One camera and a giant pigeon

Say cheese!”. You smile awkwardly. Your finger pointing at the giant pigeon perched next to you.

This is at least what the folks at AKQA envisaged back in 2009 when they released several over-sized objects around the streets of London. The idea behind the stunt being to build awareness of Panasonic’s 8X zoom (hence the subsequent enlarging of these objects) and generate buzz in the process – in other words churn out “the user generated content… engagement… social reach” (read here all marketing lingo) in a campaign that is in fact deceptively and delightfully simple. The campaign highlighted the brand truth, positioning the product’s distinct capabilities at the centre of this PR stunt. Passerbys were then intrigued more than anything else (as opposed to your average “Ad trap”/”I can look nowhere else”) before bringing out their camera phones… and snapping away – thereby, tying neatly back in with the former notion of photography, the topic that sells.

The only oddity in this supersize and supersmart plan being the choice of the objects themselves. Reading like a list of “I went to market and bought…” or a peculiar whodunnit, all the objects are supposedly British – the coffee cup, a traffic cone, a Royal Mail post box, a park bench, a crumpled coffee cup, a conker and the pigeon. All which lead to the question, why?

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