An Experiment in Viral Content: the Rob Ford Missing Poster

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Erin Bury

RF Poster

So those Rob Ford missing posters you saw in the media and on a pole near you? That was us.

Earlier this year one of our digital strategists Jason Giles wrote about the importance of turning off your filters , and why blurting out ideas and encouraging creativity are important at an agency like ours. One of those crazy ideas was blurted out by Matt Slutsky, 88 Creative’s founder, this past Tuesday morning: “No one can find Rob Ford – why don’t we create a Rob Ford missing poster?”

It was simple and genius, and within 15 minutes Jason had a mockup on the whiteboard and our team put it together (purposely taking design inspiration from hastily assembled missing pet posters).

The whiteboard mockup

We purposely left the 88 Creative brand off the poster, wanting to see how the content would spread organically both offline and offline. We stuck them up around the neighbourhood and sent a few tweets & Instagram photos, and then went back to our daily work.

Jason with his creation

What happened next and the lessons we learned are outlined in this Marketing Magazine article, “what we learned from the missing Rob Ford poster.” (Hint: we made it onto Jimmy Kimmel!)

The experiment taught us that regardless of how well thought-out your content is, or how much budget you’ve put into it, sometimes all you need to make content worth spreading is something timely, relevant, and funny.

From Gabriella’s purposely simplistic design to Jason’s hilarious copy (“spherical body, alarmingly sweaty”) to Matt’s initial idea, this was the result of turning off our filters.

Stay tuned for more of our crazy ideas!

Erin is the Managing Director at 88 Creative. Follow her on Twitter @erinbury.

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