Missing an Opportunity in the Search for the Golden Domino

I’ve seen this latest Guinness effort a few times since it launched on TV last Thursday.  it’s a fantastic piece of advertising, as of course it should be for the £10m price-tag that came attached to it.  but according to an article by Stephen Armstrong in today’s Media Guardian;

"By the time the 60-second film broke last week …  it had already been pieced together and posted on YouTube by thousands of net users across the world in an enormous online hunt for a golden domino … AMV BBDO gave out the first clue on posters, beer mats and websites two weeks ago.  Solving each of the 11 clues released a code that revealed a few more seconds of the commercial, with the first to sling the completed film on to YouTube earning the brewers’ version of Willy Wonka’s ticket."

really!?  you could have fooled me.  not a jot have I seen of it!  which is more than a little disappointing.

the investment behind Guinness’s broadcast media (and a £10m ad) should quite rightly take priority in the mix – but to invest so little behind a genuinely interesting and smart piece of consumer engagement shows at best a lack of confidence, and at worst a distinct case of ‘let’s do the consumer engagement bit’ as an add-on.  the fact that – as a thirty year old urban alcohol drinker – I didn’t see the golden domino activity could just be accident; the fact that this activity started a mere two weeks before the ad was first broadcast definitely wasn’t.

a case of smart, very smart, thinking just not backed-up by investment.  this should and could have been huge, the fact that it wasn’t (96,000 views to the discussion forum just doesn’t cut it), represents a genuinely missed opportunity.

the same article observes that "alarm is growing in the advertising community over the idea that the net allows clients to pay for an ad in one territory and then reap the benefits for free across the globe".  the fact that ‘if I paid £10m for something, I’d feel I had the right to do whatever the hell I liked with it’ aside, one way to combat this threat is to ground the ad into a territory with exactly the kind of comms behaviour that golden domino demonstrates so well…

great ads will for a very long time to come have a key part to play in any communication strategy…  but a failure to use them as part of a bigger picture, and more importantly invest in that bigger picture, will only contribute to the spot ad’s woes.

One response to “Missing an Opportunity in the Search for the Golden Domino

  1. Cog + pick a random Stella ad = this
    The genius of cog was not only the use of car parts, but also that it was (in appearance at least) one tracking shot (rather than a series of cuts) which added a real wow factor, something which this spot – for me at least – didn’t have.
    Oh, and if you’re going to dramatise ‘good things come to those who wait’ the least you can do is have an interesting denouement… books flapping into a pint of guinness doesn’t do it for me I’m afraid.
    Regarding the seeding, I got an email from AMV (because, I was told, I am an active ad blogger) telling me about the puzzle so I was aware of it (although again I’d say the modus operandi was a little clunky) but aside from this I didn’t see any other comms, which surprises me too.
    And as for the £10m cost? I think the PR machine has been working overboard and I’d be amazed if it even reached 20% of that figure.
    An OK film, a disappointing ad for my money. That all said, I’m sure it’ll do alright for them – as it’s a ‘big’ ad, it’s got people talking and, well, it’s Guinness, innit?

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