BBDO pits its creatives against one another to create a new YouTube video for Twix

Most ad campaigns take various drafts over multiple days. But BBDO’s latest videos for chocolate brand Twix took just 48 hours. The agency partnered with YouTube last month for a “Create-a-thon” competition, where 10 teams of BBDO creatives from around the world competed to come up with the best spot.

BBDO creatives from Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. were challenged to create a spot that was globally relevant and played on the brand’s ongoing left Twix vs. right Twix rivalry. The teams produced the videos at YouTube Spaces in London, Los Angeles, New York and Sao Paulo.

The experiment represents BBDO’s bid to trade traditional creative approaches for fast and agile ways of creating content.

“The world is completely different now — standard ways of testing and evaluating work — a lot of it has become obsolete,” said David Lubars, worldwide chief creative officer at BBDO. “Now the most telling test is finding out if real people out there opt out on you after five seconds. To me, that’s real learning.”

Working with YouTube and Twix helped the BBDO teams be creative to keep people engaged. With shorter creative timelines, they had to make decisions faster and take more risks. It also fostered greater collaboration among the agency, brand and YouTube.

For the brand, too, this was a chance to evolve the way it works.

“Partnering with BBDO and Google was the perfect opportunity to put creativity and innovation at the heart of one of our most successful and iconic global brand campaigns,” said Jane Wakely, global CMO of Twix parent company Mars Chocolate. “We have learned how freeing the idea of experimentation truly can be, how energizing quick ideation and creation can be and how momentum and pace are incredible drivers to the creative process.”

The ads ran in the U.S., U.K. and the Netherlands. They were also judged against one another, through view-through rates on YouTube (meaning when a user views a video for 30 seconds or until the end, whichever comes first) and a viewer survey that determined ad recall using YouTube’s TrueView format. All the ads ran on a single day in October, with more than a million impressions per country.

The winner was a video called “YouTube vs. YouTube” from BBDO’s U.K. team, which features a left Twix and right Twix spokesperson, each trying to sell their side of the bar while attempting to sabotage each other using YouTube video-style functions such as fast forward and volume. BBDO New York’s video “Minotaur” came in second, and “Romans,” by CLM BBDO in France, third.

YouTube has been giving brands all the tools, data, services and training that it provides its top content creators since 2013. The aim is to help brands produce content that users want to watch and share rather than just repurposing their TV spots. It also launched “Unskippable Labs,” experiments aimed at understanding what people are watching and how brands can use that to make better content.

“A lot of YouTube creators have found a way to be creative and agile while producing YouTube content, so we thought it would be interesting to experiment with a creative agency,” said Sadie Thoma, head of creative agency partnerships at Google. “It was exciting to see them use interesting and inspiring ways to showcase the platform while nailing their briefs.”

Mars hopes to use what it learned from the Twix experiment on other projects for Twix and other brands as well as looking into other ways to use the content that came out of it.

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