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In Spain, a video created by Tiempo BBDO Barcelona which shows two guys sneaking into the contry's parliament building to steal the chair of Prime Minister Zapatero has racked up over 421,000 views on YouTube and created a media frenzy with coverage in El Pais and Spitting image. Part of a United Nations campaign against poverty, the message left in place of Zapatero's chair reads "Zapatero, get on your feet on October 16 to protest against world poverty" which ties nicely to the stolen chair since, without a chair, Zapatero would have to stand the next time he went to parliament.
The video was believed to have been real by the media until the agency issued a statement to the contrary. Yes, it was staged. Part of the video was shot in parliament. The window the two climb through is not the parliament building. The shots inside parliament are the real deal but they didn't steal the actual chair, instead, using a prop. Real, unreal or otherwise, it certainly got the desired attention and media coverage for the cause.
Like a clumsy butcher trying to trim the fat off a mouse, this virally-intended hack job is supposed to promote the new Nokia E-Series Smartphone by enabling one to create a personalized message from an overbearing company CEO and send it to a friend. Trouble is, like that annoying "Head On. Apply directly to the forehead" commercial, this creation is so bad...uh...oh wait...we didn't finish reading the release. OK. There it is. "The jerkiness of the clip transitions add nicely to the impersonal irony of the message." There. That explains the hack editing job. Irony.
The clip is being seeded by Rubber Republic which tells us there's an NDA that prevents them from telling us who created the piece. Hmm. A smart move. Wait until if and when it becomes popular, then take all the glory. If it fails, face saved.
"No! No! No! No, it's not a clandestine promotion for the band Sick Puppies, " our intern yelled at us. "But, come one, a guy in a video with a sign that says Free Hugs roaming around in Sydney, Australia just hoping to brighten the world with nothing to gain from it?" we shouted back. "Yes you jaded idiot," screamed the intern, "Not everything on YouTube is trying to sell you something."
Not convinced, we stood up and asked, "What about this little gem on the Free Hugs website that says 'With grass root marketing tactics we promote products and ideas that are in line with our core values and the FREE HUGS message.'? I suppose that just means the products and ideas they claim to promote are love and goodwill?"
"Damn," the intern who was now jumping out of her seat bellowed. "You pompous, unfeeling know-it-all! Do you think the only thing every human being thinks about is getting the newest version of the iPod?" "Um, yes," we answered.
"Fuck you," she screamed as she turned and left, likely to go give someone a free hug.
Oh how we love a fun viral campaign. Especially when it comes from the biggest of big boys, GM. They've had three amateur videos floating around since the beginning of the month that, while capturing seemingly innocent events, reveal flying cars in the background. Will Video For Food has a good analysis of the campaign and points out an accompanying Anglefire (that company is still around?) website called Future Technology Today which delves deeper into the videos. The whole thing became very obvious once GM began running ads promoting its 100,000 warranty on Jalopnik showing flying cars in the banners.
While we in the industry love to analyze this stuff to death, we wonder how effective virals like this are once it becomes obvious it's a GM commercial. At first glance, one might not notice all the cars in the videos are GM. But anyone with a web connection and Google can quickly find all the answers they want about these videos. We're not complaining. We're just wondering.
A couple weeks ago Davis Freeberg sent us a link to a video called Blue Moon, a 50's-style video explaining an important scentific discovery that turned out to be, yes, a TiVo. Of course, the whole things just a viral campaign and theres a website, TiVoisAliens to go along with it as well. Now, Freeberg dug deeper and found what he claims was some hacking into his computer after tracking down the IP address of the person running the TiVoisAliens site. He even claims subtle imagery of the Ogilvy logo is present in one of the spoof images on the site. Rather than going to all this trouble, perhaps TiVo should just stop playing nice with marketers and make a product that actually does what consumers want: skip commercials.
Gary Brolsma, famous for starting the worldwide Numa Numa craze over a year ago is back and back in a big way. He's capitalizing on the global viral fame he achieved with his original home grown video with a new "New Numa" video to promote his New Numa website on which people can enter the $45,000 New Numa contest by making their own video to the tune of the New Numa song. Making sure to fully capitalize on his fame, Gary also offers ringtones, iTunes downloads, chats with Gary, Cafe Press Numa Numa gear and an Americanized version of the song by Dan Balan. It's all pretty kitschy considering Gary's beginnings and, if successful, a proof point on the power of viral marketing.
