Sam Ball and Dave Bedwood, creative partners, Lean Mean Fighting Machine

“The clever part of Samsung’s ad is not the cute animals but the fact the idea is born out of a truth from the product”

“Bloody brilliant.” “Great, clever ad.” These are just two of the comments left on the Tic Tac YouTube page. “This is really shite. They had an chance to do something good with this. Shame the creatives let the opportunity slip with this lackluster effort,” was another. The fact is, both camps are correct. Advertising is a subjective business but there were far more positive comments than negative. We didn’t leave a comment but if we had it would have been in the latter camp: “A poor phoenix that, if it was to truly harness the beauty of the internet, would have been posted hours after the event not days.”

“Bloody brilliant.” “Great, clever ad.” These are just two of the comments we would use to describe the Samsung viral. The Viral Factory pooh-poohed the old adage that says you shouldn’t work with children or animals and has gone a step further by combining the two, working with baby animals.

Few are better than The Viral Factory at understanding the online audience, and this ad proves it. It has all the ingredients for a sure-fire internet hit. The clever part of this ad, however, is not the cute animals but the fact the idea is born out of a truth from the product, which unbelievably isn’t true of many viral ads. It gives a knowing nod — or in this case a wink — to the evil hamster, but it’s definitely an original piece of work and our campaign of the month.

The Mr Strings site for Cheestrings enables you to create your very own Mr Strings character. It’s an irreverent site that we’re sure kids would have fun playing on. The interaction is intuitive and the sound is charming. We may be wrong but we have a sneaking suspicion the project ran out of time and money, though. With an extra six weeks and £100,000, this could have been something really special.

It’s amazing the world even needs an anti-smoking MySpace page for Mums To Be, highlighting the harm smoking can cause their unborn baby. The site is everything you would expect from it, with vox pops, stop-smoking tips but sadly nothing more. Our favourite part is an utterly pointless widget which tells you how big your baby is at various points during your pregnancy by comparing it to the sizes of various fruit. In case you were wondering, at 33 weeks it’s as big as a honeydew melon. We wonder if on the internet somewhere there’s a grocer’s site where you can pick a fruit and it shows you what a corresponding foetus would be like.

We think a better use would be a site that enables you to lobby your local politician to make smoking illegal if you’re pregnant. If the law is passed and you get caught, make it punishable by having to name your baby Colin, even if it’s a girl. And being drunk is not a defence.

Campaign of the Month: Samsung Mobile

Ed Robinson, creative director, The Viral Factory

The brief for the Ultratouch S8300 phone was to highlight its large, bright Amoled touchscreen, so our primary task was to show the audience the phone and screen for as long as possible, without them feeling like it was being pushed in their face. We started to think about other things we could use the screen for, and it wasn’t long before we hit upon the OTT cute angle. It was a knowing way to say look at our phone and we’ll reward you with some gratuitous cute shots, but also the phone was justified as being large in shot repeatedly, due to the tiny nature of the animals. To them the phone screen really was huge.

Once we had this idea it was just a matter of getting the tone right and letting the audience know we were having fun with it, rather than making an Andrex ad. We achieved that with the sets, the OTT audio, the graphics and the sound effects. We shot it in Romania with a director friend called Hypno over three days, with three cameras on three concurrent sets. We probably got around 60 hours of footage, mostly of the animals sleeping. For the rare moments when they were active, we just let them do what they do and hoped for the best.

The best thing about the project is that it’s completely different from all the others (stop-frame animation, dancing dead antelope, crazy unboxing videos and so on) and proves that viral doesn’t have to be edgy, unbranded or tasteless.

Hoil Chun, global interactive marketing manager, Samsung Mobile

Launched just a month ago, this film has already achieved over 2m views, with a five-star rating and exceptionally positive comments from users on YouTube. The objective of the campaign was to raise product awareness before the global launch of the Samsung Ultratouch. Consumers across six continents have watched and enjoyed the video, bringing excellent brand stand-out. The creative works because the product positioning is at just the right level — too much product exposure brings negative feelings about the brand, but watching cute animals using the phone appeals to everyone.


Published 2 April, 2009 by NMA Staff

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