An online marketing experiment from the 90’s

Back in the day I effectively “commissioned” these films for use as viral mailers for our ad agency 1576.  My partners David and Adrian answered the brief to come up with something distinctive and daring and I felt that it would be hypocritical of me to knock them back.  After all I was often critical of our clients who weren’t ‘brave’ enough to buy challenging work.

So we went for it.  The ‘target audience’ was marketing directors who wanted work that would be noticed.  The first in the series was entitled ‘Bonk’.

I remember showing them with glee to my dad pointing out how challenging we were.  The look on his face said’ Mark you are a fucking idiot’ what he said was.  ‘Hmmm, not sure if thse will do you an awful lot of good really.’

And so to the second spot…’Exit’

We shot them in our client’s premises one Sunday at Granite House in Glasgow.  Direct Holidays it was.  funnily enough we lost the business not so long after.  The third in the series was ‘Toss’.  My personal favourite.

I took my kids to the shoot and they christened the man in the specially commissioned penis suit ‘Mr Mushroom Head’

To add longevity to the campaign we even made a seasonal spot.

But probably the most tasteless of the sorry and sordid episode was this closer…

But did it work you ask?

Put it this way.  My dad called it right.

We had several calls to remove names from databases.  Our competitot=rs captured them and allegedly sent them to clients before pitches asking if they really wanted to work with an agency that made self promotion trailers like this.

BUT.  We retained our integrity.  AND we certainly stood out.

Judge for yourselves.  I’d be interested to know, ten years later, what you REALLY thought at the time.

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