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GoGORILLA reinvents advertising on bills.

GoGORILLA Media Launches New Ad Concept: Advertising on Money! the press release reads. Never mind that defacing a dollar bill is actually a federal offense - maybe they got permission? Nevermind that a pro-bono anti-STD ad already won a D&AD award advertising on coins 1999, so it's not that new... And nevermind that marking dollars bills and putting stickers on coins have been a favored way of getting the word out by students, pro-bono organizations, Adbusters and small guys like Joe's truck rental since.. well, since forever. ;) Starting today, GoGORILLA Media will begin distribution of $1 bills bearing sticker ads for "Traffic: The Miniseries" in hip bars and nightclubs throughout Los Angeles and New York.

"We are extremely excited about this campaign, which is one of our most outrageous yet," says Alan Wolan, President of GoGORILLA Media. "We are completely supportive of a brand like USA Network reaching out in an unusual and unexpected fashion to upscale movie enthusiasts." Michael Dare, Director of Promotion at USA Network, agreed: "Advertising on money delivers the exact type of daring media concept we first envisioned for "Traffic". The themes of the miniseries include the illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons, and humans, all for financial gain. Therefore there is a natural connection with advertising on actual money. The medium fits the message." They even did "advanced field-testing" with the bills, and, "consumers noticed the stickers over 95% of the time", like you do when your money is busted, or someone's scribbled on a bill. The campaign will run through the premiere of Traffic - how they will manage to end the campaign the press release does not reveal. Advertise to get the bills with stickers on them sent back perhaps? Founded in 2001 with the mission to "bombard and overwhelm consumers with advertising messages as they go about their daily lives," GoGORILLA seeks to inject advertising into life's most mundane experiences.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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caffeinegoddess's picture

"We are extremely excited about this campaign, which is one of our most outrageous yet," says Alan Wolan, President of GoGORILLA Media."

Outrageous? What's outrageous about it? It's been done before, putting stickers on money. There's no concept to the ad either. It's not interesting at all. Seems to me that GoGORILLA is injecting mundane advertising into life's experiences with this one.

Dabitch's picture

Well they do say their mission is to "bombard and overwhelm consumers with advertising messages as they go about their daily lives"... I think their mission was completed long before that agency opened their doors.

caffeinegoddess's picture

hahahha good point. And nothing turns consumers on to a product/brand/etc than being bombarded and overwhelmed with advertising! ;)

AnonymousCoward's picture

I agree, i read about how crazy this GoGORILLA marketing company was on Adrants. But when I visited their website I was dissappointed as I saw no proof of this. In fact everything I saw i their porfolio I have seen done before in the UK. Maybe the US is lagging behind on the old ambient side of things?

AnonymousCoward's picture

I think you are missing the point of this gomoney campaign that makes it unique and "outrageous". Gogorilla Media is getting lot's of money (a reported million dollars) of singles into circulation at upscale Bars and Restaurants in NY & LA.

This comes from their press release .

" will place sleek "Traffic" stickers on the face of dollar bills and deliver them to upscale bars, restaurants and nightclubs throughout Los Angeles and New York. The bills will then be circulated by bartenders to their patrons as change for purchase"

I think it will reach people when they are not expecting (and maybe not wanting) to be reached by an advertising message and there by create a buzz. The pass along rate has got to be very high also. Look at all the press it is generating for USA at no cost? How much is a mention of your shows premier worth on say CNN or USA Today? At least a dollar?:) Did you know about the show Traffic before this?

Has this really been done like this in this large scale distribution or by such a large company? By who? I have never got a bill as change with a sticker ad in my life. Large scale advertising on money - It was only a matter of time.

We have all seen grass roots efforts to mark money (where's George, gay money or black money) to show the power of their spending dollar. I have also had a baseball team pay my toll once. But their method is unique. It gets them into circulation fast and does not print (deface) the money like many grass roots methods do. This could also be it's flaw.

I think the Gorilla has a BIG set of balls to take on the US Secret Service! When will our government start shipping bills with ads already on them?

We can all write to the Gorilla in Federal Prison.

Dabitch's picture

I'm not missing the point of the campaign - it doesn't have one. That seems to be everyone's point in their comments so far "great media, shame about the boring sticker", aye?

Has this really been done like this in this large scale distribution or by such a large company?

yes it has, even if you've never gotten a bill with a sticker on it. Here's one example:

From the UK agency "Stretch the horizon" in the D&AD 1999. This aint your regular "where's George" ploy, this uses the media of coins to make the point that it's just as easy to pick up an STD. You never know where your money has been... ;)

As for the federal offence bit, if the stickers are easy to peel off and don't damage the bill, how long do you think the stickers will stay on the bills? People will probably peel them off immediatly if they can.

Have you ever heard of the show Traffic before this? yes I had - but that's irrelevant. Why not ask how many people who get this stickered bill care about the show Traffic - like SPAM this is completly untargeted, and thus one wonders how relevant the recipients will find the 'info'. With bills you have no idea who gets the bill in question, so the message should be a little more relevant to it (the media) than " a show on telly at 9 on Thursdays". What if tourists get these bills and they end up in banks in Bolivia? They can't tune in.

And reaching people who don't "want" to be reached is not considered a good thing [tm]. People already hate intrusive advertising which is tainting advertising in general, we don't need to make them hate ads even more by messing with their money just to hawk a dang TV show.

Dabitch's picture

oh willyalook at that... teeheeheeJohnJohn.nl made a comic about it.

tlevitz's picture

You found it!

(a) it works far better in the STD awareness context. Impact! (b) the dollar bill is looking more and more like a cheap stunt, if you'll pardon the pun.

Hmmm... is it so much of a stretch to think the next thing to carry advertising is on money? Maybe our defict-ridden government's in on it. I could amuse myself for hours... paid media, how much was the buy... hardeharhar.

No really, you're right. This is over the top; I'd like to clean house and declare a moritarium on non-traditional mediums until the world's a little less peeved at advertising.

caffeinegoddess's picture

My point was that if you're not going to do something original in a different medium, use it well. And this "ad" doesn't. The sticker is lame. It's not very well designed, in my opinion. And...it would have better for them to put some good copy on it rather than be so damn straight forward. There's no concept. I went to the Traffic site to see what the connection would be between giving out money and the show. And I see why, now...but the average joe wouldn't get it from just looking at the money...which would not prompt them to watch the damn thing either. And, isn't that the point of this stunt? There's no hook getting people to want to know more about it or anything. So what if I get a dollar with some sticker on it? It's not going to cause me to want to find out more about the show or even tune in to watch it. Which proves there's no concept behind this. If there was, there'd be some line about the things some people do for money. Or something that actually tied into the show. This doesn't do it.
I know that LoJack had done a thing in their advertising to dealers/dealerships where they put money in the ads which ran in trade rags. There were no ads on the money but it is another example of money being given out as part of an "outrageous" stunt.
This is neither unique or outrageous. And it's a poor attempt at both.

The coin ad had a concept. It had effective and thought provoking copy. It is brilliant.

The other thing about this Traffic stunt...how do you know that people haven't heard about the show from the TV spots that air airing with regularity? Will there be a poll or something done to find out how people heard about it? And if they hear about it via the money stickers, did they even bother watching it?

tlevitz's picture

Incidentally, I came across this gimmick in a specialties catalog yesterday: your logo on genuine uncirculated currency. They were doing them up as bookmarks...

NoCloset's picture

I have one of those bookmarks actually.