“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy,” joked Jerry Seinfeld in one of the TV series’ episodes. While we’re sure you had a good laugh (or will, if you haven’t seen the episode yet), Jerry’s funny note is more than just a memorable joke. Sure, it might sound ridiculous yet most Americans view presentations as something that is worse than death.
But fear not, as Mentimeter — an audience engagement platform transforming conventional presentations into cool, interactive experiences — is here to offer these people a fun “guide” on how to deal with such a fear. Titled “Scary Presentations,” the company’s latest campaign invites the audience to see what happens in a Seattle meeting room, as seen through the eyes of a frightened lady, who is about to give a presentation at work.
Inspired by real-life Seattle offices, the initiative, developed with the help of the NORD DDB agency, plays on the feelings of fear and anxiety that arise in the workers who are about to give a presentation in front of a group. With more than 130.000 companies around the city, we assume that Seattle doesn’t lack meeting rooms. This is a place that houses some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon, T-Mobile, and Microsoft, amongst others. But while some see presentations as opportunities to advance their careers, others experience the stressful, nightmarish side of these events, mainly because of their glossophobia. But this is where Mentimeter steps in, with its first outdoor campaign running across the city.
“Giving a presentation is nerve-wracking. And our research shows that one of the main reasons is the fear of not being able to engage your audience, feeling alone and vulnerable. We have all experienced the “any-questions-crickets,” but with the right tools, you can turn a traditional presentation monologue into a dialogue. Creating that meaningful engagement, giving everyone a voice, is what we are driven by,” explains Carl Ronander, Head of Brand at Mentimeter.
Using a balanced dose of humor, Mentimeter visually explains how people with a fear of public speaking feel when giving a presentation and what they can do to cope with these feelings. A video campaign and some cheeky illustrations, drawn by Serge Seidlitz, introduce us to Seattle’s most-iconic meeting rooms but reimagined as a horror place.
While making her way to the meeting room, the film’s hero has to go through all kinds of crazy stuff: Thunders and lightning are welcoming her into a sinister building, where weird-looking twins are haunting the hallways, other employees express their sufferings through screams, and the elevator looks like a guillotine. She finally makes it to the “execution” room, where all of the villains’ eyes are on her. But thankfully, the brand’s interactive presentation tools equip her with exactly what she needs to impress and tame the fierce group.
With this initiative, the brand wants to reach office workers directly in Seattle and a broader audience as well, via digital channels. Plus, in line with the campaign, Mentimeter will hold a competition on social media to crown the city’s scariest meeting room. The winner will receive a trophy and a subscription from the company.
Agency: NORD DDB
Illustrator: Serge Seidlitz, agency B&A reps
Production company: Made by Radio