Yawn. Sorry. We just can't help it. Viral. Viral Viral. It just makes us wish the word never existed. Well, at least for describing advertising efforts otherwise known as videos. Yes, people, videos. They are, after all, just videos. THEY AREN"T VIRAL UNTIL A SHIT TON OF PEOPLE VIEW THEM!
OK, sorry, we tend to off on that one.
Anyway, Audi's out with a collection of new VIDEOS (oops, sorry) that depict freakty electrical happenings like a lawnmower gone crazy, static electricity that sends a kid across the room and a lightning storm that attack Frankfurt.
All to promote a new car. Yea. A new car. Makes one long for those boring winding mountain road commercials that just, well, show the car. Which is, after all, what everyone wants to see in the first place.
Sorry Sean, Dan's talking about both kinds of spirits and I'm not missing this. It began as an innocuous enough of a PR announcement:
"Actor, screenwriter, musician and now distiller Dan Aykroyd, whose credits include Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy, will sign purchased bottles of his Crystal Head Vodka at the PA Wine & Spirits store at 1218 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10."
Until you Googled Crystal Head Vodka. How do you not love this guy after watching him talk about spirits? (8 min clip below.) Looking back, the UFO doc sure makes sense now. And the $49.99 pricetag? Genius! People always pay more for the paranormal.
Through the magic of YouTube, Choose a Different Ending walks you almost seamlessly through a tense scenario between street kids. As it progresses, you get to decide what happens next and how you -- as a character -- will react.
The choose-your-own-adventure model's been used before, notably by Twix, but not this well or for this provocative a cause. We were surprised by how the experience captured our curiosity -- and also by a lot of the endings. (When you elect to talk things out, it's rare that you expect to be gutted like a fish.)
Those shit-quality YouTube clips, where something extraordinary happens and you're supposed to wonder whether the footage is real, probably feel like the video advertising equivalent of cavepainting to you by now. Sure there've been classics, but by and large we've all evolved, right?
Behold "Dairy Chicken," a piece so square you're left thinking these people knew exactly how lame they were being and just surrendered to their destinies. In it, some guys at a park catch a chicken sipping from somebody's milk glass. (Who brings glasses of milk to the park?) And suddenly the chicken flashes the camera a big toothy smile.
Ho there. Know what we never get tired of? That retail-superhero crap that Best Buy did with Geek Squad and Dell tried doing with Nerd Buddy.
But that's cool, because this is Sears, and you know they're hurtin' for imagination.
In defense of the Sears Blue Electronics Crew, we will say real-time price-checking is neat if it works the way it does in the ad, and we dig how research-intensive purchases, like a new TV, are made to look like a rest-easy impulse-buy process.
The slogan is equally brief: "Sears: Life. Well Spent."
These are the parts we like. The parts we don't: it's derivative, as usual; the piece is too long; and we feel like they tossed in Brett Farve because a celebrity face will ensure at least some campaign love. Also, did they even do the price comparison before Farve OK'ed the buy?
Nice tie-in with the "waffle" joke though. High-five for that, Y&R/Chicago.
American Apparel is using YouTube to push a series of tutorials that teach all the different ways you can wear Le Sac, a versatile little sheath with string.
The vids are short, clean and to-the-point. Certainly helps that the demonstrator is easy to look at and listen to. (Can't help going there, but we speculate whether the Infamous Dov ever tried copping a feel. It's an unpleasant thought.)
"Schizophrenic Man Terrifies Kids at Party" is a YouTube piece released by English mental health charities Mind and Rethink under their "Time to Change" campaign. We like how it plays on our expectation of crass amateur video fare to illustrate two important messages:
o That people with mental disorders can function in society
o That retaining the stereotype of the off-the-hinge crazy person is counterproductive for everyone involved
It also reminded us that as kids, we were always screamy-scared about stuff we couldn't see, however facile or harmless said "stuff" actually was. And then, lightbulb moment, it was like hey, tripping out about schizophrenia is kind of like that.
Australia's ANZ Small Business tapped M&C Saatchi to develop an ad both funny and sympathetic to its target demo: small business owners.
That doesn't sound like tons of fun, so we didn't expect it to be, especially when we saw the length of the clip: 1:40? And in sepia? Why not force our eyes open with steel rods, too?
The spot itself starts out innocuously enough: a suited man is walking down the street, somebody calls his name: "Jack!" He starts to run. As the spot progresses, the variety of people -- butchers, mechanics, a Chinese restaurant owner -- that catch sight of him and give chase increases, adding to the dramatic tension and making way for a few semi-amusing stunt scenes. You lazily wonder what the punchline is.
How completely insane. Here is a series of videos that purport to teach you how various indie emo hipster-looking people achieve their MySpace profile pic angles.
Sounds innocuous enough. Even seems to promise a spirited joke or two: how does the Crooked Bathed-in-Light guy get his gooseneck lamp to cast just right?
Click on one to view the how-to. What you discover is that each person, or group, is actually a disfigured or terrifying zombie/witch/monster thing. Then you're walked pragmatically through the process of how they covered blemishes and used various cheats on their cameras to make themselves as MySpace-worthy (and, uh, human-looking) as possible.
We were thinking the other day about all the technological advances that happened with dolls when were kids: the kind with the hair you could cut that grows back, or the one whose hair changed colour when you ran a cold hairbrush through it, or -- our personal favourite -- the one that pissed into a changeable cloth diaper! after suckling real fluid from a bottle.
So maybe Spanish doll maker Berjuan is adding a logical cobblestone to what's already a long illustrious tradition. Still, this demonstration for Bebe Gloton, a doll little girls can pretend to breastfeed, left us suffering from WTF Face.