iris launches hot-topic creative competition


By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

February 16, 2011 | 4 min read

iris is launching a global creative competition this weekend to highlight the need for fast, shareable content in today’s world of advertising.

The ‘Urgent Genius Weekender’ will be open to the creative industry at large and will see more than 100 teams go head to head to create content based on this weekend’s top shared news stories.

Based on the current trend of ‘newsjacking’ where content is created on the back of news trends to benefit from the momentum, ‘Urgent Genius’ was created by iris social media creative director Jon Burkhart and regional creative director for Asia Grant Hunter.

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Burkhart said: “We want to create crack units of real-time content makers who supplement ad campaigns with ideas that help brands find their own voice in hot-topic conversations. We think this can best be achieved by creating urgent genius. It could be an infographic, photoshopped pic, interactive game, film, whatever. For it to be effective, it must be seeded within 12 to 48 hours of the news story landing in your RSS reader.

“We want to move away from a ‘Stop Until I Say Go’ culture with clients. To respond in real-time and stand-out in our info-cluttered world, we must change the approvals process to ‘Go Until I Say Stop’.”

The competition will begin Friday 18 February at 1900 hours (teams’ local time) with a briefing on a topic of global interest. Teams of up to seven from around the UK will congregate in a dedicated area of iris’ London office to receive the brief at 1800 hours (GMT), but teams in other countries will be briefed remotely. At 1900 hours, the competition will begin officially and teams will have until 1900 hours (local time) Sunday 20th February to produce their content.

Content will then be reviewed by a panel of judges with an initial round of culling, with remaining teams then having seven days to seed their content.

To win, entrants must generate the most traffic in terms of ‘Likes’, shares and views in the seven days following the competition. The ‘Urgent Genius Power Rule’ (based on ‘The Real-time Power Law’ by David Meerman Scott), will then calculate true influence by taking into account a team’s current seeding network, attempting to level the playing field for an individual entering as a ‘lone ranger’ team versus a team from a global networked agency.

Teams already behind the initiative include Google, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Wieden & Kennedy, Fallon, Droga5, M&C Saatchi, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, R/GA, BBDO, BBH, Neue Digital, DDB, 2 Sick Bastards t-shirts, a cartoonist from the New Yorker, Puma, Rubber Republic, Big Balls Films, Miami Ad School and VCU Brandcenter.


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