Of course there's already detractors saying he's sold out but others thinks he's leveraged his unplanned fame into something with a revenue model. We side with the latter and think the dude could be onto something big. You can check out all the angst here in the forum section of the site. It's all pretty obsessive but fun at the same time.
In support of the potential of viral advertising, we are duty bound to force feed you this force fed viral (cartoon and video) that attempts to force itself, like the NZgirl helicopter stunt, to go viral because, well, that's what viral's about right? I mean all you have to do is create some witty thing like Pherotones or slap a few pictures of the King with Brooke Burke on Flickr or make a stupid video clip of some guy break dancing or, oh, let's see, create a video illustrating how your agency goes about pitching the Subway account just to, oh, prove that viral marketing works and just sit back and watch it all happen.
So, we're going to oblige AdWeek cartoonist David Jones in his quest to prove just about anything you want can become viral because, well, the agency told the client they could do it and, dammit, they're gonna do it. So take a look at Send to a Friend!
With the tagline "you have no idea what a difference that makes" applied to both sex without a condom and the choice between living healthy or living with AIDS, this video showing two men in the throes of getting it on sends a powerful message and hopes to raise awareness in the country of the increasing spread of HIV in the gay community.Created and released virally on the web by AddictAD, the video has been viewed 200,000 times since launching less than a month ago. A heterosexual version is planned as well.
To promote the launch of Koch Media's Crusty Demons game, London's New Media Maze has created a virally-intended little game in which you decide where on a woman's body you want place a tattoo, write a message then send it to a friend. We found ourselves somewhere in the middle of two round objects with the message "Adrants Was Here."
- Davis Freeberg sends us this long form commercial for TiVo called Blue Moon which is a 50's-style video explaining an important scentific discovery that turns out to be, yes, a TiVo.
- While we really like this new campaign for Florida's Commerce Bank which, in the TV spot, asks "When did you stop thinking you were a magician?" and other kid-related things along with images of kids that change to adults at the end of the commercial, there seems to be a missing transition between the innocence of dreaming in kidhood and Commerce Bank's assertion you can keep dreaming in adulthood if you bank with them. The work was created by Hispanic agency, The Lab thelabideas.com
- Put your Hispanic marketing caps on because the demographic segment is growing eight times faster than other other groups and will, this year, match the purchasing power of African-Americans spending over &800 billion.
- Arthur Schiff, the man behind the classic Ginsu Knife commercials as well as many other informercials died earlier this week at the age of 66.
- Debuting next week during the Come Out & Play festival in New York this month will be "kill them with kindness" game called Cruel 2 B Kind. The game assigns players one weapon and one weakness which consist of random acts of kindness which are to be delivered to other players who could be anyone on the street in the game zone.
- Maverick Media has created another Windows Live Messenger video, called Bottle, that points out the dangers of using old technology to deliver office messages.
- South African singer Verity is hoping record her album by pre-selling 5,000 CDs through a project called the Lucky Packet Project to finance the cost of recording the album. About ten percent of the revenue will go to the South African charity People Opposing Women's Abuse.
- OK, this Great Escape video for the PSP game Dark Mirror is just weird but it definitely reminds one to be sure which bed they slip into the night before.
- T-list is taking social media physical by selling t-shirts on which people can place thisr top five lists of bands, movies, places or any other list one might find on MySpace or any other social media site.
- Getting even closer to the day ads will be affixed to the back of church pews, the Boy Souts of America are now accepting brand sponsorship of its Scout Badges.
- While you may have heard of this stunt already, here's the video of UK artist Bansky "punking" Paris Hilton's new CD by buying copies, altering the cover sleeve's content and replacing her CD with an audio remox of her favorite and inane comments.
- A&T is hyping its online entertainment site Blue Room by airing, on September 10, footage from the Conde Nast Fashon Rocks pre-party featuring Elton John performing highlights from the songs on his upcoming The Captain and the Kid album.