During the holiday season, Canadians expect to see plenty of ads. It is, after all, the gift-buying season. However, one Canadian advertising agency has decided that people might need a break from advertisements, and they launched their own innovative project to give them one.
Wunder, a Halifax-based ad agency, purchased $10,000 worth of ad space to advertise... nothing. The billboards, bus ads, and newspaper pages the company paid for show only a blank, white space.
The campaign, dubbed "White Christmas," came about when, during a meeting, Wunder creative director and co-founder Stephen Flynn and his staff were trying to figure out the nicest thing an ad agency could do for people during the holidays.
"The answer humorously came back as… 'probably not run ads,'" Flynn said in an email to Narcity, "so that’s what we decided to do."
The company decided to take their initiative as far as they could, applying the empty space to billboards, transit shelters, bus ads, a full-page newspaper ad, and even radio commercials.
"The first and most striking visual that came up in the concept phase was a giant blank white billboard," Flynn told Muse, "but then from there we realized this concept of giving people a break from ads actually works quite well in most media."
The radio ad, included in a video produced by Wunder showing all of their blank spaces, couldn't just be complete silence, so it included a message.
"We wanted to give you a break from ads this holiday season," the ad says, "but the radio station wouldn't let us air complete silence." This is followed by a silent pause and concluded with "But they were okay with this long pause. Happy holidays!"
"We genuinely wanted to do this grand gesture for the general public, but of course being a small company we have to promote Wunder as well," Flynn said.
He and the company put up the ads without any promotion and created the "White Christmas" video to let everyone know that Wunder was behind the campaign.
So far it has worked. The company says the video is getting lots of attention online.
"Even Kit Kat tweeted about it, because you know they love a good 'break' from ads," Flynn said.
According to their website, this isn't the first wild campaign idea they've had. Other projects have included a live stream of donair being made and a fake airline called DonAir.