Le Salon des Refus├ęs

Patrick Collister, Editor

Issue 31 | June 2014

In 1863, the Paris Salon mounted its annual exhibition. What made this particular show infamous was the fact two-thirds of the paintings submitted were deemed not good enough. Among the rejected pictures were works by Édouard Manet, Gustave Courbet and Camille Pissarro, several of them acknowledged today as masterpieces.

At Directory we are conscious that we do make similar mistakes from time to time. And with Issue 31, the danger of overlooking great work has been particularly acute. We have never had so much work submitted from so many agencies. Whittling it all down to just 40 campaigns was hard, very hard.

There were at least another 40 ideas which under normal circumstances we would have wanted to include. So, we thought we should show you some of those - the best of the rest. 34 of them, to be exact, 34 great pieces of work, which we hope will embarrass and humiliate us by winning major awards at Cannes and elsewhere.

Harvey Nichols Dubai - Origami Invites - FP7/DXB McCann, Dubai

Gianvito Rossi's new shoe collection was about to come to Harvey Nichols. 100 VIPs were mailed shoeboxes containing an invitation to the preview. Instructions showed the recipients how to turn the invite into an origami shoe.

It got 100% response.

Bong Sweden - The envelope story of life and death - Mecka, Sweden

The envelope manufacturer Bong mailed 700 creatives in Swedish agencies the story of their career development from their first awards to riches and on to tax problems, all told through envelopes.

The goal of 500 unique visitors to the Bong website was exceeded by 67%.

JC Decaux - Unpaid Bills - BBDO Brussels

JC Decaux wanted to talk to advertisers about the digital innovations in outdoor. They mailed clients pictures of their posters which had been captured in Google Streetview years earlier and a spoof invoice for the extra media space they had benefited from.

95% of all those mailed agreed to meetings.

n-tv Nachrichtenfernsehen - Letters from the Front - serviceplan Munich

To generate interest in a three-part documentary about World War I, journalists, bloggers and historians were mailed original letters written from the front in 1914 - 1918, live reports of daily life in the war.

Results not known as yet.


NBA - Smart Weather Banners - Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco

To remind fans that the NBA Store sells more than just jerseys, a smart banner ad was created that knew your location and served up a unique clothing combination based on the weather in your area. When the weather changed, the clothes changed.

Carte Noire - Rose by Carte Noire - Proximity BBDO Paris

Emails alerted Carte Noire fans to a series of YouTube recipe videos, which attracted 7 million views and 20,000 subscribers to Carte Noire's YouTube channel. Food porn at its best leading to over 800 online articles and posts.

Baileys - Baileys Chocolat Luxe - R/GA London

A video made to be a visual temptation, inspired by Rube Goldberg machines, the action followed molten chocolate, Baileys and ice as they all came together.

2million views on YouTube achieved and 8 million women reached.

WWF - The Inevitable News - john st, Toronto

To create opposition to Enbridge Oil's proposal to put a pipeline across Canada's Great Bear region, The Inevitable News took over WWF Canada's Facebook page. Every day, the news was reported before it happened as it inevitably would.

John St - ExFEARiential Advertising - john st, Toronto

Another self-promotion video from John St taking the piss out of advertising, this time out of 'prankvertising'. Why tease people when you can terrify them? Riots, muggings, having your baby kidnapped - all legitimate ways of getting the brand noticed!

Mercedes B-Class with F-CELL - Defying Death Valley - Jung von Matt, Hamburg

180 million media impressions were earned by this YouTube video of Diane Kruger and Josh Jackson driving through Death Valley, drinking only the water that was created by the F-CELL technology.

LG Fridges - The Inside Story - M&C Saatchi Stockholm

LG set up a fridge that tweeted a message and a live-streamed video every time anyone opened it. 2,000 influential blogs and newspapers reported the campaign reaching 72 million people.

Stockholm Pride - GOWEST - M&C Saatchi Stockholm

To combat Russia's anti-gay propaganda law, anyone could compose a tweet on and invite Russians westward to Stockholm Pride, a festival that advocated tolerance and respect. The tweets were automatically translated into Russian and the geotag was changed to a Russian city. After 3 days, GOWEST became a trending topic - in Russia. Tweet invitations reached 3.7m Russians.

CIM Women Integration Centre - Touch-Scream ad - Mood, Brazil

As you flick through the pages  of various magazines, touching the model she responds by screaming and flinching, making the point about women's rights.

Skype - Stay Together - Pereira O'Dell

A series of emotional videos dramatising how Skype keeps relationships strong between friends and families who are apart.

Viewers began to suggest storylines and the story of best friends Sarah and Paige came from a submissions from the public.

Belgian Institute for Road Safety - 21 Grams Short - TBWA Belgium

To get teenagers to think about the consequences of dangerous driving, the singer-songwriter Ozark Henry wrote a song using the voices of Kevin and Maxime, who had both died in car crashes. Two weeks after its release, the story behind the song was told becoming national news.

Heineken - The Odyssey - Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam

20 legendary guys in one ad, an interactive commercial that allowed viewers to explore the casting sessions of each man. This was followed by a film of a Heineken PR lady responding to critical tweets.


AT&T USA - It's our Time Winter Olympics app - BBDO New York

A mobile app designed to carry the voice of the nation by letting Americans record and shout the iconic U-S-A chant from their devices. As fans joined the chant, their submissions were directly integrated into TV spots, social channels and Times Square.

