Young & Shand focuses on the suffering of ad folk for Semi-Permanent promo

For this year’s edition of the Semi-Permanent speakers’ event, Young & Shand has developed a slightly depressing campaign that looks at how over-worked creatives in the ad industry are. Showing scenes of the late-night activity going on in the offices of Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB, FCB and Colenso BBDO, the promotional video encourages creatives to remember to nurture their tired brains.     

The ad has the distinct feel of a PSA. But rather than imploring viewers to help someone in actual need, it focuses on the exploits of creatives toiling away in swanky offices throughout Auckland, almost demanding pity from those sitting behind the screen. And this theme is further accentuated through a series of Facebook posts featuring similarly depressing imagery below references to ailments that creatives suffer from due to their long hours spent indoors. 

“Knowing you work late is one thing; seeing yourself actually doing it is quite another,” says Young & Shand creative director Tim Wood. “Using this insight, we covertly filmed Auckland ad agencies, late into the night, and made the creatives we wanted to reach the unwitting stars of our campaign. It was a bit of fun but also an approach that helped us deliver a more a serious message. This is all of us, working late, again. Isn’t it time we all stopped and did something to nurture our overworked creative minds?”

In response to this unorthodox approach to promoting the event, Newsworthy’s Hayden O’Donnell investigated whether this was a joke or if it was meant to be taken seriously. O’Donnell conducts interviews with two ad industry insiders, one of which says that it’s a joke and the other claiming that it’s intended to be serious (this ambiguity is also evident in the Facebook comments for the video).

Next Friday is an opportunity to feel relief from the many forms of creative fatigue and take a creative health day. Don’t let it pass you by: https://www.semipermanent.com/event/auckland-2015

Posted by Semi-Permanent, New Zealand on Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Eventually, O’Donnell contacts Semi-Permanent director Simon Velvin, who simply adds more mystery to the intention of the video with phrases such as “Hayden, I will let you make your mind up, I just put things in play.” 

Regardless of how serious the video is meant to be, it is proving popular. According to a release from Young & Shand, the video has been viewed more than 20,000 times and has been directly responsible for more than 200 people signing up to attend the Semi Permanent event, which is being held this Friday and Saturday at the Victory Convention Centre in Freeman’s Bay, Auckland.


Creative Director: Tim Wood, Jon Coles 
Senior Art Director: Anita Young  
Senior Copywriter: Misa McConnell 
Copywriter: Felicity Hopkinson
Art Director: Cyrill Hucleux
Drone Pilot: Andrew McCallum 
Director of Photography: Alex McVinnie
Senior Designer: Michal Semela 
Designer: Ting Teng
Developer: Andrew Dover
Producer: Matt VanTiel
Senior Account Manager: Danika Paki 
Account Manager: Hannah Musuku
Director & Partner, Semi Permanent: Simon Velvin
Strategy Director: Ian Howard 
Strategic Planner: Aoife Murphy
Art Director: Joe Stuart  

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