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Project 9: "Did Ricky Gervais just do that to Optus?" - Optus/Netflix launch - 1/5 Optus Entertainment Campaign

In March 2015 the Australian video streaming market was flooded with new entrants. We needed to find a way to ensure Optus’ introduction of Netflix cut-through the clutter.

As an antidote to the way most advertising is created within the telecommunications sector we decided to take a huge but very calculated risk.

The solution was to allow Ricky Gervais to create the content in his own style, with minimal script parameters. From this the 'anti-ad' was born - we paid Ricky to not make an ad.

By trusting in our digital audience’s ability to get the joke, we were able to take a bold, ironic and intelligent approach.

The piece works in three acts and has a perfect 60sec theatrical narrative aka Aristotle’s Arc: Exposition (Optus approached me..) – Climax (I don’t know Optus…) – Denouncement (They’ll use it…).

Key Results:

  • The anti-ad broke the record for the fastest branded video to hit 4 Million (Australian) views in Australian Facebook history (from a population of 23 Million) – the most successful brand piece in Australian Facebook history
  • The anti-ad was the most successful piece of branded content Google have ever seen in Australia – the most watched ad on YouTube for Q2 in Australia and the 2nd most watched ad on YouTube in 2015
  • The Ricky Gervais series won the coveted ‘Best ads of 2015’ – Today Show and Sunrise (Australia's most popular mainstream morning TV shows)
  • Interest level in the anti-ad was 6x higher than any TV campaign Optus had previously run, it resulted in 165% lift in searches for Optus
  • The anti-ad had a full playout & discussion on The Ellen Show globally and locally on The Gruen Transfer (over 1 million viewers a week) and Sunrise (over 1 million viewers daily)
  • The anti-ad featured in the top 5 global ads on Adweek and Faster CoCreate
  • 2015 Google ‘Think’ Global Digital Case Study
  • An average of 97% positive sentiment across social platforms for the series
  • Over 150 pieces of PR were generated in Australia

Over 19 local and global award nominations in 2015/16 and winning 5 APAC awards and 6 global awards.

  • 1 x Bronze Cannes Lion – Cyber – 2015
  • 1 x Cresta International Advertising Awards - Gold, Branded Entertainment 2016
  • 1 x Judges Choice - VMX Awards 2016
  • 1 x Official Honoree - The Webby Awards 2016
  • 1 x Highly Commended – ADMA AC&E Awards – Branded Content 2015
  • 1 x Highly Commended – ADMA AC&E Awards – Social Media 2015
  • 1 x Gold – BEFest – Best Branded Content Campaign 2015
  • 1 x Silver – BEFest – Best Branded Entertainment (Fiction) 2015
  • 1 x Gold – LIA Awards – TV/Cinema/Online Film – Humour 2015
  • 1 x BEFest Grand Prix winner 2015
  • 1 x Winner - Asia Pacific Excellence Award for Communications 2015