Cannes Lions

Black e-mail campaign

EMAKINA, Brussels / MY WAY / 2016

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Young adults are looking to gain freedom, so we offered to help them obtain it. We asked them via CTA banners, social media and YouTube prerolls: how far are you willing to go in order to get your dream car? They could choose between 5 (fictional and relatively harmless) threats to tell their parents "I want it My Way."

We gave these young adults the tools to really persevere and get their parents' help to buy a second hand car. The parents were, in turn, stalked by highly personalized one-to-one banners via Google DoubleClick if they didn't give in to the initial email, requesting to buy their kid a car. This re-bannering addressed them by name and showed what kind of mischief their child (whose name was also displayed) would commit. The threats ranged from changing the WiFi password or getting a nose piercing to turning the goldfish into sushi.


The black(e-)mailing campaign started as a classic campaign with CTA banners, video and social media ads to reach the young adults and to guide them to the dedicated campaign website. They chose their threat and sent it to mom or dad via the platform.

Once (one of) the parents received this email, they were presented with the choice to either give their child a car, sending them to My Way's website, or to refuse the offer but to bear the consequences, leading them to a landing page which placed a cookie and showed a last warning.

Highly personalized banners would appear everywhere the parents went on the internet, reminding them that the only way to stop this 'stalking', was to click through to My Way. The campaign ran for one month, during September last year.


The campaign website attracted over 30 000 unique visitors and the My Way car sales website got over 35 000 targeted visitors (mainly parents). Lively debates about how to bribe parents into buying a second hand car were held on Facebook with hundreds of participants. Over 550 000 Facebook (Dutch and French speaking) users were reached through 1 ad only.

The 'blackmail' email sent to the parents had an open rate of 60% and a click through rate of 70%. Additionally, the campaign sparked a lot of (free) media coverage, reaching another 2,5 million people. The clever use of cookies using Google DoubleClick triggered a public debate involving experts in media law and marketing professionals, again raising My Way's exposure and the brand awareness.

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