By now, you’re familiar with the new Sacha Baron Cohen series for Showtime "Who Is America?"
You know, the one where Cohen tricked former vice president Dick Cheney into autographing a “waterboarding kit,” while another segment featured Georgia state legislator Jason Spencer uttering racist epithets. (He subsequently resigned his seat.)
There’s also a much anticipated interview with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, which it turns out may or may not air.
Anyway, the show is airing on Belgian TV channel BeTV, where agency Happiness, aligned with IPG’s FCB, came up with a creative strategy for promoting the show. And it is as controversial and provocative as the show itself.
The agency put OOH posters on walls — walls that the agency built in front of Mexican restaurants — without telling the owners of said restaurants beforehand.(!)
Three walls were built, overnight. According to the agency, the restaurant owners got behind the campaign, or at least didn’t file any complaints.
Passersby were both curious and just a little bit uncomfortable with the effort, according to the agency.
As OOH campaigns go, this one certainly pushes the envelope. It definitely took some cojones —e specially doing it without notifying the restaurants ahead of time.
But honestly, I don’t think that campaign —a s creative as I believe it is — would fly here. The issue is just too raw. Maybe, if the restaurants were in on it from the get-go.
What do you think?