Persil plays dirty with hoax campaign

The campaign roped in video influencers to convince audiences they were watching a trailer for a new game.

Persil's Dirt is Good Project has launched the latest of its campaigns, creating a faux video game to bring together the gaming community and get kids excited about the outdoors.

Created by Madrid agency Lola MullenLowe and Golin London, the campaign has been running for the past week, with gaming influencers, such as EthanGamer, creating hype for the latest game, “Tag”.

Initially, a teaser was released, along with a link to the Instagram page of Dig Studios, a “gaming studio based in the UK and creators of #TAGTHEGAME”.

In the final step of the campaign, six influencers – with a combined following of 10.2 million – were picked to stream the 60-second trailer live on Instagram and Twitch, with them eventually realising live on camera that the trailer was fake.

The trailer itself, set to Run Boy Run by Woodkid, features a group of children running from an unseen pursuer. Covered in mud, they crouch behind trees, dash across a bridge and attempt to scale a rocky hill.

Eventually though, a young girl emerges from the woods and taps a boy on the shoulder, saying: “Tag, you’re it.”

It ends with the line “Only available in real life”, which flashes across the screen, and the game is reavealed to be an ad for playing outdoors.

Lola MullenLowe’s executive creative director, Tomas Ostiglia, said: “Creating something that delivered the brand’s core messaging whilst being convincing and authentic for the gaming community was a challenging process."

Katie-Jo Flynn, executive director at Golin London, added: “For the reveal and pay-off to feel impactful, reactions of our gaming influencer team had to be authentic, which meant we went to pretty extreme lengths in the lead-up to keep our cover going.

“For us, this was the perfect storm of a campaign – in-depth human insight, on-point cultural relevance and the brand bravery to do something really game-changing.”

The campaign is a response to research by the brand that found it has been three months since the average UK child got muddy playing outside.

Tati Lindenberg, marketing vice-president at Unilever, Dirt Is Good, said: “When we realised that more and more children are losing touch with the outdoors and the natural world, we wanted to do something to get them excited to get outside and get dirty again.

“In order to do this in a way that effectively spoke to our audience, we took the decision to harness the power of the gaming world, rather than fight against it.”

The campaign features across TV, out of home, digital OOH, paid and organic social, as well as influencer channels and earned media.


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