Friday, December 22, 2006

Let Pac-Man Do His Thing

Most big brands and agencys get nervous when the public interacts with the brand in a way that wasn't expected. This is why NBC pulled videos from YouTube and why many companies fail to realize that these situations are opportunities to further communicate the message.

They can all learn a lesson from the Department of Transportation in Wright County Minnesota. The department painted giant dots on a stretch of highway to deter tailgating. This prompted a giant Pac-Man to be painted on the road, which generated lots of public and media interest. Instead of hitting the wall and having the dot-diner immediately removed, the department used the attention to hammer home the message.

"I don't know where Pac-Man came from," said Patricia Hackman, director of Safe Communities of Wright County, "but anything we can do to bring more attention to traffic safety, I'm all for it."

Although I'm putting a lot of people on notice, I'll throw out a little love to Honda and Wieden + Kennedy, London for have the guts to put this into practice. The agency showed spoofs of its new Honda Asimo spot on the agency blog, Welcome to Optimism. Bravo W+K - way to embrace your motto to fail harder and use public response to highlight your message.

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