Media As Creative Agency: Boing Boing Does Cheetos

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 9 february 2009

Over the last few years, we’ve explored the trend where new media publications have been working directly with brands to produce advertisements for their products. In 2007 at our first conference we ran a panel with the founders of Flavorpill and Engadget discussing the topic “Media As The New Creative Agencies” (video here) – and since then we’ve highlighted the occasional example.

A new ad for Cheetos by the gang at Boing Boing reminded us of this trend. The blogging team have been working directly with the brand to create video content for the snack and the bloggers were so proud of their post that they explained in detail the process they used:

Together with the Boing Boing Video crew (Wes, Derek, Jolon) and the BB bloggers (Pesco, Cory, Joel, Mark, et al), we thought up a bunch of stuff we might do in the ads. We came up with lots of cool ideas, and shared them with Federated Media, who sell our sponsorships. But when all of those notions were laid out and storyboarded for video, none of them were sufficiently awesome, subversive, Boingy, or weird. So, I did what I usually do when I’m in that dilemma. I pick up my internet and I call Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom.

Fast forward to the end of a long, coffee-fueled phone call, me in LA, him in Vienna. monochrom agreed to produce the 6 ad spots for Boing Boing Video, but with one requirement — they do so in the Alternate Reality of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf, which is currently the subject of a game they are developing. Also, they will probably work Cheetos into the game, not because they or we are getting any money for that part, but because it’s ridiculous and meta and whatever — it’s very Johannes.

So, here we have a ‘subversive’ media title enjoying its role as ad agency. Go to the post to read more. Here’s the first in a series of 6 clips they made for the snack:

Whether you like the ad or not, it’s inspiring to find people in media who really are interested in creating a win-win-win – a win for the publication, a win for the brand and a win for the reader.

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