Burnett Hits the Net for Polaroid

Leo Burnett this week launches a low-budget, Internet-focused campaign in an effort to create a street-level buzz for Polaroid’s newest camera.

Currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Cambridge, Mass., client did not allocate a large ad budget for the launch of the Mio, which takes wallet-sized photographs. That helped lead the Chicago agency to its strategy.

“We knew it had to be a little subversive, because it wasn’t going to get a lot of [budget] support,” said Jonathan Hoffman, evp, executive creative director at Burnett. “We thought we could build some mystique about this thing.”

The campaign centers on an online film that is being hyped via classified ads in alternative newsweeklies. The nearly four-minute Internet movie depicts a man who uses a Mio to document a strange night during which he is haunted by two characters in Kabuki makeup. The characters are shown toying with an orange, a chair and delivering pizza, much to the bewilderment of the man, who snaps an occasional photo.

The next morning, he pieces his dream together with his photos, which lack the Kabuki characters. One classified ad reads, “Exorcist needed: Will pay top dollar to rid house of two spirits. Please help end my torture. Being subjected to haunting of a Kabuki nature. If you can help, contact me at www.miomovie.com.”

(For more on this story, see the Dec. 17 issue of Adweek.)