Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Jan 8, 2015

Saatchi & Saatchi sets dogs and ghosts on staff to stem overwork

GUANGZHOU/HONG KONG - Agency types are known for burning the midnight oil (and often the 1 am, 2 am and 3 am oil as well). Concern about the morale and health effects of such late nights led Saatchi & Saatchi to champion an internal 'Bark you up at 6:45' movement.

wide player in 16:9 format. Used on article page for Campaign.

The agency switches off the lights and air-conditioning at 6:45 pm sharp, so people have no choice but to leave the premises. But before you get too excited, please note that it's only two evenings per month.

Still, the agency seems sincere in wanting employees to "share their newfound freedom with everyone they care about" and return to work fresh the next morning.

Despite skepticism, Saatchi & Saatchi's Guangzhou and Hong Kong offices kickstarted the first run of the movement. The campaign included online and offline reminders prior to the action, such as the warning video below, which features a ghost in a lift. 

 

On the day itself, the agency literally hounded the stubborn few who insisted on staying—by unleashing dogs (actually people in furry canine suits) to shepherd them out. 

Alexis Chiu, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi South China, said with happy, efficient staff who produce better work, clients win in the end.

The agency has also challenged its peers to join forces, and emphasised the environmental benefit of saving energy.

We think the move is reflective of a preference not to address the elephant in the room too directly. Many in the industry did some soul-searching regarding late hours in the wake of the sudden deaths of Gabriel Li from Ogilvy Public Relations Beijing and Mita Diran from Y&R Indonesia in 2013.

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