An Antonio Banderas blow-up doll and Randy’s record-breaking turd were two items from the hilarious catalogue of famous props sold as part of a campaign to ‘Own a piece of South Park’.
Tasked to promote the 18th season of South Park on Comedy Central but without access to any of its material (the episodes are written just 6 days before they air), OgilvyOne launched an online guerrilla campaign to give away props from the previous 17 seasons. They infiltrated ads complete with “carefully curated images and tastefully offensive copy” into free classified sites like Gumtree, Junkmail and OLX – creating a massive reach for the cost of a “pakkie Niknaks” and making disruptive use of the platforms to allow South Park’s humour to shine. They also built a custom site (www.ownapieceofsouthpark.com) where people could order props on a first-come-first-served basis.
Traffic to the campaign was further driven through YouTube and on air commercials executed by Hogarth Worldwide as well as mock-ups of the props placed in retailers, all pushing the total campaign views to around 1.1 million. The sales element was hugely successful too, with items selling out only three days after the campaign was launched and thereafter, every five minutes after the stock was replenished. The ‘stock’ being cardboard cutouts which were delivered with news of the new season.
This unconventional approach meant that OgilvyOne reached their target within two weeks; viewership for season 18 of South Park increased by 38% compared to the previous season, and it hit an all-time high since airing on Comedy Central Africa. ‘Own a piece of South Park’ also gained recognition at the Bookmarks Awards this year, winning gold in categories of Native Advertising and Copywriting and a Silver pixel for Integrated Multi-platform Campaign.
Chris Gotz – Chief Creative Officer
Nicholas Wittenberg – National Group Creative Director
Adrian Varkel – Managing Director
Alex van Niekerk – Art Director
Pierre Steyn – Copywriter
Neil White – Creative Group Head
Iain Alman – Agency Producer
Will Roos – Senior Developer
Phillip Britz – Account Manager