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Retail Store FNAC's Digital Banners Start the Fight for Cultural Freedom
15/06/2022
Group745
Advertising Agency
Paris, France
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Publicis Conseil launches the 'UNRECOMMENDED BY THE ALGORITHM' campaign to offer consumers items they are less likely to buy
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Since 1954, FNAC has been defending cultural freedom in France, nourishing curiosity and open-mindedness.

But these days, even if we have the feeling we never had so much freedom and cultural choice, in fact, everything we read, watch, discover, like or buy is decided by algorithms (80% of what people watch on Netflix is recommended by the algorithm, according to an internal source).

This bias is locking us up in a cultural bubble from which it is more and more difficult to escape.

In reaction to its growing threat, Fnac wants to offer an alternative where algorithms are not the only ones to decide our cultural choices and humans keep their role as influencers.

FNAC developed digital banners to recommend the opposite of what mathematics formulas would have recommended: cultural items we are less likely to buy.

Based on real data profiles from publisher ad servers, Fnac flipped around the algorithm recommendation mechanism to select & serve contents that people had only a 2% chance to like.

The campaign pushed the banners along people's daily digital journey on news & culture websites. Driven then to unrecommendedbyalgorithm.com/ website to learn more about the experience.

On social, under the #UnrecommendedByAlgorithm hashtag, a Twitter bot publishes tweets with cultural content at the opposite of what people like & share on the social network. 

The experience is completed with a print campaign to denounce the bias of algorithms in our cultural choices. To emphasize what makes shopping in a Fnac store a unique experience: the knowledge & cultural background of Fnac advisors. Because there is no area more human than culture.

The idea is to remind us that, most of the time, the unexpected opens us new horizons.

“We are living in the age of the algorithms. it’s never been so important to nourish the unexpected, search for serendipity and to escape from the recommendation bubble. it’s a cultural battle, and a human battle after all.” - Marco Venturelli – CEO/CCO Publicis Conseil - CCO Publicis Groupe France.

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