Short List
Category F02. Art Direction / Design
Production 2 STUDIO 5 Paris, FRANCE
Name Company Position
Alexander Kalchev DDB Paris Executive Creative Director
Jean-François Bouchet DDB Paris Copywriter
Emmanuel Courteau DDB Paris Art Director
Rémi Picard DDB Paris Art Director
Marion Dervaux DDB Paris Clay modeler
Natacha Olive de Cherisey DDB Paris Clay modeler
Vincent Léorat DDB Paris Vice-Président
Marie Tricoche DDB Paris Account Manager
Camille Passot DDB Paris Account Executive
Cédric Boit Studio 5 Sound Prodcution
Clément Reynaud Studio 5 Sound Prodcution
Alexandre Vicart Studio 5 Sound Prodcution
Marine Crémer Studio 5 Sound Prodcution
Cyril Quintin DDB Paris Motion Design
Nicolas Denis DDB Paris Motion Design
Lucas Lahore DDB Paris Community Manager
Stiv Spasojevic - Case study editor

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

The "Emerging Species" campaign was launched on the social media with funny posts and videos that presented the concept and invited people to explore the website, full of imaginary animals, but also pushed everyone to create their own plasticine species. As a direct response, lots of parents and children shared their creations. All hand-made. That is why the "Gallery of Emerging Species" was probably the year's most "digital" project.


In 2016, for its 60th anniversary, Play-Doh had launched a new worldwide communication platform: "Open a can of imagination". The objective of the campaign, in France in 2017, was to remind people who spend their time mostly online - that modelling clay was still a wonderful way for kids to express themselves and develop their imagination. The brand also wanted to reinforce the emotional bond with its consumers, parents and children alike.

Describe the creative idea

In a world where 1 animal species disappears every 20 minutes, the concept of "emerging species" was a way for Play-Doh to underline the incredible power of creation that modeling clay offers. More specifically, the Gallery of Emerging Species, just as all the posts on facebook, were an unlimited way to involve parents and children into the creative world of Play-Doh.

Describe the strategy

Play-Doh is not a newcomer. The brand was created more than 60 years ago. Three generations have already played with it. They have built stories with it. They have created their own world with it, when they were kids. It is the reason why the strategy was to talk to parents as much as to their children. Moms and dads are the ones who can decide what is good and what is not for their own kids. And it was important to remind parents that sometimes the most « low tech » toys are the best for their little ones.

Describe the execution

Dozens of imaginary species, all hand-made with modeling clay then animated, were showcased in a virtual museum of natural history. Each creature was specifically presented in its sound environment, just as in wild life documentaries. The style of the animals was childish, but their names and specificities, just as the tone of voice, added something aimed at adults as well. Next to the main hall, the "visitors' gallery" was linked to facebook and regularly enriched by some user generated content. During 4 months, starting in October 2017, the whole campaign was driven on facebook, with multiple various posts. Some were driving people to visit the "Gallery of Emerging Species" website, while others encouraged everyone to create and share their own new species.

List the results

The "Emerging Species" gathered together nearly 3 million parents and children together in France. The average time spent on the website was 15 minutes. Hundreds of new species were created by kids and parents (and even by grand-parents, according to some commentaries), proving the limitless power of Play-Doh. The campaign did not only reinforce the emotional bond between the brand and the consumers, but also between parents and children. Strangely enough, the true success for this mainly digital campaign was to push people to go back to the real world and to use their hands. That is why the campaign was probably the year's most "digital" project.