United Colors of Benetton – Unemployee Of The Year

United Colors of Benetton has launched “Unemployee of the Year”, a a contest created for young people all over the world, aiming to award 100 projects proposed and voted by the online community. The project, promoted by the UNHATE Foundation, aims to spread a positive message of hope and celebrate young people’s ingenuity, creativity, and their ability to create new smart ways of addressing the problem of unemployment.

For decades, Benetton, the Italian apparel retailer, has been known for provocative advertising that attracts publicity by stirring up discussion of contentious topics like politics, religion and the treatment of AIDS patients. For almost as long, critics have dismissed the ads as exploitative because they do not offer solutions to the problems or assistance to the causes that could use financial help.

Now, however, Benetton is going to put some money where its mouth is — 500,000 euros, to be exact, or about $650,000. A campaign that begins on Tuesday for the United Colors of Benetton brand, and is devoted to the problem of youth unemployment, includes a contest to find worthwhile projects suggested by unemployed young people, who will receive financing from a Benetton foundation.

Information about the contest, called Unemployee of the Year, will be available at  unhatefoundation.org, the Web site of the Unhate Foundation, which is named after a campaign carrying the theme of “unhate” that Benetton ran last year.

The contest will be open to unemployed people, ages 18 to 30. They are being asked to submit to the Web site ideas for projects — nonprofit or not — that would improve lives in their communities. Visitors who register at the site will vote on their favorite proposals, and the Unhate Foundation will give the people behind 100 winning projects 5,000 euros each, totaling 500,000 euros. The money to be awarded the winners is a small sum compared with the estimated budget for the Unemployee of the Year campaign, which is 20 million euros, or about $26.2 million. But it is a major commitment compared with what Benetton has spent until now on the issues addressed by its ads.

The goal is “a new generation of Benetton, a Benetton 2.0,” Alessandro Benetton, who in April became chairman of the Benetton Group, said in a phone interview last week. The difference now is that when Benetton seeks to “talk about contemporary social issues,” Mr. Benetton said, the campaign “needs to have a practical response to the problems we’re raisingNot by ourselves are we going to change the world,” he added. “But we want to set an example.” Mr. Benetton said he hoped people would be surprised to see the company spending money to promote “values in which we believe. And I hope it’s something many other companies are doing,” he added.

The campaign is being created by Fabrica, the internal Benetton agency, in collaboration with the Amsterdam office of 72andSunny, an agency owned by MDC Partners.

The campaign includes a commercial in which young people in countries around the world are shown trying hard to find jobs. Some take part in a demonstration, holding banners with uplifting messages like “Dignity.”

“That is meant to counter the widespread complaints directed at jobless youth” Mr. Benetton said, “charging them with being “lazy” or being “anarchists,” or that it is somehow “their own fault” they are unemployed.”

There are also print ads in the campaign, which present portrait-style photographs of well-dressed unemployed young men and women. The subjects of the print ads are identified with phrases like “Angel, 29, non-industrial engineer from Spain,” “Valentina, 30, non-lawyer from Italy” and “Eno, 28, non-actor from the U.S.”

Advertising Agency: Fabrica/72andSunny
Year: 2012

IKEA – The Home Showroom

“In the Home Showroom Campaign, IKEA joined forces with ordinary people selling their homes. We used their private real-estate ads to launch IKEA’s new sofa TIDAFORS. In return, the sellers got plenty of IKEA’s advertising space for free. A huge success for both parts..”

SMFB — a sister agency of Forsman & Bodenfors in Norway — promoted a new line of IKEA sofas by placing them where they ought to be: inside homes. The agency partnered with people listing their homes for sale or rent to put the sofa in real estate ads and home showrooms across the country. The sofa made its appearance in pictures, on maps showing home layouts and the homes, in turn, appeared in IKEA ads for the sofa itself. Win-win.

Advertising Agency: SMFB
Art Director: Hans Magne Ekre
Copywriter: Alexander Gjersoe
Designer: Nicklas Hellborg
Web Designer: Suzie Webb
Year: 2011

AMC/Zombie Experiment NYC – Could Zombies Live Among Us?

Zombie postmen. Zombie hot dog vendors. Zombie construction workers. It’s no wonder even the dogs of New York are completely freaked out.

AMC Networks Inc. doesn’t want fans to forget that its flagship channel AMC, home of “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead,” has been off Dish Network Corp.’s satellite TV systems for a month. So it’s resorting to some zombie-tastic marketing.

