Several ominous orange billboards appeared in Toronto last week, posing a strange question: “Do you #smallenfreuden?”
They feature no tagline, no brand logo and no call to action. Just a question with the term smallenfreuden (an English/German portmanteau meaning “the joy of small”) styled as a hashtag.
Figuring the teaser billboards are part of a viral stunt campaign, Marketing searched for the hashtag and discovered a Smallenfreuden Twitter account and an equally ominous video explaining what smallenfreuden means (well, sort of), but that does not reveal the brand behind the campaign.
A new Wikipedia page further pointed us to a few similarly styled websites, including The Global Smallenfreuden Summit 2013, The Smallenfreuden 10K Run and The Smallenfreuden Swag Shop. Just hours after it was updated with the list of smallenfreuden-themed websites (the domain names for all three were purchased last month) the smallenfreuden Wikipedia page was then deleted by its creator.
One YouTube commenter suggested the campaign might be a test to see how effective billboards are in Toronto. Another commenter on Twitter guessed that they’re the start of a new IKEA campaign. We have our own theories at Marketing. Leave yours in the comments section.
UPDATE: THE BIG REVEAL!