The Onion Describes 'Cool New Tide Video' Before Digitas Creates It
Usually when a brand creates a virally-intentioned video, press commentary comes after its release. In a strange twist of events, the revers happened last week. The Onion wrote a lengthly article about a "cool new Tide detergent video" which went on and on ans on about, well, how cool the video was. Trouble is, the video didin't exist yet.
But that didn't deter Digitas from whipping up the video in a couple of days and posting it everywhere The Onion said it would be posted. As described in The Onion piece, "it's [the video] got these cute, funny talking animals, a cool indie-rock song, and it's just so hilariously random. And it's got this amazing cameo by Bret Michaels, which is so funny because Bret Michaels is hilarious and from the '80s."
And that's exactly what Tide and Digitas produced. Well, not exactly. They didn't get the actual Bret Michaels but they did get Ben Deily, an original Lemonheads band member and current Digitas employee.
If one didn't look closely at the date of know what The Onion was all about, one might assume the order of things were reversed. Or, well, to be clear, that the video came first.
Interesting stunt. Negative Nellys might dub this copycat work but they would be wrong. Digitas and Tide acted quickly to capitalize on a social conversation. Yes, you could label it publicity mongering but isn't that what, primarily, advertising is all about? Cutting through the clutter and gaining awareness of a brand? We think Digitas and Tide did the right thing. Your thoughts?