Grey Print AGENCY SPY by Grey New York

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Industry Advertising agencies, Business equipment & services
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market United States
Agency Grey New York
Director Tor Myhren
Producer John Lopez, Nina Roussarie
Editor Alex Cohan @ Grey
Released December 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Image & Information
Advertiser: GREY NY
Product/Service: GREY NY
President/Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren (Grey New York)
Creative Director/Copywriter: Doug Fallon (Grey New York)
Editor: Alex Cohan (Grey New York)
Audio: Dante Desole (Grey New York)
Music: Ryan Dudda (Grey New York)
Executive Producer: Bennett McCarroll (Grey New York)
Producer: John Lopez (Grey New York)
Producer: Nina Roussarie (Grey New York)
Line Producer/Production Manager: Bethanie Schwartz (Vision Post)
Executive Producer/Art Director: Gray Hirshfield (Vision Post)
Director: Tor Myhren (Grey New York)
Videographer: Tom Brink (Grey New York)
Production Assistant: Alex Desantis (Grey New York)
Set Pa: Adam Defrin (Grey New York)
Set Pa: Patrick Conway (Grey New York)
Key Grip: Dion Matthews (Grey New York)
Hair/Make-up: Chance Tong (Grey New York)
Talent: Suresh Nair (Grey New York)
Talent: Michael Houston (Grey New York)
Media placement: Viral Film - Online/Media Bistro - 13 December 2011

Describe the objective of the promotion.
The goal was to make everyone in the ad world think twice before posting cruel things in the ‘comments’ section of industry news sites. Nowhere is this epidemic worse than AgencySpy. So we took the Hall & Oates song 'Private Eyes' and re-wrote it as 'Agency Spies' with the lyrics being actual quotes from the ‘comments’ section of the website. We then re-made the iconic music video shot-for-shot and got it posted on AgencySpy. It became an instant viral hit inside the industry, and has since forced every cruel commenter on the site to re-consider what they write.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
After witnessing one too many hurtful comments on AgencySpy, we created the idea of doing a song entirely made up of evil quotes from the website. Once the lyrics were finished, we shot the music video starring our President Tor Myhren as Darryl Hall and our Head of Global Planning Suresh Nair as John Oates. We then replicated the original 1981 music video shot-for-shot. Right before Christmas, we delivered the gift to the Agency Spy website. It went viral immediately, boosting Grey’s brand reputation while illuminating the absurdity of sites like AgencySpy that encourage such bad behaviour.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
The advertising community is one of the toughest markets to reach. We’re fickle and jaded, which is one reason we love trash talking our peers on sites like AgencySpy. So in order to truly attack these habits in our industry, we hit them in the exact place where they were making the comments. A music video right there on AgencySpy. The mocking, ironic tone of the video and its viral nature forced the ad industry to confront the issue.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
Without realising the irony, nearly 50 commentors jumped on AgencySpy and bashed the video within minutes of it posting. Then, because the video went viral so quickly, it forced conversation among industry luminaries. Soon came the backlash against 'anonymous comments' on ad industry sites. Soon afterwards, many of the industry’s top sites were mandating identity to participate in the ‘comments’ section. And since the video was released, AgencySpy has reported a decrease in the percentage of 'hateful' and 'negative' comments. Victory indeed!