Studio Pythia x Surreal Digital
Anti-Quax Ad Blocker
5 Creative Strategies For Marketing A Conceptual Art Project
To explore the impact of COVID, Studio Pythia created Anti-Quax, the world's first Covid Ad-blocker.

It is a chrome extension that covers all references to the pandemic with pictures of ducks.

The project seeks to explore questions of determinism, mass media & its impact on mental health, and free will.

You can try out the project here.

#1. Analyze your customer avatars like a psychoanalyst

Find out your target customers’ psychographics with questions such as:

  • What makes them tick?
  • What are their core values & beliefs?
  • What causes them to become anxious?
  • What are their ideal experiences?
  • What are they nostalgic about from the past?
  • What do they find funny/entertaining?
  • What do they find dangerous/risky in their lives?

So how do you go about finding the answers to these questions?

The best way is to interview your target audience and just ask them. Once you have interviewed a sample of them, a pattern tends to emerge.

Another way is to "stalk" them on social media (Instagram/Reddit/Facebook groups, etc..)

Check the brands they follow, restaurants they go to, influencers they follow, newsletters they subscribe to, books they read, and memberships they belong to.

You should be able to infer the core needs and desires of your target audience from these information sources.
#2. Profile your customer avatars
The more details you can build around your target customer avatars, the better you can understand what motivates them to act and what kind of creatives will resonate with them.
  • Michael the Techie
    Michael is at heart an intellectual - he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge & deep thinking.

    Michael trusts his logic more than intuition.

    As someone who thrives on intellectual challenges, he loves his demanding yet stimulating work in software engineering.

    He has an MSc in computer science from Imperial and works as an AI engineer at DeepMind. He aspires to run a startup someday.

  • Alice the Creator
    Alice creates to live and lives to create.

    She is constantly on the lookout for creative inspirations - you can find her at the newly opened restaurants and the most in-demand cultural events.

    She trusts her intuition more than logic when making decisions.

    Alice has a BA in Design from Central St Martins, and is currently, a senior video editor at Vogue London. She aspires to run her own creative agency someday.
#3. Pique curiosity with gamification
For Michael the techie, someone who thrives on intellectual challenges, we position the ad creative as a challenge - an intellectual puzzle that he needs to solve.

The use of "can you" and the question mark immediately stimulate his competitive ego.

For Alice the creator who is constantly seeking inspiration, the gamification effect in a GIF would immediately draw her in to learn more about the project.

#4. Provoke thoughts
A meme that everyone who has watched the Matrix and struggle with the dilemma presented in the movie would relate to - the ad immediately transforms viewers into thinkers.

We designed this ad to appeal to Michael the Techie, a deep thinker who likes to be challenged with philosophical musings for which we don't have "easy" answers for.

The ad copy also includes the word "rethink," posing an additional intellectual provocation for our target prospect.

#5. Evoke emotional resonance from visual & intuitive thinkers

For Alice the Creator who is a visual & intuitive thinker, she would especially resonate with ad creatives that appeal to emotions rather than logic.

To build emotional resonance, we would first showcase a series of scenes that evoke sensations (e.g. infection rates and death tolls going up, news about variants popping out, toilet paper shortage on shelves of supermarkets).

As Alice the Creator is constantly on the lookout for new inspiration, we would then introduce the art project as an exploration into how COVID has impacted our daily lives.

Sample InspirationFrom Thinking Egg (0:12-0:27)

This ad creative for Studio Pythia wasn't realized due to Facebook advertising policy on pandemic-related issues, but we've attached an inspiration for how this ad creative would look had it been realized.
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