|Title||BORAT GRABS AUSTRALIA BY THE BALLS|
|Brand||AMAZON PRIME VIDEO AUSTRALIA|
|Product / Service||BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIE FILM|
|Category||A05. Media / Entertainment|
|Entrant||RUFUS POWERED BY INITIATIVE Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation||RUFUS POWERED BY INITIATIVE Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation 2||THE COMMS DEPARTMENT Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation 3||RIZER Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation 4||TWO PALMS Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Media Placement||RUFUS POWERED BY INITIATIVE Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Media Placement 2||TWO PALMS Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|PR||THE COMMS DEPARTMENT Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Production||RIZER Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Jo McAlister||Rufus powered by Initiative||Managing Director|
|Nicole Bouquet||Initiative||Director of Strategy|
|Camille Gray||Rufus powered by Initiative||Strategist|
|Adrian Mainey||Rufus powered by Initiative||Associate Director Investment Partnerships|
|Zoe Amos||Rufus powered by Initiative||Senior Executive|
|Bec Brown||The Comms Department||Managing Director|
|Michael Hickson||The Comms Department||Senior Communications Manager|
|Jane Alexander||The Comms Department||Senior Communications Manager|
With 14 years to ‘plan his return’, expectations around Borat’s Subsequent Moviefilm were high. Coupled with the launch coinciding with the AFL/NRL grand finals Amazon Prime Video needed to go beyond standard film marketing to have any chance of success. By adopting the strategic mantra of WWBD, What Would Borat Do, every channel, placement and tactic was meticulously planned as though Borat himself was in control. From helicoptering in a giant naked statue to Bondi Beach to deliberately partnering brand unsafe influencers, every element shocked fans into tuning in during the most culturally cluttered time of year.
After a 15-year hiatus, Borat’s sequel was launching on Amazon Prime Video (APV)…the same time as the AFL and NRL grand finals. Our task was to cut through sports clutter and get Aussie’s excited about the launch; increasing acquisitions by 50% YoY and APV awareness by 500 bps YoY (Q4).
Rather than a unified creative idea, we had a galvanising client and agency-village mantra – WWBD, ‘what would Borat do?’ In reviewing the most successful modern entertainment launch campaigns it was obvious that embracing the spirit of the protagonist provided the emotional-free sample of the experience fans needed to subscribe, and it unlocks powerful potential for cultural hijacking and earned attention. Every single element of our campaign felt like Borat himself planned it, bringing to life his uniquely provocative and disturbing humour through a series of brand acts and partnerships only he could dream of.
“Absurd!” “Outrageous” “Disturbing” When Borat first graced cinemas, audiences were shocked. 14 years later and consumers have seen it all. From pandemics to babies named X Æ A-12, reality is giving the entertainment industry a run for its money. Our insight: Reality has become more shocking than fiction. To shift Australia’s focus from the ball on the field to the balls in Borat’s maskini, we made it our mission to make Borat’s presence feel real by unleashing the most cringeworthy and confrontational launch in streaming history. Our strategy anchored on a mantra: WWBD, ‘what would Borat do?’ • Anxiety about risky influencer recommendations – WWBD? • Fear over public ambushes in a socially distant society – WWBD? • A desire to prioritise trailers over stunts – WWBD? We used Borat’s magnetic brand of shock to galvanise stakeholders towards prioritising risk, verse shy away; creating conditions to turn shock into streams.
We launched by invading our own country, releasing an army of maskini-wearing impersonators on Bondi Beach to accompany a six-metre nude statue of the iconic Kazakhstani we helicoptered in – fuelling over 2,772 pieces of earned media coverage. Amassing an even bigger army, we dominated social feeds via targeted ads and custom filters that turned any Aussie into a Borat dopplganger. Ramping up on launch weekend, we hijacked the AFL and NRL finals with life-size Borat’s on walking billboards, complete with sanitiser and mask dispensers in place of his balls. A blast of in-game TV spots also made his presence unmissable, reaching 3.2M Aussies. Finally, defying all conventions of "brand safe" we commissioned the most outrageous TikTok creators, @MartyandMichael (known for nudie runs) and @Luke Erwin (known for OnlyFans), to create unscripted promotions. Embracing the challenge, our maskini-clad influencers took it so far they got arrested…exactly like Borat would...
Our deliberately controversial and ballsy marketing paid off, with Australian streams of Borat smashing targets: - Our campaign sparked over 2,772 pieces of organic media coverage, and featured on every major news outlet across the country; from Sunrise to the Project. - Borat became the most viewed content of all time on Amazon Prime Video AU, proving we achieved our goal of driving hype in the most distracted moment of the year - Grew AVP acquisition 250% YoY (Month of Oct), the highest ever growth rate - quadrupling our goal of 50%. - Grew AVP awareness +700 bps YoY (Q4 20), +200bps higher than our goal. And YouGov tracking showed equal upweights in positive and negative social sentiment meaning we achieved our goal of shocking and dividing the nation. Sooooo...as you read other subsequent award entries, ask yourself...WWBD?