Marketing blog ClickZ.com posted a nicely-written article about the Brammo/CP+B intern story today. Some choice quotes:
In May, Brammo spent nearly $18,000 to win an auction on eBay. It won the company access to 40 interns from advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Soon afterward, according to Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, the company informed the interns they need not keep their efforts secret. He said the same freedom was granted to teams working for Brammo at public relations firm Weber Shandwick.
“We asked them both for as much transparency as feasible with potential customers and anybody involved with our production,” Bramscher said.
Despite the urge for openness, Bramscher and his colleagues were somewhat surprised when they discovered the creative teams really took to heart the transparency thing. The interns, in particular, were discussing their work online, showing off ideas for possible Brammo images and other work that hadn’t been approved, or even seen, by Brammo execs. “We saw some comps of our logo long before the agency principals showed it to us,” Bramscher said. “It was a leak. We talked about having some level of transparency within the organization, but I think the principals at Crispin Porter + Bogusky were surprised we’d seen most of their presentation before they presented it to us.”
Although Bramscher believes the “leaks” ended up bringing extra attention to Brammo, which has plans to sell its cycles at Best Buy stores, he acknowledged there is a danger to allowing unbridled freedom. “We had one incident in which somebody assumed a date that we were going to be in Best Buy stores and announced we were going to be in the Portland store that day. But it wasn’t true,” he said.
Chris Elliott, a Weber Shandwick group manager involved with the Brammo account, attributed much of the unapproved blabbering to the ages, energy and online lifestyles of the interns. “Part of it is the enthusiasm around the brand and product,” he said. “But what happens is, when you start spending more and more of your life integrated with social media, the lines get blurred.”
The article did not mention the “World of an Intern” video the crew released last week (47,000 views so far).
Although many of the interns have headed back to school this week, the remaining folks will be presenting their work to Bramscher this Thursday at the Boulder, Colorado headquarters of CP+B.