MICpicks: Annette Warring’s ‘Three Things You Should Know About…’

The COO of Genesis Media shares her top three media-noteworthy executions, which involves a grow-op, a cactus-boy movement and baby-battling dads.

Every Friday, MIC invites guest curators to round up the best and brightest examples from the mediaverse for a show-and-tell session. We know media is cool, so we’re giving it a cool-hunting forum to share Really Important Things That Are Happening Out There, and identify the work that best exemplifies smart new media thinking.

Today, Annette Warring, COO of Genesis Media (and a past Cannes Media Lions judge), curates her top three noteworthy executions:

The campaigns that really stand out for me now are those that can truly inspire conversation. I’m not just referring to the traditional one-way or even the two-way dialogue between a brand and a consumer. That is simply not good enough any longer. Instead media campaigns need to work harmoniously within the entire communication plan to create truly organic conversations, and lots of them. Because a conversation is started when one person knows something that someone else doesn’t, a media plan is no longer about building a schedule of GRP’s. The new great media plans use different touch points with different messages to create a series of new conversations. Conversations that, if well nurtured, will continue to grow and evolve, and lead consumers through an interactive journey to brand engagement.

Here’s some of my favorite examples…

Prime TV New Zealand’s Weeds campaign: Scandal in Suburbia

I love this campaign because the controversy of the creative and media campaign perfectly matched the controversy of the show itself. The stunt was impactful, risky, and unique but more importantly it was followed up by a strategic media execution that ensured the campaign received the visibility, awareness and word of mouth to deliver results.

To promote the second season of Weeds on Prime TV, DraftFCB Auckland created an ‘Open House’ stunt right in Auckland’s most popular suburban areas. A dope-growing home, equipped with fake marijuana plants and corresponding paraphernalia, was put on the market for sale. Using real estate media, and an actor posing as an agent, they held an open house much to the shock of prospective buyers, other agents and the news media. After the stunt, they used targeted billboards, flyers and local print in suburban neighbourhoods to entice consumers to visit the ‘pot house.’

Here is a great example of an agency willing to take a risk. The stunt received extensive media coverage. At the end of the day, the results speak for themselves with launch night share up over 600%, and audience numbers up over 20%.

Oasis: The Cactus Kid

I particularly like this case as it demonstrates a clear understanding of how to create conversations with a 20-something target, and pushed the boundaries on traditional media thinking. The approach was to start conversations – and lots of them. Created by Mother London, Glue and Vizeum, this campaign again demonstrates the power of allowing consumers to become active participants in the campaign.

In this instance, the subject of the conversation was Cactus Kid, a half-human, half-cactus teen, misunderstood by a boring water-loving world. Using a mix of digital media, viral and social media sites like MySpace, YouTube and Flickr, young adults could follow Cactus Kid and his pregnant girlfriend while on the run from an unaccepting world. Just as the campaign inspired consumers to sympathize and support the two teens, a ‘Mothers against Cactus Kid’ website invited them join their counter cause. Similarly, cops offered a reward if you could track them down on Google Maps. The height of the campaign saw consumers vote on Cactus Kid’s final fate.

Wilkinson: Fight for Kisses

What I like about this campaign is the fact that I can’t believe that they had the balls to pull it off. In addition, the media campaign and creative execution were seamlessly integrated and the idea worked worldwide with strong results.

This campaign played on the fact that new dads often are left out while baby gets all of mom’s attention. Created by JWT France, the strategy was to present the razor as the ultimate weapon for men to gain mom’s attention back. The idea was brought to life through an online video game ‘Fight for Kisses,’ a Mortal Combat/Street Fighter game that featured Baby vs. Dad. To launch the game they created a hysterical trailer which was posted on viral and video sharing sights and distributed through influential bloggers. Targeted media also drove to the site. And finally, they partnered with a TV station to create a championship event. The results were outstanding – 11 million website visitors over 200 countries with 5.4% in share.