Campaign Diary: It’s written in the stars: Saatchis shouldn’t do ambient media stunts

If you are thinking of doing a fancy ambient media thing, here are a couple of top tips: 1) Alert the necessary authorities; 2) Let your cleaner know.

If you are thinking of doing a fancy ambient media thing, here are

a couple of top tips: 1) Alert the necessary authorities; 2) Let your

cleaner know.



Saatchi and Saatchi learned these two crucial lessons when it tried to

drum up a bit of intrigue around the impending launch of a new Random

House book called, perhaps appropriately, the Final Judgement.



It spray-painted various walls outside select bookshops (having secured

permission, of course) with the message, ’Brett Allen is innocent’ -

Brett Allen being the heroine of the novel.



Then, getting a bit carried away, Saatchis beamed the message into the

sky above London, having got permission from the Civil Aviation

Authority and the Ministry of Defence.



However, because of a CAA filing error, local airports were not notified

and a particular pilot, unaware of the stunt, was singularly distressed

to find his plane flooded with a strange green light. He radioed the

police, who sent a helicopter in search of the source of the beam which,

of course, alighted on Charlotte Street.



Not only that, the beam evidently bounced off another plane and somehow

managed to light up a runway at Heathrow, thereby causing further

distress to a series of 747 pilots.



We’ve also been told that the cleaner of the Bristol branch of Books etc

has been dutifully scrubbing away at the graffiti on the wall outside

her shop on a daily basis. And, yes, a real, live Brett Allen has been

phoning Saatchis complaining about the campaign.



Insiders tells us the agency will be sticking to tried-and-tested press

ads in future.



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