Ogilvy Johannesburg’s Cliff Jennings viral campaign received the 2008 Roger Garlick Award at the AdReview awards ceremony in Midrand on Thursday night (24 April). The award recognises innovative media use.
align=left”The campaign was intended to create hype around Idols 4,” says Caree Ferrari, business director at Ogilvy Johannesburg.
align=leftAn actor (Eduan van Jaarsveldt) was hired to pretend to be a contestant (Cliff Jennings). He received harsh criticism from the judges for his poor singing and pathetic song-writing abilities, but refused to give up. “Jennings” went from province to province auditioning and after a number of eliminations, his fanbase had grown, she says.
align=leftHe boasted over 7,000 friends on Facebook, 9,000 hits on My Space and over 14,000 views on href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OolCTd6He20″ target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OolCTd6He20″YouTube, according to a statement.
align=leftWhen the news broke that Jennings was a fake, the unsuspecting judges and some Idols fans reportedly felt deceived.
align=leftNevertheless, the campaign succeeded in creating hype around the programme. The total publicity value in the printed press reached R1.8-million, while the campaign production costs were negligible, according to the statement.
align=leftAsked to comment on the element of deception in the winning campaign, Japie Swanepoel, strategic director of Longtail (an e-marketing and online strategic solutions company) said he believed it was not necessary to deceive people in order to get a response. “If a campaign is inviting enough, people will partake in the message. I don’t agree with any kind of deception, especially online.”
align=leftFerrari admits people felt deceived. “The judges didn’t know about the campaign and at first they were href=”http://www.news24.com/News24/Entertainment/Local/0,,2-1225-1242_2176321,00.html” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.news24.com/News24/Entertainment/Local/0,,2-1225-1242_2176321,00.html”angry and uptight. However, in the end they saw the merit to it. The campaign was not intended to deceive people, we just took a different spin on how to promote the programme.
align=left”I think one of the reasons we won the Roger Garlick Award is because it was such an innovative campaign. The fact that we had people guessing whether Jennings was a fake or not, added to the intrigue of the campaign,” says Ferrari.
align=leftShe adds, “We would do a similar campaign in the future. Viral works.”
align=leftÃ¢Â–Â Excluding Ogilvy’s winning entry in the category Best Use of New Media (web/mobile), four AMASA (Advertising Media Association of South Africa) Golds were awarded in recognition of excellent media usage and strategy:
align=leftMultiple/mixed media Ã¢Â€Â“ Amaleya Goneos, media strategist at Starcom, for Proctor & Gamble’s Olay Total Effects campaign.
align=leftBest use of television Ã¢Â€Â“ Graeme Taylor-Warne, executive creative director at Zoom Advertising, for his Pep Corporate Branding campaign.
align=leftBest use of magazines Ã¢Â€Â“ Claire Herman, business director at Mindshare, for her KFC Twister campaign.
align=leftIMultiple/mixed media Ã¢Â€Â“ Tracey-Anne Cobey, media planner at Mindshare, for her M-Net Ugly Betty campaign.
The Roger Garlick Award winner receives a prize of R25,000. Each AMASA Gold recipient is awarded R5,000.