AMC put up a YouTube video entitled “Zombie Experiment NYC” with the caption “Could zombies live among us?” The video, created by Thinkmodo, a New York-based viral marketing firm hired by AMC for this project, shows the process of painstakingly outfitting about 13 actors in gory, gut-twisting zombie makeup and letting them loose throughout New York City–much to the horror of innocent bystanders.

“The makeup took forever to apply,” said Michael Krivicka, co-founder of Thinkmodo, who said the shoot spanned the course of eight days. “One person was eating a sandwich and dropped the sandwich to the ground once she realized the hotdog vendor was a zombie.”

At the end of the video, one zombie creepily drags a Dish satellite dish behind it, and bright block words appear on the screen: “Zombies don’t belong here. Put them back on TV.” The video then directs viewers to putzombiesback.com, AMC’s website advertising that Dish has dropped AMC and the popular zombie drama “The Walking Dead,” which starts its new season on October 14. The video comes about a month after Dish dropped AMC’s channels, which include AMC, We TV, IFC and Sundance Channel. At the time, Dish cited the channels’ high cost compared to their relatively low viewership among Dish subscribers, though AMC said Dish was attempting to gain leverage in an unrelated lawsuit between the two companies. The dispute has kept AMC and its sibling channels off the TV lineup for Dish’s 14 million satellite subscribers, cutting into the ratings for the channels.

AMC says more marketing like this is on the way to raise awareness of the situation among current and potential Dish customers.

Only two days after its posting, the “Zombie Experiment” video already has more than 650,000 views on YouTube, fulfilling the viral message AMC was going for. Have a look at the reactions of New Yorkers confronted with realistic zombies below.

Febreze – Breathe Happy (Social Experiment)

Typically, an actress realizes that her immaculate suburban home has been fouled by the smell of cooked fish, her husband’s cigars or her teenage son’s gym bag. After she sprays air freshener, however, odors disappear, as evidenced by her ecstatic inhalations and, occasionally, by her being instantly transported to a flower garden or orange grove. Febreze, the Procter & Gamble brand, is turning its nose up at that approach.

The objective of the experiment
To prove that Febreze eliminates even the toughest odors but people had stopped believing our traditional advertising. From the insight that you can close your eyes but you can never shut of your nose we chose a different approach.
Here’s how it works.
1. Find the smelliest places in the world. We found a couch from the dump, a dive hotel and a disgusting restaurant in New York City. An abandoned house, a filthy kitchen, and an ancient thrift shop in Los Angeles. And finally a sketchy youth hostel in Buenos Aires.
2. Spray the place with Febreze.
3. Bring people off the street, blindfold them and ask them what they smell.
4. Ask them to remove the blindfold and enjoy how completely shocked people are to find out where they actually are.

Febreze really works so instead of the usual TV advertising we developed large-scale real-world odor experiments and invited people off the street to experience this for themselves. 6 Breathe Happy Social Experiments where conducted in New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Berlin reaching people on the street in very populated areas. The reactions we got were so convincing that we turned them into our new campaign. Febreze is now the fastest growing brand at Procter & Gamble and has just passed the one billion dollar mark in sales.

For all the freshening claims made by room deodorizer brands in commercials, the approach of the advertisements themselves can be pretty musty, following a predictable script.

In one spot, two women approached on the street in the SoHo section of Manhattan are led blindfolded into an abandoned section of a building, where they are seated on an old, torn couch that has clumps of dog hair. As two dogs dart around the room, they are asked by an off-screen interviewer to take deep breaths and report what they smell. One of the women says, “Light floral, lilac,” and “Like when you have fresh laundry.” The other adds, “Maybe even a little bit of citrus,” “a little bit beachy” and “wispy white curtains.” They are told to remove their blindfolds, and the squalor of the room registers on their shocked faces, with both saying, “Oh, my god,” before two members of the film crew approach them wielding Febreze. “Join us on Facebook for more experiments as Febreze sets out to make everyone breathe happy — no matter what,” says a voiceover, as the slogan for the campaign, “Breathe Happy,” appears on the screen.

“What we have done is put our products to the ultimate torture test,” said Jeff Pierce, a spokesman for Febreze. “If Febreze is so strong that it works in this dirty hotel room or on this gross couch, then it’s definitely going to work on my seemingly clean couch, blanket or any fabric in the home.”

Tor Myhren, President and Chief Creative Officer at Grey New York, said the impetus for the campaign came from a consumer focus group. “Someone said, ‘You can close your eyes, but you can’t turn off your nose,’ and that’s a brilliant insight,” Mr. Myhren said. “We said that’s a big, big, big idea that we need to bring to life.”

