I would like to talk at you for a moment, if you can spare one, about a marketing campaign for Efferflu C. If you’re not familiar with the brand, it’s an “immune booster” (I’m not sure if this qualifies as newspeak) made by Pharma Dynamics.
The campaign, by Saatchi and Saatchi South Africa, was called ‘Project Trapped’ and it shows “popular” comedy duo Derek Watts and the Sunday Blues spending some quality time together in a supposedly locked hotel room to illustrate the way in which the flu keeps us captive. The footage of Derek Watts and the Sunday Blues, or DWATSB, cooped up in their hotel room was released as a series of Youtube clips over the course of the experiment.
Interested viewers had the opportunity to use Twitter to suggest their own rainy day activities to keep the guys busy and DWATSB would pick their favourite suggestion to re-enact for the camera. This tied in nicely with an online competition to win the “Dream Holiday” the boys in the band were supposedly deprived of.
The first round of the competition was fairly simple: get Derek Watts and the Sunday Blues to like your Twitter suggestion enough to put it in a YouTube clip. This ought to be simple enough. Just listen to Desmond and the Tutus in a bubble bath with some candles and write down the first thing you think of.
Round Two is a bit more democratic: tickle the country’s funny bone enough to make them share the video of DWATSB acting out your suggested rainy day activity. The most popular video wins the grand prize.
A backseat driver once told me that the only true test of an advertising campaign is whether it sells the product. On paper, Project Trapped was a success. The campaign reached an audience of almost seven million people, that’s most of the population of Johannesburg, and the response was 93% positive. In Twitter terms, their followers increased by 88%.
I give it three out of four pictures of a budgie on a horse.
[Reviewed by Albert Van de Merwe, a first year copywriting student at the Red & Yellow School]
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