Bos Goes Bizarro for WTF?

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A pommel horse-humping robot, two tree-hugging lesbians, and a hairy, hose-legged chap with a hunger for chicken probably aren't the first things that spring to mind for selling a sweet slushy beverage. But when that drink is called WTF? and you're Canadian agency Bos, that's exactly where you turn.
The agency, with offices in Montreal and Toronto, created the bizarre campaign for Canadian convenience store chain Mac's, who rolls out new slush flavors every summer. We spoke to Bos creative directors Chad Borlase and Gary Watson about the campaign that begs the question, WTF?


How did this campaign start?
CB: We have a pretty unique relationship with the client, in that they let us name their product. About three years ago, we did one called Bloody Zit, then last year it was Whacked. So they let us name the product because it's aimed at the teen market and that's where we do stuff that makes sense to them.
GW: The name came about in a couple ways. The names always tend to come out of the product itself. So when we sat down with the product for the first time, usually it's a pretty clear flavor like a sour cherry or sour lime, but with this one we all were like, "What the fuck is this?" We couldn't figure it out, was it mango, was it some fruity mix? We couldn't figure it out. So it all sort of came out of that confusion. The point of all the web films is simply, What the fuck is this stuff and where does it come from?
CB: It's all aimed at teens and its an audience that hangs out on YouTube watching weird shit so this all kind of fits in with that. The lesbian one got 29,000 hits last night, so I guess people are watching it.

Where did the individual spot concepts come from?
CB: Well, when you're doing 20 different commercials one of the big challenges was to keep them different enough from each other.
GW: The briefing was basically, How the hell is this stuff made? And what is it? So it's meant to provoke reactions, like I never knew it came from a plant, like in the "Jose's Garden" spot or a guy with a hose leg in "Hose Leg." So it was about depicting the many strange places this stuff can come from. It was a really collaborative effort with the directors from Untitled Films. It really was a case of working with them right from the start, and they submitted their ideas of where things could go.
CB: We like working collaboratively like that, especially on big projects like this because they've got to put their heart and soul into it as well.


Is this a national campaign?
CB: The product is for the Ontario (Canada) market only, but the spots are uploaded everywhere. We did particularly focus a lot on blogs in Ontario that speak to the teen market.
GW: Yeah, once you get online and people start talking about something it's bigger than the one market and the buzz and excitement you get back where it needs to be is huge. Facebook is absolutely huge in Toronto, so that helps, too.

Were there any ideas that were too weird?
GW: I don't think so.
CB: Yeah, it was more about seeing how weird it could get. There were obviously production realities that probably limited a few of the ideas, but other than that nothing was too weird.

For more bizarro business from North of the border, go here.
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