The student market is a tough crowd. Over-saturated with commercial messaging. Skeptical of being ‘sold’ to. And discerning about where they spend their limited disposable income. So, if you’re a brand marketing to students, how do you surprise, engage and coerce them? You box clever.
As one of Ghost Pops’ periodic targeted bursts to students, M&C Saatchi Abel’s creative team went undercover, placing an online ad for ‘dirt cheap’ student accommodation in a fancy Saxonwold house.
The webpage, www.awesomestudentdigs.co.za, was hosted on Gumtree and looks exactly like a Gumtree ad for a fully furnished home: close to all amenities including Wits University, recently revamped, with 4 luxury bedrooms and a sparkling pool, ‘ideal for students’, ‘pets recommended’, for only R5000 per month.
The catch? When you browse the photos of this too-good-to-be-true property, weird stuff starts to happen. Spooky voices, sinister music, howling wolves, panicked cries and fearful screams. Yup, the mansion is haunted, thanks to some very clever back-end development and front-end design.
And in case you don’t immediately get that it’s all a parody – a form of webpage possession, if you will – you’ll work it out when you land on a Ghost Pops-branded landing page, with a Share icon. Clever, clever, clever.
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When Maurice and Charles Saatchi started this agency, it was in the belief that “Nothing is Impossible”. On the wings of such a belief, we opened our doors in South Africa in February 2010 during a very challenging time in the market, and set ourselves the ambitious goal to become South Africa’s leading strategic marketing communications consultancy.
Our belief that “ brave is the new safe” has paid off handsomely. Because since then, we have made significant progress towards that vision by not only growing our talent pool to 150 people, but by being crowned the best performing agency in the M&C Saatchi global network in 2011, and by being recently awarded the Finweek AdReview Breakthrough Agency of 2012. We were also the only integrated agency to receive a AA rating.
We did this by implementing our founding principle of Brutal Simplicity of Thought – where simple messages enter the brain faster and stay there longer. It’s at the heart of everything we do.
As a federation of entrepreneurs, we gravitate around our single rallying call to grow our client’s business through powerful ideas. Along the way we happen to produce some great advertising too. We are an agency of friends. People who like and trust each other. We work hard. We play hard, and we share a flat refusal to accept the status quo. It’s how we are. Clear, unambiguous, honest. And importantly, measurable. Which is why our colours are Black and White.
Our agency has a flat structure that runs its two offices as a singe collaborative business, rather than as individual agencies in different cities. Our fully integrated services are aligned to the business challenge, from channel to connection.
As Dr Seuss once said, “Sometimes the questions are complicated but the answers are simple”.
And we wholeheartedly agree with that.