On the first half of September Enel (the main Italian electric utility company) launched a new campaign: #guerrieri (#warriors).
The aim of the campaign is to celebrate the courage and the determination of Italian people, especially during this uncertain historic moment.
The promise is clear: “Whatever your battle is, you have all the energy to win. Also ours.”
On the web Enel invites Italians to tell their own battles, made of personal stories and challenges.
Here you can see the commercial and, below, the translated script.
But the Italian social and economic condition is a delicate topic, the energy issue is too thorny, and people’s reaction on the web took an unexpected direction.
The metaphor of warriors is too epic and far from everyday reality.
So during the last weeks people started to tell their real challenges.
The true #warriors became people who every day demonstrate against coal-fired plants, those Italians who can’t pay the electric bill, who lost their job, or those young people who are still looking for one.
The most remarkable (and in my opinion, improper) response came from Blumangenta, who made a parody of the campaign and turned the hashtag #guerrieri to #coglioni (maybe I can translate this rude term with #idiots or #assholes).
On the website of this creative atelier you can also download a template to make your own parody of the campaign.
This is the issue raised by the author (and written on his print below):
Are we warriors or idiots? We have the highest taxes of the planet, our national debt is higher than 2,000 billion €, youth unemployment reached 40%. The national health service is collapsing. Our country has the lowest investments in education and culture, the lowest percentage of graduate and post graduate students, but the public expenditure is constantly increasing. Every year we evade taxes for 300 billion €. We are one of the most corrupted country in the world.
P.S. Italian electricity is the most expensive in Europe.
Whoever you are, you have to spit blood. Also for our fault.
It’s not the first time a Twitter campaign turned in an unexpected and catastrophic way.
It’s not the first time an advertising campaign tried to explore a topic that revealed to be too risky and too delicate.
So what’s the lesson we should learn?
I will quote the wisest thought I read online these days, the words of Paolo Iabichino, Executive Creative Director at OgilvyOne and OgilvyAction Italia:
When we choose the storytelling, we must have an happy ending in our hands, the narrative territory must be shared and the pact with the user must be stated immediately, from the very first line.
- The Trump administration deleted a State Department post promoting Trump's Mar-a-lago club after it drew a wave of criticism online.
- If no court steps in, Arkansas is poised to become the first state in more than 15 years to execute two people in one night.
- Markets are saying "Vive la France" after pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron gained the most votes in the 1st round of the French election.
- Thanks to Paul Ryan, Papa Roach's teen-angst smash "Last Resort" has become the internet's unofficial anthem for the owned 😬🎤