The app was downloaded twice as much as the official IOC app, earning 400million media impressions in 17 days of Olympics. - Beach Hop - Cubo, London

In this game, players were invited to place a towel on the beach. Those who got closest to the winning spot each day won a trip to that beach for real. Players could collect towels, customise avatars and earn points to push them up the leaderboard.

22,698 towels were placed by 55,230 unique visitors and 57 prizes won.

Samsung - Slowdown Dad - Cheil Germany

This was a mobile app that consisted of an audiobook library and a player connected to GPS and OpenStreetMap. When Dad drove faster than the speed limit, the voice reading the book speeded up. The kids in the back complained and Dad was reminded he needed to be careful with his passengers.

United Nations Refugee Agency - Dream On - serviceplan, Munich

Everyone dreams of a better world. This app let people dream for a better world. Every time you pressed the 'snooze' button on your mobile, you donated 10 cents to refugees, few of whom actually had a bed to sleep in.

Outdoor, Ambient and Event

McDonald's New Zealand - Battlechips - DDB Auckland

How do you get people to stay longer in your restaurants and buy more? Encourage them to play with their food in this game, a variation of Battleships but played with your fries.

Hospital Amaral Carvalho São Paulo - ELO - DM9Rio

Sick children were given teddy bears, which played recordings of loving messages from friends and family whenever they felt lonely.

Pink Caravan, Dubai - Feel For The Signs - JWT Dubai

50 taxis in Dubai were fitted with passenger seatbelts that had a lump sewn into the strap, which was uncomfortable enough for women to notice and to read the message.

MC Distribution - Believe It - Leo Burnett Beirut

To get people to come to see the inspiring story of a time when Lebanese youngsters still had dreams, posters were pasted up over existing posters of politicians so that their faces were visible inside the spaceman's helmet. The provocative subtext was, don't let the politicians come between us and our ambitions.

There was 150% increase in expected attendance.

Chrysler Jeep - Carabiner - Leo Burnett, Moscow

When mountaineers bought outdoor gear in selected Moscow stores, they were given free carabiners with the message: 'There's an easier way to get there.'

TMB Bank Thailand - One Baht Flyer - Leo Burnett Thailand

100,000 one baht coins were given to people on the street. One baht is worth around US 10cents. Attached to the coin was a message saying this is all you need to open an account that gives 2.5% interest.

130,000 new accounts opened with deposits of 7.5 million baht.

MWEB South Africa - World Aids Day Wi-Fi - M&C Saatchi Abel, Cape Town

On World AIDS Day, in major malls in South Africa, shoppers saw Wi-Fi hotspots named after people. These connections were unprotected. When people connected to this unprotected Wi-Fi spot in the hope of free internet, they were redirected to a landing page with a sobering message about unprotected sex.

Broadcast and traditional advertising

Amnesty International Brazil - Spot Against Silence - DM9Rio, São Paulo

Normally, when motorists enter a tunnel they lose the radio signal and have to drive in silence. This spot broke into the silence. Using transmitters inside the tunnels, when the regular radio broadcast faded out, Amnesty's message cut in. "We're here because we have been fighting silence for fifty years..."

Saatchi & Saatchi Sri Lanka - Vacancy ad

Published in the Daily Mirror, the recruitment ad left blank the Art Director and Copywriter boxes in the familiar signing-off stamp. The number of applications was exceeded by 600%.

Integrated campaigns

Burger King New Zealand - Cheat on the Whopper at Motel BK - Colenso BBDO Auckland

To promote the new TenderCrispTM Chicken range of burgers, Motel BK was opened, a place where people could go to cheat on the Whopper.

Bedrooms were redesigned like booths and all the signage, toiletries, dressing gowns etc re-branded to create a unique experience.

870 customers cheated on the Whopper, driving 208,000 social engagements reaching 2 million Kiwis on Facebook.

Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute - The Endangered Song - DDB New York

The Endangered Song: the first song made to go extinct unless it's reproduced.

On Earth Day, 400 carefully chosen social influencers (actors, activists, musicians etc) received a record in the mail with one song on it, "Sumatran Tiger," recorded by Portugal The Man. Only 400 records were made, each designed to degrade after a certain amount of plays. There were no digital copies of the song.

Recipients were asked to digitise the song and share it, along with news there were only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world.

In the end, the hashtags #EndangeredSong and #SumatranTiger were used over a million times. There were 500 online and offline posts and the 'Making Of' video has received over 50,000 views.

Breast Cancer Care UK - FAB1Million - Partners Andrews Aldridge

Radio and TV presenter Chris Evans owned the registration plate FAB1 and made it available for one year on a bespoke Rolls-Royce Ghost painted in the same shocking pink as FAB1, Lady Penelope's car from the children's TV series 'Thunderbirds Are Go'. For a year, the car could be hired for events, parties, movies, weddings etc and all the proceeds went to the charity.

The campaign was kickstarted by Chris Evans driving from John O'Groats to Lands End with pop star Gary Barlow, Top Gear star James May and TV Boffin Brian Cox.

BMW Group Germany - Death Valley Messages - serviceplan, Munich

A typeface was made using letters found in the actual salt crust of Death Valley. Each letter was annotated with the exact co-ordinates of where it could be found.

The idea extended from the website to print ads and a mailing as well as a downloadable font.

Australian Paralympic Committee - We Believe - MercerBell, Sydney

The Australian Paralympic team faced a shortfall of funding for Sochi and for Rio 2016. To rally support, the idea was to tell the individual stories of the athletes and so establish a web platform for two years of fund raising. Australians were asked to pledge their belief.

The campaign exceeded its launch target by 50%. Attracting a younger and more socially aware audience.


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