Okay, so perhaps the headline is a bit of a fib, as Saatchi say Dan Castro broke the rules, it was just fun to say "Saatchi" as many times as possible in it.
In response to Saatchi & Saatchi’s setting of the brief “get as many followers on twitter as you can” Dan Castro set up The Saatchi Experiment and the twitter account @Saatchi_grads and "with a little design and carefully chosen words people began to assume I’m the official twitter feed." Sneaky Dan. Real sneaky. Dan has a point though, the measure of how popular a feed is, is not counted in friends now that automated spambots can get you as many as you want within a week.
Dan also posted this video yesterday, as the 'official' Saatchi alter ego, and called it "An Apology from Saatchi", where he explains the brief was a bit of a repeat from last years, as they were busy looking at angry kittens online.
What were the reactions, Dan?
Reactions so far - it's been pretty well received, actually. One person described me as a "cocky cockend who fails at being funny", whereas one of the grads said it "cheered up no end", which I'd say is about as mixed a reaction you can get! To be honest, positive or negative, any reaction is a really good thing for us - as Dave Trott mentioned in one of his latest blog posts "advertising doesn't have to be liked to work", which I find fascinating. Of course, the fact that the majority of responses have been positive is bonus for me! I've had calls to actually write a brief for the next stage (not from Saatchi's, of course) which I think I will do, but the real test will be whether any of the grads find it interesting enough to do.
Seems this just went a wee bit over the line, as someone at Saatchi suddenly discovered that Dan has broken the rules of the Scholarship Scheme by having "discussed some of the questions in the quiz”".. which got them sacked from Saatchi, but don't worry he's sacked in a good way:
As a result, I’m afraid we’re going to have to remove you from the application process for the Scholarship Scheme - but AS WE’VE FOUND YOUR APPROACH TO THE GRAD SCHEME INTERESTING IF YOU HAVE ANY GENUINE INTEREST IN WORKING HERE perhaps it’s worth you coming in and having a chat with someone here anyway?
Because advertising is all about bending the rules, just right, or with a certain panache.