Created by 72andSunny, the campaign celebrates real people and their determination to create some of the internet's most hilarious and dumb videos.
"To be a legend is something. But to be an idiot is something far greater," says a sombre voiceover at the beginning of the video. Owing to the tone and seriousness of the words, you'd expect to find it in a Nike or Adidas commercial, and not a Fanta ad. There are training shots, alluding to attempts at greatness, but the people training aren't sportspersons. They're viral content creators.
The campaign will include an OOH element that features these 'champions' and also feature a local element. Individual markets can feature champions from their own hometowns in a weekly online show that highlights the funniest internet clips. “It’s been great working with a brand willing to rethink what their ‘purpose’ can and should be,” said 72andSunny Amsterdam Creative Directors Chris Colliton and Kevin Weir in a statement, as reported by Adage. “No one ever talks about idiots in a positive light. But after watching hundreds of hilarious videos from all over the world, it’s safe to say that some idiots are truly amazing."
According to the report, the campaign is already live in Spain, Portugal and Norway. Other markets will soon follow suit, including Germany, Ireland, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.
The emphasis of each of these media executions - from the outdoor ads to the commercials - is on 'purposeless play' and invite users to unleash their inner idiots. A report in LBBonline mentions that the digital campaign extends to physical outdoor elements - like installations at bus stops – and hijacking the spaces with fun and unexpected play opportunities.
LBBonline reports Walter Susini, senior VP for marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa, The Coca-Cola Company, as saying, “Fanta’s ‘In The Name of Play’ campaign is designed to encourage more play in the world. Not just any play, but purposeless play, which has no goal except for having fun. All the research shows that the world needs more purposeless play and that it makes for happier, more creative and sociable people. And, of course, it’s fun, so what’s not to like.”
Fanta's campaign certainly comes as a bolt from the blue at a time when everybody seems to be celebrating excellence and the pursuit of perfection. This isn't a new line of thought, though. In 2010, Diesel released a campaign that encouraged users to 'be stupid' in a bid to encourage originality and free thinking.
The tagline also featured multiple racy outdoor ads that created quite a stir when they were released in 2010. The Advertising Standards Association (ASA) in the UK even flagged off the ads as inappropriate and asked the company to take them down. Closer home, in India, Fanta's rival orange drink Mirinda (from the house of PepsiCo) came out with a similar campaign in 2013. It starred South Indian actress Asin and carried the tagline 'Pagalpanti Bhi Zaroori Hai' (which roughly translates to a little madness is also needed sometimes). The ads were conceptualised by JWT.