You, too, can save the country of Sweden in this viral campaign

Posted on Mon Mar 29 2010


If you saw Service International Union and MoveOn's "Enemy of America" Glenn Beck viral video, you're aware that we've entered an age where stuff like "Elf Yourself" looks laughably primitive. If you haven't seen the "Enemy" video—imagine that someone created a video with Glenn Beck ranting about you and intimate details of your life (which you had providing by agreeing to share your Facebook information). Now, Sweden's TV licensing body, Radiotjänst, and Draftfcb Stockholm are experimenting with the technology, too. Behold this ad, and you will see a dramatic announcement about the "hero" who is making life better for the average Swede—who is making sure they can trust what they see on TV and hear on the radio, and that the voices of the weak are heard. Yes, we're talking about ... me. I got a cheap ego boost watching hordes of Swedes cheering my image on billboards and being referred to as a Swedish hero. Why not try it out as well, at least until every advertiser under the sun runs a similar viral this summer.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

No, you fool, no one really wants to see your lovely little TV spot

Posted on Fri Mar 19 2010

That 30-second spot may be the pride of your ad agency, but your hopes of it "going viral" may be overly optimistic. In fact, research firm Millward Brown has two words for that idea: pipe dream! Unless you hire Kim Kardashian to star in it, that is. In a study to be released next week, Millward Brown found that fewer than one in six ads becomes even a mild viral success and that only a tiny percentage of commercials will hit the lofty heights of Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" (shown here) and E*Trade's "Milkaholic." It takes some combination of brand engagement, buzz, high-profile celebrity and originality to compel people to seek out a commercial online, watch it and pass it along. The now-famous Super Bowl Snickers ad with Betty White and Abe Vigoda has racked up more than 1.3 million views on YouTube, for instance, because it's engaging, buzzy and features well-recognized celebrities, Millward Brown said. The Carl's Jr. ad where Kardashian drips salad dressing on her lingerie and then hops into a bubble bath has upwards of 2.3 million views. (Guys dig it and, no surprise, women are largely absent from that fan club.) The researchers have a few pieces of advice for the creative community, including integrating the TV campaign with other media, seeding the ad broadly, leaving a clear brand impression and producing an engaging spot. And perhaps most important, don't hold your breath.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

BMW's S 1000 RR can also clear your table in under 3 seconds

Posted on Wed Mar 10 2010

BMW found an unusual way to showcase the capabilities of its new superbike, S 1000 RR. The automaker created this video where it conducts an experiment demonstrating the bike's ability to go from zero-to-60 mph in under 3 seconds. The S 1000 RR is shown yanking a tablecloth from underneath an extra long table full of dishes. As the driver speeds away with the tablecloth tied to the bike, a psychedelic tune plays in the background, adding to the spectacle. The dishes on the table remain undisturbed and the driver, along with several other men, celebrate the successful experiment. At the end of the video, there's a plug for the S 1000 RR and text that reads: "Welcome to planet power." BMW claims the S 1000 is the brand's most powerful production bike so far. The stunt is meant to get consumers buzzing about the bike. However, BMW advises you against trying the experiment at home with your mom's dishes.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

So much for the friendly, upload-your-face viral marketing effort

Posted on Tue Apr 14 2009


Dear sci-fi nerds: So, you saw the recent remake The Day the Earth Stood Still, you bought the special-edition DVD, and now want to send a swarm of matter-destroying locusts to destroy the houses of your best friends and worst enemies, right? Awesome. Now you can. No special alien powers or G.O.R.T.-like sidekick necessary. Just use your keyboard input appendages to type an address, and say good-bye. The realistic news alert, sent to an e-mail inbox, is enough to even get the icy-cool Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) in a state of panic. 

—Posted by Yana Polikarpov

Pharrell will do literally anything to be able to eat at McDonald's

Posted on Fri Mar 27 2009

Some people would do anything for a Big Mac. Apparently, so would some celebrities. In this very entertaining YouTube video, which has received over half a million views in only three days, music producer and rapper Pharrell is shown breaking into song and dance at a McDonald's in exchange for a meal. Here's the problem: It's 6 a.m., and the McDonald's is located in Paris, where the employees seem to have no clue to who Pharrell is. When the employees refuse to serve him anything but breakfast, Pharrell starts singing a classic McDonald's jingle—asking for a Big Mac, an apple pie, a milkshake, anything! He continues repeating the jingle and does a dance in hopes of getting what he wants, at which point the McDonald's staff walks out of the restaurant either to call security or to escape what appears to be a slightly nutty man. A McDonald's rep confirmed that the stunt wasn't commissioned by the fast feeder. However, he was impressed with the publicity. The rep said: "We were surprised and entertained by the video of Pharrell performing [our jingle]. We certainly welcome him as a customer, and we appreciated his spontaneous and funky celebration of our food."

