The independent, Toronto-based agency Zulu Alpha Kilo has found an unusual way to get attention stateside, sending an RFP (request for proposal) to the campaigns of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to become either candidates agency of record (or both). Hot on the heels of its 2016 Ad Age Small Agency of the Year win, the agency's video, which also includes several spoof Clinton and Trump ads, marks the second appearance of the company's very unreal founder. He was first introduced for the agency's own website earlier this year. The character is played by veteran commercial and film actor Doug Murray, who recently featured in “Spotlight,” 2015's Oscar winner for Best Picture.
While Zulu was presumably not among the agencies contacted by the Clinton campaign for the future work in May (territory already claimed by Droga5), they do have a pitch in mind for the former Secretary of State. The agency offers to build a firewall that is able to “Send, receive, forward, archive and delete all those pesky emails of yours.” Cutting. For Trump, meanwhile, the agency has a different selling-point: “Make Comb-overs Great Again” and, of course, a few mentions of the more literal walls the real estate tycoon famously wishes to build should he be elected to office. It's a lightly comedic and actually rather ambitious concept that definitely hits more often than it falters. The fleeting Pokémon Go reference comes across as a little tacked on mind.
For Zulu Alpha Kilo, the video is just the latest in a line of self-promotional efforts. Back in March the agency released a series of videos promoting the launch of its new website by making fun of the absurdities of other agency websites. At the beginning of the year, the independent agency also released a video celebrating its seventh anniversary and last November it launched its “#saynotospec” effort, aiming to end agency spec work and there was also a notorious agency Christmas card known as “Jingle Butts.” Zulu was named 2016 overall agency of the year Gold Medal winner in late July at the Ad Age Small Agency Awards, which go to independent agencies with up to 150 employees that have demonstrated smart strategies and innovative ideas for clients. Zulu's win was the first time a non-US agency has ever been awarded the title, creating the inspiration for the spoof video.