaroscuro mood, a firing squad is pointing guns to a prisoner. Characters made out candle wax start to melt down. Then, a hangman is just about to knock down the stool of the prisoner but the rope of the Gallows starts melting down and the scene dissolves. The sword of an executioner and the executioner himself melt down. And eventually, an electric chair meets the same fate. As a reveal, the sentence shaped in candle wax “Death to the death penalty” followed by the very own Amnesty candle logo explain us that Amnesty has put a death spell on the death penalty, that it’s own flame is burning down executioners.

French broadcasters agreed to show the ad at no cost to Amnesty International during an initial run of 30 ad slots. The commercial was then shown in independent cinemas across France for a further four weeks and the creative idea featuring wax figures was also used in accompanying print ads – including posters in Paris – and also direct mail.

The ‘Death to the Death Penalty’ campaign generated significant media coverage and interest both in France and further afield. The commercial was viewed more than 400,000 times online with 30,000 views via the Amnesty International France web site. The advertising has since been used by Amnesty international in more than a dozen other countries – an unusual step as the organisation usually commissions then implements its marketing campaigns locally, market by market.

“We were amazed that support for the work among Amnesty International activists was unanimous – which for us is extremely rare,” says Sylvie Haurat, Communications Director of Amnesty International France.

The Story
Although 96 countries have formally abolished it and many more have not used it in years, 58 nations still actively practice the death penalty. Campaigns for all countries to end capital punishment are ongoing, however, and at a General Assembly meeting in November 2010 the United Nations renewed its call for a moratorium on the death penalty. Ahead of this Amnesty International France, part of global human rights organisation Amnesty International, decided to run a publicity campaign about the issue. France was one of the first countries to formally abolish the death penalty. Amnesty International France wanted to remind the French public that 58 countries were yet to follow their country’s lead, and it hoped France would step up its influence to persuade governments yet to abolish the death penalty to do so.

Amnesty International France is one of 72 national ‘sections’ of Amnesty International, the organisation that campaigns for internationally-recognised human rights for all. Typically, it runs campaigns around three or four different human rights-related issues each year with advertising created and then implemented locally, market by market. Budgets are always very tight so much if not all of the creative development and production work involved is done for free with media space either provided pro bono or at a reduced cost.

We are very demanding client,” Sylvie Haurat says. “Not only do we have very little budget, we are extremely demanding when it comes to our concerns about ethics. And with the cross section of activists working for us, who all have strong opinions, it can be difficult to find campaign ideas on which everyone can agree.” 

In early 2009 Amnesty International France approached TBWA-Paris to develop the death penalty campaign. The organisation had worked with the agency for almost a decade on an ad hoc basis – a relationship that had already produced a number of highly successful campaigns – and the brief was clear.

“Amnesty International already has a worldwide initiative called ‘Count Down for a World Free from Capital Punishment’,” explains Anne-Laure Brunner, TBWA-Paris’ Account Director and Director of New Business. “They gave us the historical background and the Count Down context. They made it clear we needed to mobilise support and to do so by being positive about how close they now are to realising their goal. And they told us to make sure that nothing we produced was directly critical of any particular, individual country.”

A significant feature of the brief – and the TBWA-Paris creative team’s starting point – was how different the death penalty brief was to others for previous Amnesty International campaigns. Unlike most of the other issues Amnesty International campaigns on, the death penalty is a fight that’s close to being won. Because of this, Amnesty International France wanted to do something different to most of our other campaigns – to be more positive. “It was about raising awareness,” says Sylvie Haurat. “And we wanted it to be a message that would appeal to everyone.” 

The Strategy
The agency team’s initial discussions focused on different ways to present the death penalty as outdated and irrelevant – building on insight into the varied and often conflicting ways in which it is used in different countries, and the fact that there is little evidence to suggest capital punishment effectively dissuades others from repeating the same crime. The creative team were concerned that imagery such as an electric chair overgrown by nature might lack impact, however. Attention then turned to Amnesty International’s logo, which features the image of a candle signifying hope out of darkness. Their idea was to use figures of executioners made of wax melting.

“The thought of using wax figures came to us quite quickly because the Amnesty International logo stands for light and hope, and because the melting wax would simply show the time was right to make the death penalty simply melt away,” says TBWA-Paris Art Director Philippe Taroux. “We felt this was a positive way to get the message across – with only a final push in the campaign needed to bring it to its end, it was important to be engaging rather than shocking which people might have felt was alienating.”

