London-based app design studio ustwo has just put up 2 billboards in Shoreditch, East London which boldly concludes that: You have no friends and No one likes you.
The billboards are an experimental ad campaign for one of ustwo’s recent apps: random photo-sharing app Rando, which launched back in March on iOS. Rando has now also been rolled out on to Android and Windows Phone. Last month ustwo said the app had racked up a full five million of its entirely social-less random photo shares after around two months in the wild.
The cost of the Rando billboard campaign is “around the same amount it would cost us to develop a small app”, according to Matt Mills of ustwo. But it’s the only paid marketing ustwo intends to do for Rando — relying instead on “the virality of the concept” to keep it travelling, which, ironically enough, has led to plenty of organic chatter on social sites like Twitter and Instagram.
The point of the billboards is thus to provoke and spark debate – ustwo is certainly not expecting them to trigger a goldrush of downloads — but if it’s virality you’re after, debate and controversy are your (anti-social) friends. “We hope people will talk, and be intrigued,” Mills adds.
That said, he does also reckon the billboards help to “validate Rando as a quality brand” — showing how, despite everything going digital, paper advertising is still clinging to cachet and a lasting sheen, perhaps even more so as digital ads have cheapened and proliferated. And that despite the impact of paper-based marketing being far more elusive vs measurable clicks.
“We wanted to raise awareness of Rando within the tech and design scene in and around our studio in East London. Also to make the point that in a world so dominated by digital development, we still believe that old school display advertising has the power that no digital can match on a local level in terms of making a big statement,” he says.