Kern & Sohn: After the gnome experiment

OgilvyOne London

The team

Emma De La Fosse, Charlie Wilson, Malcolm Malcolm Pryce, James Nester, Graham Jenks, Steve O'Leary, George Damerum, Hiten Bhatt.

How did the campaign make a difference?

The Gnome Experiment's epic journey was almost complete. The gnome's papers have sparked over 1,000 new requests to weigh the gnome, over 7,000 visits to, a 27% surge in visits to and an ROI of over 5,000%.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry?

In 2012 a set of Kern & Sohn precision scales and a small chip-proof garden gnome embarked on a journey that would take them around the world. They turned what could have been a cold product demonstration into the world's first mass-participation gravity experiment. A carefully selected global group of Kern customers and scientists was invited to play a starring role. They would receive a kit containing a set of scales and a special test weight: a chip-proof garden gnome, in a scientific twist on the travelling gnome prank. Participating scientists weighed the gnome, recorded the results on the website, took photographic evidence, then sent him on to the next destination. Scientists were charmed by the spirit of the experiment, happily escorting the gnome to landmarks and famous institutions and generating loads of shareable imagery. It captured the imagination of more than 350 million people in 152 countries. By the end of 2012, most scientists and teachers had heard about the Gnome Experiment. But the gnome's epic journey was coming to a close. How to extend the experiment and breathe new life into it before the journey ended? There was an opportunity to build the Kern brand further by reminding the audience about the experiment and celebrating some of the amazing stories that weren't common knowledge.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life?