Though the creative solution was found early executing it would take almost another 18 months, however. “If you don’t have the money to spend you need time,” Taroux adds. “We began by researching how we could film melting, life-size figures for TV. We approached production collective Pleix who we have worked with many times before to see if we could build and film the figures for real then melt them in post-production. But then we realised how difficult it would be to shoot what we wanted for real.”

Early tests showed it would be too difficult to film melting wax without it looking like stop-motion animation. The logistics involved combined with the limited budget available, meanwhile, meant a more cost effective way to do it was needed that look as realistic as shooting it for real.

“We then began working with post-production company Digital District to find a way to create figures using CG that looked life-size and realistic that we could then melt convincingly,” Taroux continues. “It was really hard as nothing like this had been done before and only in the last week could we be sure what we had was good enough. We ended up pushing the software to the limit on what turned out to be one of the most complicated ads I’ve ever done.” 

So, the figures were sculpted in CG then melted using special software. Facial scans were also used to create extra details on the faces. An important balancing act, however, was ensuring that while realistic the figures did not too closely resemble any particular nationality, Brunner points out: “While we wanted the executioners to be realistic they couldn’t look too like one nationality.” 

Creating the texture of the wax was relatively easy compared to simulating realistic melting. CG software is highly effective for quick water splashes but less suitable for melting more viscous substances very slowly. “Everything had to be really precise – which is always the case to get the best out of 3D,” Taroux adds.  “We drew lot of storyboards to know exactly what we wanted in each shot working closely with the director. We then focused closely on the special effects. Editing was about making sure each of the four ‘stories’ had equal weight.” 

Music choice was another important consideration. “The images were critical, but as important was creating the right ‘climate’ through the sound to provide an emotional dimension,” Taroux explains. The track eventually chosen after months of research was a stirring piece of music called ‘Everyday’ by Carly Comando. “We did not want anything that would over-dramatise the subject. The music was chose had to keep the human dimension – to be stirring and hopeful.”  

Amnesty International France was closely involved throughout the extended development and production process.

“This meant a number of lengthy discussions among our executive committee – about the storyboards, for example,” says Sylvie Haurat. “Because one scene they suggested would show an executioner’s face melting. We had lots of discussions about the ethics of whether Amnesty International could be seen to melt an executioner. This might seem bizarre to an outsider but as I say, we are very demanding. But the idea was strong. And the scene with the melting face is still there.”  

The finished film featured four different vignettes, each depicting a different form of execution: beheading by sword, a practice still used in some Middle East countries; firing squad, still used in China; hanging, used in parts of Asia; and electrocution, practise still used in parts of the US. Each vignette was carefully lit and shot against a simple black background with the audience’s viewpoint guided around the different figures and their equipment as the wax models began to melt.

Though the commercial took almost 18 months to produce the client was closely involved throughout the project. “We have a close relationship and so a strong degree of trust,” says Brunner. “There was much talking around the brief and first concepts as nothing had been done like this before. Then there was more talking around the realisation. Ultimately, however, it all turned out well and no modifications by the client to any of our work at all were made.”

The Impact
Amnesty International France’s ‘Death to the Death Penalty’ campaign launched on October 10 2010, the fourth European Day Against the Death Penalty.  With an extremely limited budget, the campaign needed unpaid media coverage to extend its reach. So ahead of launch, the agency produced CDs and press releases about the campaign to distribute to the media along with scaled down wax models of an electric chair. This generated editorial coverage on four major TV shows and in numerous magazines. The commercial was then shown in French independent cinemas over the next four months.

The ‘Death to the Death Penalty’ film went on to have a significant and far-reaching impact. It generated a large amount of interest at home and abroad and, in the months that followed, the French-produced advertising was used by Amnesty International sections in more than a dozen other countries – a highly unusual move for an organisation where individual markets usually produce and use they own campaign materials, locally.

In the months since, the campaign has won more than two dozen advertising industry awards including a D&AD Yellow Pencil in the Animation category in 2011.

“The campaign’s success is down to the emotional power of the subject and the way it was presented which touched people without over-dramatising,” Brunner believes. “The film is positive and motivating. The technology behind it makes it look real. And the use of wax makes a direct link to the Amnesty candle. It is a perfect combination of pictures, music and message.” 