Members of Procter & Gamble’s research and development team were on the sets for the commercials, which were shot in New York and Los Angeles. “The R.& D. team would be there with their clipboards and they’d walk in and would say that they thought the malodor was there,” said Elena Grasmann, a vice president at Grey who attended the shoots.

After Febreze representatives sprayed the sets with the product, they, along with the director and representatives from Grey, huddled in a nearby trailer and watched the proceedings unfold on monitors. “We all sat there watching and we were anxious and then we were amazed,” said Ms. Grasmann. For the scientists, it was particularly “rewarding for them given that they worked on these products,” she said.

On Facebook, Febreze, which has more than 262,000 followers, will show additional video, including interviews with the subjects, and will solicit suggestions for odorous settings for future commercials.

Commercials for air fresheners tend to have “an almost Victorian aversion to the unpleasant,” said David Vinjamuri, author of “Accidental Branding” and an adjunct professor of marketing at New York University. Asked to review the new Febreze commercials, he said he was impressed. “You have a visceral reaction to these commercials even before you see the reaction of the subjects, because you don’t see those kinds of environments in advertising in general,” Mr. Vinjamuri said. “It’s a classic advertising setup in terms of showing a problem and solution, but in a much more credible format,” he continued.

“Breathe Happy is a first of its kind campaign in the air care industry, rooted in the Febreze brand purpose to give people the fresh air that they deserve and desire,” stated Jeff Pierce, P&G Febreze External Relations. “Following today’s advertising launch, we will spread Breathe Happy to people everywhere delivering unique moments at events and on Facebook, helping the world to Breathe Happy no matter what their surrounding conditions.”

Advertising Agency: Grey New York
Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
Executive Creative Director: Per Pedersen, Noel Cottrell
Creative Director: Rob Perillo, Rob Lenois
Production Company: Station Film
Director: Sam Cadmam
Year: 2011
Silver Lion and Bronze Lion for the Campaign

McDonald’s – My Burger Campaign (the first burger created by a fan)

Razorfish Germany came up with the “Make Your Own Burger” campaign to celebrate McDonald’s 40th year of being “Germany’s favorite restaurant.” Razorfish Germany used friendly competition and crowdsourcing to help McDonald’s come up with a new way to engage with its consumers, this campaign won a Silver Medallion at AME Awards.

The “Pretzelnator” is the first of five burgers to be created from the crowd-sourced “Mein Burger” campaign started by German agencies Razorfish, Berlin and Heye & Partner, Unterhaching for McDonald’s Germany. In this campaign, McDonald’s encouraged their customers to create their own custom made burger and compete for a place on the menu of the fast-food chain. 2011 marked McDonald’s 40th anniversary in Germany and Razorfish had to create a campaign to mark the big occasion, but with a small budget. “So many promotional burgers had been launched. Would yet another one excite our fans?” explains the Razorfish video. “We knew that many dreamed of creating their own individual McDonald’s burger. A burger that would appear on the plates of our two million daily guests. So we created a competition and invited everyone to take part. It was time for Germany’s first crowd-sourced burgers. By the fans, for the fans.” Fans were invited to create their own burger using the “Burger Configurator”, an online tool that allowed users to compile their design using mora than 70 different ingredients.

“We gave them the tools, they created the buzz,” says Razorfish. The cost-effective campaign allowed fans to name their creations and even promote them on social media platforms with personalised spots, with the aim of generating votes from other users. The ten most popular burgers made it to the next round in the McDonald’s test kitchen. The inventors then get to present their creations to the jury who decided which made it to the next stage.  Facebook fans were able to watch the event live on video and root for their favourites.

Of the ten finalists, the five best burgers will be available in McDonald’s restaurants throughout Germany and their inventors get to star in their very own ad campaign on national TV and radio.

The results exceeded all expectations. 45,000 individual burgers were created in the first seven days – without a single cent of media spend. In total more than 116,000 burgers were posted – one every 26 seconds! The fans generated more than 12,000 personalized ad campaigns, and more than 1.5 million votes were cast. 7 million page visits made “My Burger” the most successful campaign ever on the McDonald’s Germany portal. During the jury event, the McDonald’s Facebook fan page was accessed more than 1 million times – all on a single day!

With all the buzz generated, the campaign managed to reach more than 21 million contacts, that’s one in four Germans. Never before has a McDonald’s campaign attracted as many new customers, sold as many promotion burgers or generated as much total revenue.The winning Pretzelnator burger is now being served in McDonald’s locations across Germany for a limited time. This particular creation is topped with ham, American and Italian cheese and has a pretzel-like bun.

