London art director Stephen O’Neill, the man responsible for sending a spoof anti-Trump billboard around the world in a viral campaign, has spoken to The Drum about how it all came about.
O’Neill explained that he created the ad in response to an internal competition at his agency AML, before it was splayed across the Times Square billboard in New York, the ‘Don’ from Donald and the ‘T’ from Trump embossed to spell ‘Don’t’.
“At AML, we have regular side projects around the agency positioning of simple ideas for complicated problems,” he said. “One such project is to create topical spec ads – and nobody is more topical right now than Donald Trump.”
And thanks to the colour scheme and distinct font, for a while it was mistaken as a real ad for The Economist magazine, according to Business Insider. This theory stretched further when that same week, The Economist released an anti-Trump cover story.
“It won me an internal award (a 12-year-old bottle of sherry, finished off in 12 minutes,)” O’Neill wrote on The Drum. “We blogged about it (the poster, not the sherry) and moved on to the next simple idea.
“Then things started to go a little bit viral.
“On Monday, I was amazed to see that the ad had been posted from Taiwan to Texas, and was the most-shared story on [humour site] The Poke in the UK,” he said. “A day later and it had been picked up by US advertising site Adweek and instantly became its most-read lead story.”
And at the end of the day, O’Neill said the whole thing taught him one very important lesson.
“A simple idea, powerfully expressed — even a ‘ghost’ without any media budget at all — now has the power to influence opinion around the world.”
Please login with linkedin to commentAdvertising Standards Bureau
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Reddit’s annual Recap report has revealed the issues and moments that captured Australia’s collective mind over 2023 with, naturally, the Matildas featuring high on the list. The inaugural Australia-hosted Women’s World Cup saw Aussies glued to the footy (or, indeed soccer) with one enterprising user capturing the moment that Cortnee Vine scored the winner against […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Spikes Asia, APAC’s most prestigious and sought-after Award for creativity and marketing effectiveness, has revealed its 2024 Jury line-up today. The 93 industry experts from across 18 markets represent APAC’s leading talent from a diverse range of disciplines. 2024 sees the highest representation from brands, including Budweiser, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and, for the first […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]
Following a period of significant client growth, leading auto marketing agency, DBC2 has appointed Jason Fisher (lead image) to the newly created role of CEO. The appointment is part of DBC2’s long term growth strategy ahead of the agency announcing a brand refresh and expanded proposition in early-2024. As a new shareholder of the business, […]
Don’t treat regional media as a charity, but a real growth opportunity: That’s the message from Boomtown’s final masterclass of 2023, attended by almost 100 media industry representatives from across the nation. The masterclass was part of a series of educational sessions, delivered by Boomtown, the media collective championing advertising in regional Australia. The sessions […]