Short List
Category C01. Use of Digital Platforms
Idea Creation WUNDERMAN Antwerp, BELGIUM
Additional Company MEDIA MARKT Zellik, BELGIUM
Name Company Position
Manuel Ostyn Wunderman Antwerp Creative Director
Pieter Staes Wunderman Antwerp Creative Director
Kasper Janssens Wunderman Antwerp Copywriter
Arjen Tarras Wunderman Antwerp Art Director
Seppe Dogge Wunderman Antwerp Account Manager
Menno Van Riet Wunderman Antwerp Sound Engineer
Julie Bogaerts Wunderman Antwerp Strategic Planner
Margot Bracke Wunderman Antwerp Social Media Strategist
Tim Ruts Freelance Editor
Pieter Neirynck Freelance Director of Photography
Giele Cools Wunderman Antwerp Digital Expert

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

Illegal downloaders were targeted directly when they illegaly watched their favourite series and used one of the adapted subtitles. At the end of each adapted subtitle sequence they were activated to visit a MediaMarkt store or the webshop for the best deals on TV series. The general public was also targeted through an online video on social media where an illegal downloader talked about his “addiction” and the intervention of MediaMarkt. At the end of the video and underneath the post on Facebook, promotional offers on TV series were shown to drive customers to the MediaMarkt webshop.


On December 12th 2017 Game of Thrones season 7 launched worldwide on DVD and Blu-ray. In anticipation to the release, MediaMarkt, the biggest electronics retailer in Belgium, asked us to promote their best deals on TV series. Sadly, the Game of Thrones saga happens to be the most illegally downloaded TV show ever. Season 7 was already pirated more than one billion times and broke all illegal download records. Time to consider these illegal downloaders as a new target group.

Describe the creative idea

In Belgium movies and series are never dubbed but sub-titled instead. When people illegally download a film or series through torrent websites like the Pirate Bay, they need a matching .srt file for subtitles. So on the biggest download platforms for subtitles we uploaded alternative versions. When internet pirates downloaded our files and watched their favourite shows they didn’t just read the translation. Out of the blue the subtitles confronted them with their illegal download behaviour. We even dropped some spoilers to really get their attention. Eventually we offered the poor souls a legal alternative: the best deals on series at criminally low prices. Next to Game of Thrones we also altered subtitles from The Walking Dead, Vikings, Suits, Arrow, The Flash and The Big Bang Theory.

Describe the strategy

Game of Thrones is the most illegally downloaded TV show ever. The new season’s launch on DVD was the perfect moment to also target illegal downloaders for a change and consider them as a new target audience. To reach these illegal downloaders, we decided to use the platforms that they already use: websites where you can download sub-titles.

Describe the execution

We carefully selected during which scenes we wanted our sub-titles to suddenly change into an anti-piracy message and wrote them to fit the situation. The adapted subtitles were uploaded on 3 major subtitle platforms. In total, 198 files were available to download on, and We also created multiple accounts to upload all the files to make sure we stayed under the radar of the platforms administrators. Uploading started on November 16 2017 and all subtitles are still online today. The adapted files were written in Dutch and in French to target all illegal downloaders in Belgium.

List the results

The adapted subtitles were downloaded over 26.000 times and counting. Sales of DVD’s during our clever promo campaign increased by 17% in comparison to the same period last year.