While I was working for Free.fr, a french ISP, I had to shoot their set-top boxes to produce iconography to update their website.
I hold the charge of being both their art director, webmaster, and even packshots photographer.
I was also involved with the hackers community on my free time.
The set-top box displayed the hour at all time, and one day I was retouching a product pack-shot to add on their website. I decided to sneak a wink to the hacker community.
I set every box illustration to display 13:37 in 2009, a hackers reference: L33+SP34K
The header image is the very first occurrence of Free.fr brand-centric meme that spread far beyond my imagination.
I just spread a viral campain without knowing it or that term even existed.
Free.fr early adopters were techies, and Free also had that corporate image of being a stratup-like company, always crafting some miles ahead products and services. They also have a very active community working in the internet and digital field.
They caught the reference immediately, and it quickly became a brand gimmick they reused everywhere in their corporate communication to mark their difference.
How a sneak wink can make history, you never know.