DDB Unveils Push for Effies

LOS ANGELES DDB Seattle’s first campaign for the Effie Awards centers on the idea of what happens when advertising is “forced,” said John Livengood, evp, ecd.

“We’ve done some ‘call for entry’ advertising, but this year we’re doing things in a different way,” said Livengood at the Omnicom agency.

The effort pokes fun at trendy solutions that clients force onto agencies because of “predetermined answers or tactics,” he said. For example, “the boring live Webcam, the thoughtlessly forwarded e-mail, the promotional T-shirt that no one will wear, the obligatory blog no one cares about.”

The www.effie.org/different Web site gives examples of forced (and ineffective) advertising. A “Facebook Group” group inspires a friend to wonder if she is only there due to peer pressure. A black T-shirt with a “buy” button simply reads, “promotional shirt.” A thoughtless Webcam is trained on gerbils and their exercise wheel. A blank white page with nothing but an address slot and send button says, “Feel free to forward to your friends.” Under “The Obligatory Blog,” after two years when no one responds to “Our purpose is to keep you in the know and on the bleeding edge,” the site is linked to the popular “evolution of dance” viral video. As a bad example of twitter, a “social media wank” conducts a poll: “Should I use my avatar or my real face on my new Moo cards?”

“Since we’re speaking to ourselves, we wanted to design a campaign that would capture the imagination,” said Livengood. “We want more interactive entries, more guerrilla marketing, more work done in an original way.”

Livengood said the Effies, in contrast to other shows, allows agencies to enter the work designed the way it should be, reinforcing and rewarding advertising that “comes up with the best solution. It’s a pro’s pro show.”

DDB Seattle’s work runs through the last date to enter the Effies, Nov. 5.