Sylvie Haurat adds: “The strength of the campaign lay in the quality of the creative concept and its symbolic resonance. The length of time it took to make did cause us problems – we had hoped to run the campaign in October 2009 but it wasn’t ready until a year later. But pro bono work is never straight forward. And we were amazed that support for the work among Amnesty International activists was unanimous – which for us is extremely rare.” 

Advertising Agency: TBWA/Paris
Executive Creative Directors: Eric Holden, Rémi Noël
Copy Writer: Benoît Leroux
Art Director: Philippe Taroux
Director: Pleix
Production Company: Warm & Fuzzy
Composting: Philippe Aubry, Dan Elhadad, Jimmy Cavé, Guillaume Nadaud, Guillaume Martin
Music: Artist/Song Title: Carly Comando – Everyday

Videocon Zeus – The Cascade of Books

When Videocon Mobile Phones decided to re-launch the Zeus as an ebook reader phone, they offered the buyer a free bundled download offer on 2000 ebook titles. The task at hand was to convey this to prospective buyers in the most interesting manner possible.

We decided to lead the customer into a unique experience, with an installation that brought the idea of downloading free ebooks on the Zeus to life. Over 1400 books were suspended in the atrium of a mall in such a way that they seemed to converge into the screen of a single Videocon Zeus phone. Letting the spellbound viewer experience the ‘download and read’ feature of the Zeus firsthand. Customers could also interact and purchase the Zeus from a Videocon store in the mall itself.

We wanted customers to experience what it feels like downloading over 2000 free ebook titles. And that is where the idea of suspending actual books in the atrium of a mall worked the trick. The installation was one-of-a kind and created curiosity about the phone. Viewers who got convinced about its feature could also buy the Zeus phone from a Videocon store in the mall itself.
Prospective customers and avid book readers developed an instant liking for the Zeus mobile phone. And this was evident from the 100% increase in store enquiries about the Zeus and unit sales that went up by 30% in the Videocon store of the same mall.

Advertising Agency: McCann Worldgroup, Mumbai
Chief Creative Officer: Prasoon Joshi
Creative Director: Rahul Mathew, Akshay Kapnadak, Talha Bin Mohsin, Mahesh Parab
Copywriter: Vilsen Gonsalves, Juneston Mathana
Art Director: Mahesh Parab, Nitin Sawant
Year: 2011

Sean Hartter and Peter Stults – Alternate Universe Movie Poster

You might never have wondered what it would be like if Clint Eastwood had played Wolverine or Leonard Nimoy got the part of John McClane in Die Hard. I know I haven’t. But nevermind, it’s already been done and the results are intriguingly good. This is not advertising…

William Shatner and Natalie Wood join the the Blue Man Group for Stults’s new take on Avatar.

Illustrator Sean Hartter, 38, has been reimagining classic film posters but with retro casts in them for the past three years. His Alternate Universe Movie Poster project encourages other artists to come up with their own designs, and the idea has spread around the globe. Many of them are arty reinterpretations of a film’s theme, while others are clever pastiches of old styles of movie poster.

Among them are works by New York illustrator and designer Peter Stults, 29, who has also cast Al Pacino as Wolverine, along with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Jack Lemmon in The Hangover. Other posters include Charlton Heston and Harry Belafonte in Pulp Fiction and Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop and David Bowie in The Big Lebowsky.

Maybe even cooler than the originals.. Charlton Heston and Harry Belafonte in Stults’s Pulp Fiction

Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Peter Stults’s alternative movie poster for The Hangover

Stults even makes the posters look old by Photoshopping fold marks and signs of ageing on to them. In the alternative movie world Jean Luc Godard has directed Trainspotting with Terence Stamp and Michael Caine in it, and Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne are the stars of Kill Bill.

