Viral creativity, Season 2

On April 6th, I had written about similar advertising ideas emanating out of us all being in a similar situation owing to the pandemic-induced lockdown. We may be thinking in similar ways because we’re all stuck at home and in the advertising profession, looking at audience engagement in largely similar ways.

That post had 2 examples – Tata Trucks and Volvo Trucks, and Fake Netflix campaign and Sky Television, Spain.

Yesterday, I wrote about a 3rd example, featuring Emily Snacks and HUN wines, both from UK, and both using a virtually identical outdoor campaign that is meant to be seen online and not outdoors.

Here are 2 more examples!

In the first week of May, both McDonald’s and Heinz launched limited edition jigsaw puzzles to engage their audiences. McDonald’s launch was in Belgium, conceptualized by the agency TBWA Belgium. Heinz’s launch was in 17 countries (excluding the US) and was conceptualized by the agency Rethink, Canada. The brief they wrote for themselves: ‘how can we engage our in-lockdown audiences in their homes using a branded physical artifact?’.

Heinz wins the contest with a deviously clever twist! While McDonald’s jigsaw was a conventional one, Heinz’s did not have a pattern to complete through the puzzle – all the pieces were of the same color!! The idea was to create a ‘ridiculously slow’ jigsaw puzzle as a homage to Heinz’s slow pouring ketchup 🙂

However, this idea is also very similar to a 2006 Redbull campaign featuring all-white puzzle pieces in a jigsaw! That was conceptualized by 10am Communications, Singapore.

The other example of 2 different agencies/brands coming up with the same idea as a response to the lockdown/pandemic is my favorite, and is also the funniest!

It is hilarious because 2 completely different agencies, in 2 different countries came up with the same idea for the same brand 🙂

The brand/client? Burger King – in Belgium and in South Africa. Period: 4th week of April, 2020. The brief they wrote for themselves: ‘our stores are closed. But we need to continue to build anticipation for our food’.

In Belgium, the agency Buzzman created a campaign where the narrative idea was to ‘avoid temptation’. They figured that pictures of juicy burgers from Burger King would be too tempting for people and since the stores are closed, they won’t be able to indulge in the temptation. So, they self-censored their own burgers out of the photos!

Across the globe, in South Africa, agency Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa thought exactly on similar lines! They self-censored their burgers to help reduce people’s cravings!

The Belgian agency chose to hide the tempting food items while the South African agency chose to pixelate them!

Same idea, the same client and 2 different agencies get the credit!



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