WI-FICTION by J. Walter Thompson Melbourne for Melbourne Writers' Festival

WI-FICTION

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Industry Shows, Events & Festivals
Media Film
Market Australia
Agency J. Walter Thompson Melbourne
Executive Creative Director Richard Muntz
Copywriter Deborah Frenkel, Jim Ritchie
Released June 2012

Awards

Spikes Asia 2012
Direct Ambient/Alternative Media Grand Prix

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Use of Mobile Devices
Advertiser: MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Product/Service: 2011 MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Agency: JWT Melbourne , AUSTRALIA
Advertiser MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Product 2011 MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Entrant JWT Melbourne , AUSTRALIA
Type of Entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Use of Mobile Devices
Title: WI-FICTION
Advertiser/Client: MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Product/Service: 2011 MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Entrant Company: JWT Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
DM/Advertising Agency: JWT Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Executive Creative Director: Richard Muntz (JWT Melbourne)
Creative Director: Jim Ritchie (JWT Melbourne)
Copywriter: Jim Ritchie (JWT Melbourne)
Copywriter: Deborah Frenkel (JWT Melbourne)
Planner: Anuj Mehra (JWT Melbourne)
Account Director: Prue Tehan (JWT Melbourne)
Account Manager: James Wright (JWT Melbourne)
Account Manager: Melissa Benavides (JWT Melbourne)

Results

Over 65,000 people in Federation Square were exposed to over 20 different Wi-Fiction stories during the Festival period. Significantly, a 37% increase in ticket sales (compared with 2010) was recorded during the time Wi-Fiction was live. More generally, the Festival experienced near-capacity attendances, with over 45,000 tickets sold in total, and general awareness of the Festival as a literary event rose to 61% (up from 52% the previous year).

Creative Execution

Wi-Fiction created a whole new media channel, and a totally new genre of storytelling, by utilising ‘available networks’ pop-up windows on Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices. A mysterious box containing a set of Wi-Fi routers was placed within Federation Square – Melbourne’s cultural epicentre and Australia’s biggest free Wi-Fi hotspot. When anyone nearby used their mobile device to connect to the web, they saw that the list of network names had seemingly conspired to create a short and humorous story – one of over 20 written for the campaign, each bringing to life the Festival theme, ‘Stories Unbound.’ Special characters prefixed each line, keeping them locked in order at the top of the user’s pop-up window. With Festival booths just metres away, users could then purchase tickets basically on the spot.


The Melbourne Writers Festival struggled to counter its traditional literary image of being stuffy and academic. Plenty of otherwise culturally-engaged Melbournians assumed the Festival had nothing to offer them. They perceived it as less the ‘Melbourne Writers Festival’ and more the ‘Melbourne Wankers Festival,’ rehashing tired writing and stale ideas for the ‘latte-drinking classes.’ To redress this balance and boost attendance, we needed to show our core audience of young, ambitious professionals (25-40) that the Festival was actually unexpectedly contemporary. How? By speaking to them in an unexpected and contemporary way.