Y&R Promo, Case study KIM JONG-IL LOOKING AT THINGS by Y&R Lisboa

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Industry Advertising agencies, Business equipment & services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Portugal
Agency Y&R Lisboa
Creative Director Pedro Ferreira, Judite Mota
Art Director João Saraiva E Carlos Renato Rocha
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Communication
Advertiser: Y&R LISBON
Product/Service: Y&R LISBON
Agency: Y&R LISBON
Creative Director: Pedro Ferreira (Young & Rubicam)
Creative Director: Judite Mota (Young & Rubicam)
Art Director: João Rocha (Young & Rubicam)
Media placement: Digital PR - Http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com - Marc 17, 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Y&R Lisbon was losing various online briefs for smaller, online-focused agencies. Clients saw the agency as too classic and mainstream to come up with great digital ideas. We needed to change this perception.

We created an internal project called 'The B Side'. It was a commercial-free exercise to push our creatives into creating and promoting anything they wished on the web. The goal was simple: Get attention.

With 'The B Side' we were trying to prove to clients that our creatives understood the digital medium and were able to produce great content and ideas. Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things was one of the projects that grew from this exercise and is the proof of it's success.

The Situation
In 2006, Y&R Lisbon merged with RedCell Lisbon. Y&R was seen as a classic big agency. Bates/RedCell was known for its rule-breaking works. 5 years after the merger, Bates/Redcell's culture was vanishing and some clients were beginning to choose smaller digital boutiques to handle their online briefs.

The Goal
To prove clients that Y&R Lisbon was as creative and meaningful as any digital agency, we needed to show what we could do it. We started a project called 'The B Side'. There was no set goal but the objective was clear: Create any form of online content that could gain worldwide attention.

'The B Side' was an internal tool to push our creatives to produce and promote any type of online website they wished to create. Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things was just one of the results but by far the most successful.

The Strategy
Creatives could freely create anything they wished and employ whatever methods they thought worked best to promote their creations. The only rule was that no money could be spent on advertising, they could only gain attention by word-of-mouth.

Each creative adopted different forms of strategies depending on what they thought worked best. They could use whatever social media tools they preferred as long as they were free. Some used mainstream websites like Facebook and Twitter, while others used more alternative ways like Tumblr and Reddit.

João Rocha, the creative responsible for Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things, chose to use Reddit to promote his blog and it eventually spread on to Twitter, quickly reaching thousands of hits a day.

'The B Side' had no fixed timetable and it was up to each creative to decide how much time they dedicated to their projects. Some started art blogs, video diaries, 1 even tried to create his own meme. The tools for promotion ranged from spamming Facebook to using Stumbleupon.

Strategies developed over time as each person discovered what worked best and what didn't. Some eventually gave up while others eventually adopted their projects permanently. Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things is still updated every other day even though the goal we set out to accomplish has long been reached.

Documented Results
Kim Jong-Il eventually topped 5m views per month and grossed more than $500 for João through the use of Adwords. It currently has more than 80,000 followers on Tumblr and 50,000 fans on Facebook.

João has been interviewed by various news outlets, including a live appearance on Al-Jazeera English from the Y&R Lisbon office. Y&R Lisbon also gained a good amount of free publicity, being mentioned in half-a-dozen news articles.

Lastly, Kim Jong-Il looking at things was nominated for Microblog of the Year in the Shorty Awards. He is also a finalist for the Webby Award and is eagerly awaiting for the results. As of writing, he's polling 1st in the People's Voice Awards.