Short List
Category G03. Messaging Campaign
Idea Creation 2 UBISOFT Paris, FRANCE
Production STUDIO 5 Paris, FRANCE
Name Company Position
Alexander Kalchev DDB Paris Executive Creative Director
Alexis Benbehe DDB Paris Creative
Pierre Mathonat DDB Paris Creative
Patrice Dumas DDB Paris Head of Copy
Noémie Blum DDB Paris Art Director
Alban Callet DDB Paris Managing Director
Marie-Elise Archambaud DDB Paris Account Manager
Loup-Eder Noël DDB Paris Account Supervisor
Geoffroy Sardin Ubisoft Vice-President
Guillaume Carmona Ubisoft Marketing Director
Clément Prevosto Ubisoft EMEA Marketing Group Manager
Pierre Miazga Ubisoft EMEA Senior Brand Manager

The Campaign

What if you found yourself in possession of a Narco’s best friend: a burner phone? And what if this phone started ringing? How would you react, what would you reply and most importantly, what choices would you take? Cartel Com is a 48-hour interactive thriller in which you could communicate in real time with seven characters. We sent influencers the burner phone of Carlos, a young narco who was an informant for the CIA. He has gone missing and you have 48 hours to help his family escape the wrath of the cartel.

Creative Execution

First, we sent over 75 phones to entertainment influencers and journalists in France and the UK. They received a craft paper envelope in which there was a letter introducing the project: this is the phone of Carlos, a young narco that has gone missing. The letter encouraged you to turn on the phone. As soon as you did, you received a message that started the story. You could interact in real time with each of 7 characters in your phonebook, call and send them messages. To achieve this, over 48 hours we had 7 writers and 5 voice actors communicate and respond in real time with the influencers. Each text received a response and you even received phone calls with clues and hints. Thousands of texts were sent, each a custom reply. In the end, it was up to you to decide how you want to end the story.

Over 90% of the carefully targeted influencers and journalists (such as BFM, Shots, LBB) responded and engaged with the operation. The operation generated over 400k€ of free press.

By now there have been so many movies and TV series about cartels, that we had to find a fresh and relevant way to engage with influencers. We found out that despite the immense wealth that cartels possess, they still communicate with untraceable burner phones. The idea was born: show the inner workings of a cartel by sending out the most mundane object: an old cell phone. We wanted to let people figure out the story for themselves and be an active participant, instead of simply observers. Each text that you sent had an impact on the story.