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Samsung sheep art: computer tricks or just great herding skills?

Posted on Fri Mar 27 2009

This viral Samsung video showing talented sheep herders, sheepdogs and LED-sweater-clad Welsh sheep has stirred over 3 million viewers on YouTube and is a bona fide Internet sensation. The sheep run around creating various fun images on a hill in the Welsh countryside, like a moving computer Ping-Pong game, fireworks, and even the Mona Lisa. Makes you wonder exactly how much free time the people of Wales have, to be able to dress and choreograph hundreds of fluffy ovine. The debate is on about whether all or just some of the created displays are real. Don't you baaastids try to pull the wool over my eyes now!

—Posted by Yana Polikarpov

7-Eleven celebrates that most terrible pain known as brain freeze

Posted on Thu Mar 19 2009

Brain freeze laboratory

We all know what "brain freeze" feels like. It's that moment when you realize you chugged your Slurpee way too fast and then the dull ache grips your head for a good 30 seconds. During that time, you vow never drink anything that cold that fast ever again, until you forget and do it again about a minute later. 7-Eleven is attempting to illustrate this common experience at The Slurpee Brainfreeze Laboratory. You can upload your photo and then abuse yourself with any of three Fanta-flavored Slurpees. Each distorts your face, using Oddcats PhotoFace technology, as the freeze takes hold. The site is sort of fun, but seemed painfully slow to load, which is a whole different type of torture.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

The global compliance and ethics company wants you arrested

Posted on Tue Mar 10 2009


Creepy is all we have to say about this new viral campaign from Corpedia, a global compliance and ethics company. To generate buzz for the brand using low-cost tactics, the company created a customizable fake news video that you can send to friends which implicates them in an ethics scandal. How timely! This is what happens, the video suggests, when you live in a "world without Corpedia." (For the record, no, I wasn't ever arrested for porn violations.)
  A few companies have done the fake-news-video viral thing. Showtime famously created a controversial video for Dexter that made it seem like the recipient was being stalked by a serial killer. Disney went the other direction (obviously), with a video imagining you being feted with your very own official day at one of its theme parks. Corpedia's effort is nice and dark. Who knew a global compliance and ethics company could have a sense of humor?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Britain's crack BBC news crew discovers viral advertising

Posted on Fri Feb 20 2009

_45495872_cadburyviral Don't get us wrong. We love the BBC. When tragedy hits, there's no better way to get the news than via Great Britain's state-sponsored newscast. Whatever happens, you can be sure it will be delivered in that stiff-upper-lip style that says everything will be OK. But that's not to say that the Beeb is necessarily cutting edge when it comes to spotting trends. In February 2009, for instance, the BBC has declared that "Viral advertising has taken the internet by storm" and runs through a few examples like the Cadbury "eyebrows" ad and that guy who shoots video of himself dancing in all parts of the world. Thankfully, Matt Golding, director of a viral ad firm called Rubber Republic, asserts that viral advertising really is nothing new. "The word viral is used because whatever you're talking about has been passed from person to person," he explains helpfully. Next up: A BBC story on cell phones. They're everywhere!

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Eric Benet's "Chocolate Legs" might be the best song in history

Posted on Fri Feb 13 2009

Some artists have voices so velvety smooth, they can "sing the phonebook," as the saying goes. But Eric Benet's "Chocolate Legs" is in a class by itself—a song that manages to sound vulgar and hilarious at the same time, thus giving me both shits and giggles. It's my new favorite thing, and I want this a cappella version to be a viral sensation. Won't you help me?
  What's not to love/hate? I can imagine a video that would involve R. Kelly, a midget, Andy Samberg and a certain other appendage in a box. To some, the term "Chocolate Legs" might conjure up an icky French dessert—say, a frogs' legs fondue. For Benet, though, the inspiration was the financial meltdown. "This world is hard," theorizes The Artist Formerly Known as Mr. Halle Berry in his serious-issues voice. "And people can't figure out whether they're going to buy milk or bread this week." He then says he gets through the day by ensconcing himself in his ladyfriend's gams. Or something like that. And then he breaks into an uninvited falsetto.
  Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying he can't sing. It's just that he's crooning the goofiest lyrics ever committed to sound waves. And meaning it. I get the feeling he would have sung it on the floor of Congress to bolster the stimulus package if President Obama had asked.
  Maybe there's potential for consumer brand tie-ins. Hershey's? Nestle? Any takers? This idea has legs. Delicious, chocolately legs.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp



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