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London Underground Powwownow

Provocative Powwownow London Underground campaign evokes feminist response from commuters


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 10, 2012 | 2 min read

A campaign from Powwownow that has begun to run on the London underground has provoked a mixed response from commuters.

Developed by Gyro Manchester, the tongue-in-cheek ad uses provocative creative that aims to be both “obnoxious” and “ostentatious”, featuring a businessman who claims to like ‘his coats mink, truffles white, and secretaries Swedish’.

The campaign evoked a negative reaction, with commuters defacing the adverts through writing comments such as ‘Women are not a commodity’, on them.

Peter Davis, executive creative director of gyro Manchester, commented: “Our new campaign for Powwownow has been made to court with controversy, so we’re pleased to see it’s already doing just that. If our character is already causing widespread offence then many people won’t like some of the things we have planned for him - this is only the beginning! We all have preconceptions about free services – ‘if it’s free, it must be bad!’ To confront this idea, we’ve created an obnoxious fictional businessman that spends money lavishly and dislikes anything that’s free – especially Powwownow. Our "more sense than money" campaign drives the idea that actually, you don’t have to pay a premium to get a great quality service.”

Casey Williams, marketing manager at Powwownow, added:“Our irreverent attitude and desire to constantly push the boundaries means we’re not unfamiliar with controversy at Powwownow. The stir the creative is causing reaffirms that we’ve achieved cut through in an extremely crowded market, even if that has meant we’ve ruffled a few feathers of animal lovers, feminists and people with more money than sense along the way. The character is meant to be as archaic and out of touch as possible to provide an absolute contrast to the voice of reason that is Powwownow.”

London Underground Powwownow

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