A Small Agency Tried to Punk BBDO on Facebook, but BBDO’s Response Was Even Better

A four-hour live video turns the tables

Headshot of Tim Nudd

A little creativity can turn challenges into opportunities, as BBDO Belgium showed this month when a WPP agency tried to take the Omnicom shop down with a cheeky stunt on Facebook.

LDV United, a creative boutique owned by WPP, started the whole thing by posting ready-made resignation letters on Facebook that BBDO account managers could simply sign and hand to the CEO—and then go work for LDV.

Here’s how it looked on Facebook:

Rather than silently take the ribbing, BBDO decided to respond with a stunt of its own. The agency began broadcasting a live video on Facebook showing a desk with a paper tray labeled “Resignation letters for people who want to join LDV.” The caption to the video read: “Discover how many resignation letters are flooding in at our CEO’s desk.”

The video proceeded for four hours with nothing happening at all—just the sound of crickets.

The agency calls it “slow TV at its best,” but says it was all meant in fun.

“We thought [LDV’s stunt] was pretty funny, but we just couldn’t let a public dis like this go unanswered,” BBDO says. “We tried to think of a good comeback. We actually didn’t spend that much time thinking. A few hours after their letter was posted, our response was live. The fact that our response was digital and live, versus a classical letter, was a cool extra.”

UPDATE: LDV clarifies that its stunt addressed all the biggest Belgian ad agencies, not just BBDO. There were 15 custom humorous resignation letters that could be downloaded from social media. “As we hoped, it triggered a lot of positive reactions (on and off the record). BBDO’s was one of them,” LDV says.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.