Advertising Agency: Razorfish, Germany
Year: 2011

Peugeot Panama – Pinterest Puzzle (a creative use of the pinning platform)

Peugeot Panama has launched a Pinterest-based competition that asks people to complete puzzles by repinning images of its cars. 

Last week the brand created several boards depicting different models with pieces missing.People can search for and find these pieces, pin them on their own boards and share it with Peugeot. The first five people to complete their boards win prizes.

Though a visit to the brand’s Pinterest page leaves you somewhat confused at first, since several boards have been used as placeholders – separating the cars into different price brackets. One such board is titled ‘Starting at 35,000us’ and is toally blank, with no content pinned. It’s an interesting way to use the space, but isn’t immediately obvious.

People are asked to click any board to find out where to look, which is explained as follows:

This is a 5 piece puzzle of a Peugeot 3008, as you can see there are 4 pieces missing. Look for them in our website (peugeot.com.pa) or in our Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1797346790), pin them in your own board and share it with us. The first 5 people to complete their boards win!”

Using boards as placeholders is certainly one of the most creative uses of Pinterest we’ve seen so far, but sadly it’s overshadowed by the fact that the puzzle itself isn’t very clear. It’s difficult to work out how you’re supposed to get involved, and even the brand itself has had to step in to inform a participant that the goalposts had been changed:

Hi Julia!, thank you for participating in the Peugeot Puzzle Contest, sadly as you may know, Pinterest changed our layout so we were forced to adapt the contest again. Please feel free to leave your board and start pinning again. Best Luck!”

That said, Peugeot Panama uses a conversational tone in its outreach above and is trying something new – so should be applauded for doing so. However, it might transpire that a simpler competition, with mechanics that are easier to understand, might be more successful in driving participation in the long run.

A great and impressive use of this very young network. Of course it takes a bit of courage and passion to start such an experiment – and it IS an experiment that started to work well. The mechanic of the puzzle picks up the main idea of Pinterst, which makes it feel integrated on one hand, and explains the great user feedback on the other hand.

Advertising Agency: Tribal DDB Colombia (?)

Tooheys Extra Dry Beer – The TED 696 Campaign

Lion Nathan wanted to find more occasions for young adults to drink Tooheys Extra Dry, so it introduced a longneck, TED696ml. However, the longneck market is crowded and not an easy one for “cool” brands like Tooheys Extra Dry.

Longnecks are traditionally sold in brown paper bags, covering the bottle’s branding. The bags represented an inexpensive medium that could be used to engage buyers and establish creativity.

Working with the insight that 18 to 24-year-old drinkers have a desire to express themselves, ZenithOptimedia worked with BMF to bring together the world’s best street artists and TED696’s target market to design brown paper bags around the theme 696.

Local designers were invited to submit designs in a competition that would be judged by the Luca, David Homer and Aaron Hayward at Debaser, Sydney artist Ben Frost, Murray Bell and Andrew Johnston at Design is Kinky, Colin Blake at MTV Sydney, and Tokyo/Sydney painter Numskull, the prize being a 15 ” MacBook, software and a framed set of designs signed by the three celebrity artists. The ten finalists would each receive a case of Tooheys Extra Day 696. The people’s choice, selected online by members of the public, would receive two cases of TED 696.

PR, events, advertorials, online seeding, search and a project website were activated, all with the humble brown paper bag at the core. The campaign created a new advertising medium, sending 700,000 paper bags with 696 designs to bottleshops. In the process, competitor longnecks were wrapped in 696-branded bags too.

The winner of the competition was Mike Watt, a Sydney based illustrator and designer.


In the first 8 weeks, over 500,000 longneck bottles of TED were sold representing $9 in sales for every $1 invested. The website received unique visits from 104 different countries, with each person spending an average of 9.5 minutes at the site.
During the 5-week competition period, we received a cutting edge design every 84 minutes.
MTV held a gala exhibition evening to announce the winning design. The exhibition is now touring nationally.
The bag design promotion was so succesful that it is now an ongoing project, with submissions being printed and distributed throughout liquor stores around the entire country.

Ironically, the brown paper bag that all longneck bottles are sold in, covers the branding of the product inside, yet it has never before been used as an advertising medium.

The 696 campaign won a Silver Pencil at the One Show 2009 for Point of Purchase and In Store Promotion, a Silver Lotus at the AdFest Awards for Direct Marketing, and a Yellow Pencil at the D&AD Awards 2009 for Printed Material in Branding.

Advertising Agency: BMF Sydney
Executive Creative Director: Warren Brown
Creative Director: Simon Langley
Art director: Shane Bradnic
Copywriter: Michael Canning
Year: 2009