Stults enlists a 1960s British cast for Danny Boyle’s seminal 1996 masterpiece Trainspotting

Hartter, from Massachusetts, says dozens of similar sites have sprung up around the world, many doing alternative posters of yet to be released films. At the moment Christopher Nolan’s upcoming third Batmanfilm is occupying a lot of designers minds, with predictive poster versions of it popping up across the web. Hartter says: “I draw my inspiration from exploitation posters from the 60s and 70s, and the almost mythic stories of movies that could have been. Things like Sylvester Stallone almost playing Han Solo in the original Star Wars, or David Lynch being courted to direct Return Of The Jedi. I guess what I’m trying to impart is the sense that you might see these posters in the window of a sleazy urban movie theater, sun bleached and neglected, brittle from age. But instead of starring Z list actors and concepts no one has heard of, they are adaptations of comic book story arcs, blockbuster films that never became blockbusters, fantasy novels that are, in reality, impossible to actualise into films. I’ve always been fascinated by foreign versions of iconic film posters in the US, and alternate posters that were never used or were only used in a limited fashion. I’m also a huge fan of the pastiche photo manipulations of Terry Gilliam. I grew up watching Monty Python and the way Gilliam utilised photographs to create these bizarre worlds made a massive impression on me. My style is a little wonky but I really try to adhere to rules I’ve learned studying the way they assembled posters in the heyday of exploitation and grindhouse films. I’ve designed a few hundred posters for events and websites, or just for my own satisfaction.”

Ultra modern Inception gets a 1950s remake from Stults

Sal Mineo and Shirley MacLaine are stars of Hartter’s reimagined 2008 monster epic Cloverfield

Hartter has made friends with a lot of artists and admirers due to the distribution of his work across the web and the world.

He adds: “Some people don’t like my work and that’s fine. A bigger percentage do like it and respond to the tongue in cheek attitude that is prevalent. I try and impart a little bit of humor and a lot of nostalgia. I’m very serious about the way I create the posters but at the same time they are a parody, and definitely the antithesis of modern poster design. I use Photoshop too, but I tend to use it as if I’m cutting out paper or photographs and assembling them. I hand draw things too but approach this method in the same fashion.”

Stults, who has been mocking up modern film posters as a hobby with pals for about 10 years, was shown Hartter’s site by a friend and began doing his own alternate movie designs and sometimes adapting Hartter’s existing posters.

He said: “While studying film & digital media at UC Santa Cruz and farting around on photoshop in my bedroom, I began dabbling with the idea of “made up” movie posters. Back in 2002 to 2004 my friends and I toyed around with silly ideas; taking song titles and using those as stepping stones or someone would say ‘I want to see this actor and that actor in the same film’ or we would do the ‘It’s Mulholland Drive meetsJumanji’ film summarising approach to help create a movie concept. A while back a friend of mine forwarded me a site where an artist had made posters of films that, title wise, we were familiar with, but there was a slight difference; they were remade as if they belonged to a different era or a different genre. The name of the movie was there, but the actors were different, the style was different, and I loved the concept. So I went forward with this theme; what if movies we were all familiar with were made in a different slice of time? Who would be in it? Who would direct it?”

Stults was a typical comic book obsessed teenager who grew up in Santa Cruz, California, drawing his own superheroes.

He said: “The ‘what if’ idea Sean created is an inspiring tool. The creativity is very lively right now: Sean’s alternate universe, the fake Criterion Collection covers, posters for movies that exist in fictional books, even the mash-up trailers on youtube. I’ve always had a passion for film. I worked at a Hollywood Video for a while and every night I was taking home movies to watch. Movies of today and yesterday I have an appreciation for. The look and feel of the movie posters of previous decades have such a unique art to them. It’s a style I enjoy playing around with. When it comes to making the posters and contemplating ideas, I sort of think of movies I’ve recently seen or simply enjoy and then just wander in the ‘what if’ world. Ricky Nelson in Donnie Darko, Monty Python’s Shaun of the Dead, Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman in Fight Club. There’s also some film history research involved too. Who was a leading actor at a certain time, what names were popular in terms of directors, and, of course there’s also the absurd.”

Lenny Bruce returns in Hartter’s version of Watchmen

This is not advertising…

Marcel Paris for – Take a Stand against the death penalty

The death penalty is one of the most contested actions across the globe. Marcel Paris created a campaign for that encourages to people to take a stand against the death penalty, quite literally. At the National Library of France, two screens face one another. On one screen, stands a soldier and on the other stands a victim of the death penalty. In between, a sticker on the floor serves as the “take a stand” platform for passersby.

The association, Together Against the Death Penalty, was facing an efficiency problem with petitions in the street. Many people, even pro-abolition, hesitated to sign because they believed it wouldn’t be acted upon. How can we make people aware that they can make a difference ?
To confront bystanders to the reality of the death penalty, we installed two screens broadcasting a video of an imminent execution. A sticker invited passers-by to stand between the screens. When they did so, the film changed: the soldier lowered his rifle and the convicted person lifted up his head again. Our goal was to encourage people to sign a petition for the worldwide abolishment of the death penalty. They could do it through a simple QR code.

