Toast of the Town: Best Creative

RPA Interactive

Leg Up on the Competition

Employing simple yet bold creative strategies, RPA Interactive had a standout year in 2006, gaining the most notice for ensuring that the Honda "Element and Friends" campaign that began in 2005 continued to have legs - crab legs, that is.

Rather than throw buckets of money at media placements, the agency made a low-cost, concentrated commitment to create a MySpace page for Gil the Crab, the star of the 2005 Element campaign. The bridge campaign was built around the idea that Gil was about to be fired by Honda; he caused quite a stir on MySpace and launched an online petition to save his job. Later in the summer, Gil's mug shot wound up on TheSmokingGun after an arrest for "wrongful pinching," garnering more attention for the Element.

Gil (who was rehired) made 100,000 MySpace friends, engaging Element's target audience and creating awareness that surpassed even the client's high expectations, says Honda's interactive marketing manager Jenny Howell.

The campaign's unusual search tactics, which included keyword buys like "crab" and "platypus," won rpa the first-ever Yahoo Search Light Award.

"One thing that our culture very much encourages is that a good idea can come from anywhere," interactive senior VP Pete Imwalle says.