David Perez, of Leo Burnett-Chicago, really wanted to go to the 57th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and was willing to do anything to be able to get there. So the agency said “okay, if that’s the case, you can go to the festival but only if you agree to do anything anyone suggest to you on your Twitter account” and this started the David On Demand Campaign.
What is it about?
Leo Burnett had sponsored a seminar at the June Festival and wanted to promote it. The seminar showcased the best examples of real-time location based marketing and they wanted something that will embody the spontaneity of that field of advertising, so they decided to lead with a live exercise, and that’s how David on Demand was (re)born.
Ryan Wagman, VP creative director of the campaign puts it this way
“The idea came about through equal parts hard work and dumb luck. We all knew David was dying to go to Cannes because his desk is right next to the Energy Pool and he never stopped talking about it. So we approached him with the idea that he could go to Cannes this year if he’d be a part of this experiment. He agreed.” [Quote]
And so Leo sent David to Cannes, and to get the entire world to experience Cannes through him, they donned him with webcam glasses to record and broadcast his experience live, a LiveU backpack with a streaming capabilities, a PDA with his Twitter feed and crew to help him achieve the insane requests he’s going to receive on his feed.
From June 21st to June 26th David went on one hell of an adventure where he flew a helicopter, had a weird haircut, got a fail whale tattoo, drove a boat and even though he’s afraid of heights, he ended up para-sailing and while he was up there got a request to sing “Hey Mickey!” and he did!
The Buzz In Numbers:
The campaign was a huge success. The website attracted more than 1 million hits during those 6 days and it got more than 3.5 million mentions on Twitter during the same period. Moreover, it’s estimated that the campaign generated $1.1 billion dollars in revenue for Leo Burnett.
Now that’s success no matter how you define it.
That campaign managed to attract traffic that one hopes to see across an entire year and generated within a week, a feat in and off itself but the way they did it wasn’t through a steady and persistent social media presence but through a burst of energy that took the event by storm and quickly dissipated. Something completely anathema to mantra chanted by most social media gurus.
The reason why this burst of energy was a success was because they got the timing and environment right! What better time to pull off such a stunt than the oscars of advertising where everybody in marketing and advertising have their eyes focused on the event. Not only that, but what helped the campaign succeed is the fact that it had little or no rules. That free spirited, open minded anything goes attitude and David’s charismatic personality helped people to connect to the experiment and pique their interest in it.
What do you think of such Campaigns? Can their success be sustainable? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.