A symbolic place: The Francois Mitterrand National Library, named after the president who abolished the death penalty in France 30 years ago.
Awareness: Confronting passers-by with a realistic implementation can make them aware of a very real and current problem.
A call to action: By giving people a strong experience (ending the performance by physically intervening) and encouraging them to concretely take a stand by signing a petition against the death penalty.

– More than 8,000 signatures collected within a month.
– 3 out of 10 people shared the petition on Facebook.
– 15% more new Facebook fans (during the following month).
– 18% more awareness thanks to blogs, newspapers and magazines.
– The petition is still available on and grows in numbers everyday.

Advertising Agency: Marcel, Paris, France
Art Director: Souen Le Van
Copywriter: Martin Rocaboy
Executive Creative Director: Veronique Sels, Anne De Maupeou, Sebastien Vacherot
Director/Film: Guillaume Couret
Year: 2011

Droga5 for Puma Bodywear – The Puma Index

Summary of the Campaign
To launch the new Puma Bodywear collection, a range of sporty garments available in stores globally, with no money. Create a huge buzz with a very small budget, and create something with a fun news spin on a depressing, repetitive story. Launch date was Fall 09, in the depths of the worst economic crisis. We observed that underwear ads followed consistent rules: half dressed pouty girls, serious photography and were limited in engagement. Based on the brand positioning “Where is the Joy”, our strategy was to bring joy in an unexpected moment that would find its way into a cultural conversation.
We created “The PUMA Index,” a real stock market ticker with a twist: when the market went down, the models clothes came off, right down to their PUMA underwear. The campaign has made over 130,000,000 impressions, the iPhone app was one of the top 20 apps and was downloaded over 40,000 times, and the website became one of the most talked about sites in national media and on social networks. One impatient fan even broke into the site to steal the files of one of the models in his PUMA skivvies.

The Situation
The problem was the financial meltdown. the story came from the unique fun way in which Puma approached it – creating a useful utility while bringing a smile to everyone’s faces. With no media spend and to launch the new Puma Bodywear range to a global audience. The opportunity for Puma was to deliver on its brand promise of “Where is the Joy” by leaning into the cultural conversations already happening around the world.
And we had to do it with no media budget.

The Strategy
Initial planning was based on discovering what our target was interested in and cared about. We then had to create something that would go viral in their world. Next, our plan was to seed the campaign in a few key places and coordinate a PR push along with specific ads on to create initial buzz about the idea. After that, our plan was to build on the momentum and encourage the mass media to pick up the story for added buzz. Finally, we hoped to achieve enough success to continue to evolve the idea.

Early planning successfully identified our target and informed the creation and production of our content. Initial seeding and PR push succeeded in lighting a spark on the app/site that soon went viral on its own. Soon, mass media was reporting the site and helping spread the word. The plan pretty much stayed true to form throughout.

The Goal
Our goals were three fold:
Drive awareness of the Puma’s new Bodywear range to a youth audience in key markets,
Reinforce new Puma brand positioning “Where is the Joy”
Ultimately drive sales of the product

The downturn in the economy had put the state of finance into the mainstream water cooler conversation. Research showed that finance apps were consistently in the Top 50 most sold on iTunes…But while finance had reached new cultural relevance with new audience, the media and apps consumed still treated the story like one big spreadsheet. It was through this cultural and competitive analysis that we came to the key insight that the financial world was in the need of some Puma Joy.

• 130,000,000 media impressions
• 40,000 app downloads, One of the top 20 Apps of the year
•Tens of thousands of blog/twitter/facebook of blog postings (*still tracking exact figures)
•An unprecedented amount of return visitors to the site (*still tracking exact figures)

“We’ve seen a lot of branded applications and a lot of them play it too straight down the middle,” said Antonio Bertone, Puma’s chief marketing officer. “We thought that if we could do this right and have models take off clothes when the market was going down, this could really work.”

Advertising Agency: Droga5, New York
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Executive Creative Director: Duncan Marshall, Ted Royer
Creative Director/Copywriter: Kevin Brady
Art Director: Jesse Juriga
Year: 2010
Shortlist Cannes Lion
Silver Pencil at the One Show Interactive.