Scion’s Little Deviants

Another strong presenter at nextMEDIA and one that shook up the conference a bit was William Travis of Attik the successful ad and brand agency. He talked about the Scion branding and how to seduce a culture savvy youth demographic. The ad campaign for the Scion featured an alternate reality of mindless automatons called “Sheeple” and a group of foes called “The Little Deviants”. The deviants embodied the desired user who looks at conventional society as “way lame” and harbors a general disregard for mainstream sensibilities.


From my own experience in youth marketing this largely encompasses almost the entire 20somthin age group… anarchic tendencies are pretty much mainstream now. The deviants challenge the sheeple in a fairy tale/video game type of environment and the story is told in a unique and visually stunning way. It was a pretty challenging campaign for the most part and I imagine fairly hard for the attendees to fully embrace. But Travis had some interesting points that truly rang true.

Firstly is that to generate a successful campaign you must “run along side” your audience but always just “slightly ahead”. People like to be told what to buy but in a way that authentically relates to them and doesn’t beat them over the head with brand messaging. Travis was obviously talking about a certain demographic but this concept seemed to make sense for all demographics and in general be the hot topic of the conference. How to communicated authentically in the new ‘digital media” playground?

Travis continued with another pertinent concept which was also reiterated in different ways by other presenters but not quite as eloquently. A business must have a holistic approach with their campaign and communicate to an audience where they look. Simple but true. The “Little Deviant” campaign had a video game like website with secret passwords, multiple digital and print media accompaniments including stinky scratch and sniffs and pop-up books, customizable postcards and fold-up car printouts, digital trailers and video, and also street level media which included cryptic posters placed in alleys and cut-outs that hang on street signs. It was everywhere all the time and in context. This was successful because at the same time it was both guerilla and stylishly constructed but only when and where it needed to be. Important but complicated concept and one that will continue to challenge and befuddle us all for years to come.