The 'Omnipub' marketing stunt

The 'Omnipub' marketing stunt

French indie agency Fred & Farid Group has taken credit for the failed Publicis-Omnicom merger, branding the doomed marriage a marketing stunt with a cheeky parody case-study.

The full mock case-study from the Paris and Shanghai based digital creative group is below and also in video form.

"The communication business is dominated by giants… worldwide companies driven by CFOs, shareholders and stock markets. They eat up and digest any company tickling them in their world domination plan. It's harder and harder for creative boutiques to survive.

So at Fred & Farid, we had an idea…

Why not organizing an epic #fail with 2 giants? Instead of the usual David against Goliath… we made a Goliath against Goliath story. We created… the "Impossible Wedding"… an impossible marriage in between Omnicom, the biggest American network… and Publicis, the biggest French network… a New World Communication Order.  Code name: "Omnipub".                                                                                                                  

Here is how we proceeded…

First we sent a fake letter from Omnicom's CEO's John Wren, to Publicis' CEO's Maurice Levy : "Dear Maurice, I'm not insensitive to your gallic charm, and I've always loved French fries. To be brutally honest… I think we should marry… merge our groups into a 35 billions family and dominate the world. Ps. Don't worry, I'll be the bride at the church".

Meanwhile we sent another fake letter from Maurice to John : "Dear John, you might think I'm a bit Frenchy crazy… but I've always admire G. Bush's creativity to win elections… and bacon ice cream. I think we should marry… merge our groups into a 35 billions family and dominate the world. Ps. Don't worry, I'll be the bride at the church".

They instantly gathered the press to announce the good news: the wedding would happen in a few months… the whole world would be invited… and the newly composed family would protect us from evil data minded Google & Facebook.

To spice things up, we asked anti-trust laws and governments regulations to slow things down a little… hoping a few obstacles would fuel their desire…

Then… when it was time to seal the deal, John and Maurice realised our little trick: There was no bride! Just 2 grooms… None one would sacrifice to play the bride! "Hey… I am the one proposing!" said John. "No. I am the one proposing" said Maurice.……….."You’re the bride!"…. "No, you’re the bride!"… I'm buying you!"…"No I'm buying you, buyer!"…

Then, we asked a giant KOL, Sir Martin Sorrell, famous for his romantic style, to comment and push our case in the press: "When Maurice said to John atop the Arc de Triomphe, all of this could be yours John, he took the bait." "Wren was charmed by Levy into believing Levy would ride off into the sunset."

These punchlines went viral like crazy… making the whole world participate to a very bizarre "pre-divorce ceremony" with 24 000 mentions in a week (Topsy), 500 000 web pages over 9 months (Google)… and an estimated cost of 100 millions dollars (AdWeek).

But most importantly, our "Omnipub project" generated a hilarious series of bizarre "crying-laughing" pic, "pinching-hugging" pic, "Ouch-you're-hurting-me-now-John" pic and "Shall-we-jump-together-now-Maurice?" pic…

In the end, no one was hurt… and this little story proved once again… that love really is blind."

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