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A social experiment sends Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues into lockdown

2014-05-14 09:55

Cape Town - Heard of Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues? No, not the Carte Blanche presenter. Rather, the comedy duo comprised of Nic Smal and Gareth Allison.

The Cape Town pair have been making waves with their irreverent, deadpan comedy. Only last month they attracted over a million viewers to their YouTube channel with a Facebook look back parody of Breaking Brad. Now they’ve teamed up with Saatchi & Saatchi and efferflu C Immune Booster for a quirky social experiment that traps the two friends together in a locked hotel room for five days. Welcome to Project Trapped, which is well underway, and seeks to answer one simple question: what to do when you have flu?

The beauty of this project is that the answer depends entirely on you. Simply tweet Nic and Gareth on #projecttrapped with a quirky idea and if you’re successful they’ll post a video of themselves acting out your suggestion. At the end of the week the best tweet wins a holiday away for two valued at R60 000.

It’s a holiday neither Nic nor Gareth have the luxury of going on because, in being confined to their hotel room, they’re recreating what it’s like to have flu and miss out on an awesome adventure away.

Day one of the project kicked off yesterday and got off to a fast start with hundreds of tweets streaming in demanding that the duo do things like kiss, beat box and stage a dance-off. To the best requests, Nic and Gareth acquiesced.

As the project continues this week it’ll be interesting to see what other ideas people devise, and this social experiment is an interesting case study in how social media can influence the content we see. Viewers are actively engaged and also rewarded for posting clever suggestions, and there’s a real sense of reward in seeing Gareth and Nic read your name aloud before acting out your particular idea.

ProjectTrapped also cleverly ties into a very real health issue that afflicts people most commonly during winter. And by attaching a substantial award to the best tweet (that is, a holiday for two valued at R60 000), viewers are encouraged not only to get creative, but to reflect on what it would be like to be stuck at home while struck down by the flu virus.

Going forward, more and more campaigns will likely be pitched on the social media axis. It’s a platform that instantaneously updates itself and the immediacy of the internet allows viewers to immediately receive a response from the protagonists.

In this case, it’s the irreverent Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues who are centre stage. To see more, visit or head to twitter and check out the action live using the hashtag #ProjectTrapped. To get involved, tweet the boys with the handle “@efferfluC”. 

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