Tag Archives: 2012

2012 Round Up

2012 was a year full of real-time responses and topical newsjacking. On this blog we’ve observed more and more brands understanding the importance and power of context. Some of those brands have ridden culture in genuine and relevant ways.  However, we’ve also seen the flip side where there are still those who click post before they’ve really thought things through. Here’s our round-up of 2012:


2012’s best branded response to a disaster

The Duracell Rapid Responder 4×4 had already been created but when Hurricane Sandy hit NYC in November it was the perfect response vehicle. Complete with mobile charging unit and packs of Duracell batteries it took power to where people needed it in Lower Manhatten. The fact it parked up at Battery Park was just too good a PR opportunity to be true.



2012’s best video response by a female CEO

In October a video response to a post on the Bodyform UK Facebook Page showed how a brand can tackle negative posts with creative wit and can come out smelling of roses. The video from a fictional CEO answered Richard Neill’s post dated 8th October (read the full post on the link). Richard had a bone to pick with Bodyform. He felt cheated by the idyllic, mild mannered ladies he saw in their ads. The fictional female CEO tackled Richard and ‘his beef’ head on. She tore strips off him as she set the record straight. A great performance and good script writing turned it into a viral hit. Well done to Rubber Republic.



2012’s best topical use of a biscuit

Oreo’s celebrated its 100 year birthday in August. To celebrate the biscuit launched its Daily Twist campaign. For 100 days a new manipulation of the humble biscuit would take place to mark a notable event in pop culture. From multi-coloured rainbow fillings for gay pride to witches stocking legs for Halloween to red cream with tyre tracks for the Mars Rover landing. It was a true topical platform that ran and ran. An integrated agency team of Draft, 360i, Weber Shandwick and MediaVest were behind this one.



2012’s best remix of a national anthem

National Day in Singapore takes place on the 9th August and Mentos took a surprisingly risqué take on the national songs that appear at this time of year. With Singapore actively encouraging population growth this cheeky song and video repositioned National Day as National Night – a night to get fresh. Nice work from BBH Singapore.



2012’s smartest social reply by infographic

In June Clayton Hove, an ad critic in the U.S., took a swipe at the poor little Smart car. On Twitter from his @adtothebone handle he wrote:

“Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart car. Totaled it.”

Smart U.S. didn’t take this lying down and responded with one of the smartest social responses we saw all year. They created an infographic (see link) showing how many bird deposits it would take to total the Smart’s tridion safety cell. Their reply read:

“Couldn’t have been one bird, @adtothebone. Sounds more like 4.5 million. (Seriously, we did the math.) pic.twitter.com/aLYScFR3″



2012’s worst branded response to a disaster

In April KFC in Thailand posted the following to their Facebook page “Let’s hurry home and follow the earthquake news. And don’t forget to order your favourite KFC menu”. It generated an amazing response, just not the one they expected.

We think it’s probably best to forget about this error of judgment.



KFC weren’t the only brand to attempt to turn a disaster to their own advantage American Apparel offered a 20% discount “in case you’re bored during the storm”. The internet backlash was hurricane strength.



2012′s best direction of Charlie bit my finger

Back in February the Urgent Genius team created The Artistifier to ride The Oscars trending wave. The platform turned your favourite YouTube films into silent movie masterpieces complete with your own captions and The Artist theme tune as the soundtrack. Whilst we were out at SXSW we meet the guys at YouTube who told us it had done the rounds at their office.



2012′s best use of an icy QR code for charity

At the start of the year the canals in Amsterdam were frozen over. It proved to be a great way for Amsterdam dwellers to skate to work. The iris Worldwide Amsterdam office spotted an opportunity and worked with Green Graffiti to create ice QR codes that linked directly to the WWF site on global warming. The codes only lasted a day as the ice melted away. But the PR exposure was huge. Topical timing down to a tee.


What have I missed? Do you have any other favourite real-time/topical genius from 2012? Please add yours in the comments below.

This article was originally published on Campaign Asia

No Comments

The Ancient Mayans predicted the world will end today and last night we had a big party  hosted by our Singapore CD Mr Naidu to celebrate his birthday. By the looks of some of the faces in the office (and the absence of one notable other) it probably does feel like the world has ended. That aside Johnnie Walker have launched a tactical campaign in China by BBH and Ogilvy One.  The ‘See you tomorrow’ ad and online activity questions the doom-mongering about the 21st December being the end of the world. It’s a good fit with the brand’s Keep Walking positioning. On the Johnnie Walker Weibo site visitors are invited to speak the words ‘see you tomorrow’ and upload a video of themselves.

via Campaign China

No Comments
Saks 3D Xmas

The iris NYC office has been working with Saks for the last 3 years. They won One show gold for the projection last year and for 2012 they’ve gone bigger and better with a more complex projection. It’s had loads of positive buzz and the Saks projection is now a ‘must see’ fixture on the NYC shopper’s calendar. It’s made me feel all Christmassy.

No Comments
World Toilet Day

Two of our Urgent Genius Weekender judges Sam and Dave from Lean Mean Fighting Machine challenged their creatives to top their award-winning FlushTracker which allowed users to track their poos. To promote World Toilet Day, the agency created a 5-metre tall ‘squatting man” digital installation made of toilet ceramics. It’s a brilliant figure against the London skyline. In fact, I’ll be down there tomorrow so I think I’m going to do a photo-squat next to it tomorrow before it’s dismantled (and reassembled in LMFM’s reception, I’m assuming?).

And what’s not to like about World Toilet Day’s hashtag and strap line #IGiveAShit?

We featured World Toilet Day in our book (due next April with Thames & Hudson) in the Planned Spontaneity chapter, and we feature it in one of the book’s infographics about helping brands look at the cultural calendar for the year and decide what planned events they can piggyback. Maybe toilets aren’t really your client’s gig? We offer you several options including International Bacon Day and World Sauntering Day. Why not get your brand to slow down to a saunter with the world’s most perfect meat? Two birds with one Urgent Genius bomb, eh? Have you seen any other brands align themselves with invented events like World Toilet Day? Let us know in the comments.

Info via The Grocer and Lean Mean Fighting Machine and Design Week

No Comments
Voice Your Support

I love tweeting. I love music. I love tweeting about music. Now a credit card brand in the UK have combined both for me. Barclaycard sponsors the Mercury Music Prize in the UK and this year they decided to achieve a world-first that involved music fans creating vinyl records comprised of their tweets in real-time. They’ve basically married very analogue and a very digital formats in a clever way.

How’s it work? You tweet a tribute to one of the shortlisted artists. It’s then converted to a vocal audio track and then, along with other people’s messages, cut onto a one-off vinyl record and given to the artist so they can listen to an album of people telling them how brilliant they are.

Thanks to Toby and Ben for sharing their latest bit of Urgent Genius with us so we could share it with you. Head over to the Voice Your Support site and send a tweet to the band you support. I’m a new fan of one of the finalists Jessie Ware fan after hearing Josh Kumra cover her track “Wildest Moments” on Hype Machine. In my opinion, Josh’s version is better but I still think she’s great, so I’m heading there now to tweet me some vinyl. Let us know in the comments what you think about this? Seen any other music-related Urgent Genius that we should know about?

No Comments