72andSunny made some serious waves in 2011, its first full year under the umbrella of Toronto-based holding company MDC Partners, which acquired it at the end of 2010.
The agency sees a point of pride in its native familiarity with digital and achieved remarkable success in part two of its disruptive campaign for KSwiss, starring Kenny Powers as the new CEO of the shoe brand. Online videos depicted Powers' rise to power as he takes the reins at K-Swiss and re-organizes the company in his own image, enlisting well-known athletes as his execs. What was different was where it was shown: The agency did not use the often exorbitantly priced platforms that sports advertising generally does, instead choosing to seed videos on comedy platforms like FunnyOrDie.com.
72andSunny also created one of the year's most talked about spots. Directed by Peter Berg, the 90-second blockbuster "The Vet vs. The Noob" starred Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill in a high-octane tete-a-tete and earned 13 million YouTube hits in a week. An accompanying interactive YouTube experience let viewers geek out on game features while watching the film, and a follow-up film featured the newly skilled noob Hill going verbally ballistic on Worthington in a hilarious improvisational turn. Spots-wise, the agency also chipped away at that geek fortress known as Apple, with a hipster-jabbing spot for Samsung.
The agency also demonstrated it could play with fire and brought controversy--and plain old attention--back to the Benetton brand. Created in collaboration with the retailer's in-house agency Fabrica, the "Unhate" campaign blew the brand's death-row prisoners and bloody babies out of the water, showign major world leaders engaged in eyes-closed, head-tilted, full on liplocks. Accompanying the campaign was a short film about spreading love. Within a matter of hours of launch, 72andSunny heard directly from the Pope, asking that the image of his holiness kissing Mohamed El-Tayed be yanked.