Farrokh Madon

Burger King’s ‘Rebel the Octopuppy’ goes down as the most exciting and innovative fast food promotion idea I’ve ever seen in Singapore.

To promote its new snack menu in Singapore, Burger King enlisted the services of a Chihuahua that clearly fancied its soothsaying abilities, after Paul the Octopus’ tryst with fame during the soccer World Cup.

In this Facebook-based campaign, BK fans connected directly to the game in which they must pick 6 snacks from the menu of 32 snacks and then place them in different boxes – each one for a different time of day. At the end of each draw day, a live video was streamed showing Rebel making his choice picks.

For every box, which each user got right in their prediction, they received a voucher to get the chosen snack free at a BK outlet near them.

The idea is imaginative and it takes a very daring client to buy an idea that’s way off the beaten track. It got a big thumbs-up from Singaporeans. Besides the thousands of Facebook Likes that it generated and the hundreds of happy winners of free snacks, the campaign got rave reviews from the most highly acclaimed judge for unconventional ideas: Contagious Magazine in London.

Respect.

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There are many ads around that don’t earn the clients’ money, but the one that takes the cake – or the salad in this case – is the poster for the Health Promotion Board’s Healthy Together campaign.

The ad shows a mother tossing a salad in the kitchen, while a kid smilingly bites an apple and a gawking dad gazes at the spectacle. The line says: LET’S EAT HEALTHY TOGETHER.

If merely telling someone what you wanted them to do could elicit immediate compliance, then there wouldn’t be the need for a creative department in an ad agency. An ad should engage, entice or endear with its message. You could make someone remember your message and elicit the desired response through drama, humour, sharing of knowledge or scores of other viable routes.

This poster does none of the above and relies on the cliché of a happy family shot. You can’t get people to eat healthy food together unless you tell them why, and this ad comes up a few million-salad leaves short of artful persuasion.

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