CP+B begin their 20th Webbys campaign with a clean and stoic poster. But what lies beyond the call to action is an Internet freakout of sorts. In their interpretation, contained within the prestigious Webby statuette is a link to TheInternetCantBeStopped.net, a symbolic dispensation of the hunger that drives both innovation and inane content production. Even the most fervent Internet user will have difficulty navigating the rabbit hole that is TheInternetCantBeStopped.net. Chase it down if you dare, but don’t say we didn’t offer you fair warning.
Though tested as successful creative marketers and advertisers, where CP+B proves its tenacity is in its boundary-pushing digital viral marketing techniques. Among their most popular was the very viral campaign Subservient Chicken for the Burger King Whopper. What appears first as the story of a franchise mascot, is actually a gentle mocking of how the Internet pressures us to adapt our social image to consumer demands. No surprise then that they were named Adweek’s 2008 U.S. Agency of the year as well asAdvertising Age’s Agency of the Decade in 2009.
We caught up with Peter Knierim, who, besides his role as VP/Creative Director, is the head of the Post Office, a part of CP+B’s Creative Department focused solely on social creative as well. Here, he breaks down their 20th Webbys “The Internet Can’t Be Stopped” design for us.
Tell us about your depiction of “The Internet Can’t Be Stopped”
The Internet is alive and always growing. Whatever you’ve seen, there are ten more interesting/entertaining/useful/mind-numbing/game changing things lined up behind it for you to discover. The most popular things become our common language, and new discoveries give us something to talk about in a social world where everyone’s craving the next thing. Theinternetcantbestopped.net feeds the hunger we have for never-ending content overload and our need to click here, see more and learn more (chase the button down and you’ll see what I mean.)
What’s the best thing to happen to the Internet in the past 20 years?
The best thing to happen is the iPhone, because it was the first device that gave us all that was promised from the mobile web. Not only did the information we needed become more instant, but it let us share what we were doing just at the dawn of social. It was the first phone where a camera really made sense, and the web started filling with moments from our lives.
What are you most excited for in the next 20 years of the Internet?
I look forward to the Internet becoming smarter and more seamless with our daily lives. Today there’s plenty of personalization. But as the web and the devices that bring it to us get smarter, it will be more personal than personalized.
Your team has helped shape the last 20 years of the Webbys. What are you working on now?
Social feels a lot like the web did in its earlier days, when there were less rules and more room to invent, hack and change the way people look at how they use it. But the technology behind it all is smarter than it was back then. A lot of our work focuses on ideas people will really want to talk about, and how we can get those ideas to the right people in interesting ways.
How is CP+B using technology to connect consumers to clients at the moment?
A big one we worked on recently was Emoji Ordering for Domino’s. It takes something people are already doing and makes it fun, useful and a bit magical. We always strive to draw a fluid line between popular culture and our clients’ business, and it’s those experiences that resonate most with people.
Tell us in 5 words why the Internet can’t be stopped.