The wristband we got at the entrance of the party
Let's talk about an agency I admire. It's a Swedish agency called FarFar. It is known for its excellent online campaigns. But they claim they're not an interactive agency. On their website they say: "we provide the audience with entertainment in exchange for their sacrifice of time in the relevant presence of a brand. Mind you it's not 'branding', it's 'liking'".
I think they understood very well how advertising should be. People have less and less time so why would anyone take time to see your ad? Going to the bathroom is already more entertaining than the average commercial break I see on television.
This weekend I was entertained. There was an excellent party in Antwerp called the 'night of the station'. There were DJ's playing in a unique location: the train station itself. We had to go down escalators to arrive on the dancefloor, which was located in a hall between the train tracks, about 30 meters below. Now that's what I call an underground party.
But the party wasn't exactly underground in the figurative way of speaking. It was totally sponsored. The railroad company organised the parties as a tool to recruit new employees. At least, that's what I read before in the newspapers about the event. One problem is that in Belgium the railroad employees have an even lower status than a garbage man. One of the main reasons is that there are morons working around the trains (see this earlier article
). I was afraid that they would probably put flyers in our hands to show how great it is to work for the public transport. Or maybe they'd put posters everywhere or shout radiocommercials during the DJ-sets? But I saw or heard nothing of that during the evening. It was just a great party.
So how did they reach the people they need? This morning I took a good look at the wristband that they put on at the entrance and there it was: "Looking for a job?" and after that the URL to the website. It's as simple as that. You're not bothering people into going to the website. They just let people have a good time inside of the station and the next morning they read about the job offer. Not advertising, but entertainment. The only flaw in this campaign is the integration: their jobsite is boring as hell. That's a bit of a hangover after being successfully 'brand-ertained'.