Cream’s Media Idea of the Week: Parisienne

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Brand: Parisienne
Brand Owner: British American Tobacco
Category: Tobacco
Date: July 2004
Country: Switzerland
Media Agency: MediaCom
Other Agencies: Sulzer & Sutter
Media Owner: APG, Clear Channel

British American Tobacco was repackaging its Parisienne brand in Switzerland with new colors and new designs to represent the different flavors available. Media's task was to ensure that the message was communicated as fast as possible.

Out-of-home media responded to the challenge. First, a substantial national outdoor campaign ran with images of the existing packaging. After three days, once consumers had had a chance to absorb the creative, the posters were changed. Eighty percent of the 500 sites were changed in the normal way -- with paper and paste -- but the remaining sites were used to turn the re-branding into an event.

Promo teams were sent out to re-color the remaining 20% of the Parisienne sites to create a handmade effect. Along with the re-coloring, the new executions also used the tagline "Newly painted, coming soon."

Naturally, the impact was rapid, encouraging people to look at the posters, and Parisienne got a lot of PR from the painting activity.

The whole deal required careful negotiation, persuading media owners to allow amateurs to re-paint their sites as well as obtaining permission from local authorities and police.

Traditional outdoor makes a bold statement but it can also be a daily part of the street scene, often passed and frequently ignored if the media strategy isn’t spot on.

This campaign took a very “standard media” and made it come alive. Tobacco may be an endangered ad sector, but this BAT work shows that it’s still capable of creativity.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared’s Creative Media Database.

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