While it's about five minutes longer than it needs to be, this video, created in January to promote LiveVault disk data back up, thankfully, features John Cleese who can make anything amusing. In the video, Cleese, taking on the persona of Institute for Backup Trauma Director Dr. Harold Twain Weck (ha, ha, get it?), explains why disk back up is better than tape back up. Particularly humorous is when Cleese goes off on the IT staff explaining that while it might be difficult explaining the need for dick back up to IT types whose offices are festooned with Dilbert comics and stacks of Diet Pepsi cans as if they were the latest Martha Stewart home decor, Cleese's Institute for Backup Trauma has the solution.
Combine a bucket full of fruit, a wood chipper and bunch of bored guys in the backyard of suburbia and what do you get? A quirky online promotion from Taco Bell for their new Mountain Dew Baja Blast drink. After viewing a video of the backyard stunt, which doesn't go quite as planned, the viewer is taken to a promotional site for the drink. At the site, which carries a surfing motif, visitors can get surf board construction tips, view actual surf via links to surfline.com, search for the perfect wave which delivers a list of the nearest Taco Bell restaurants, call a number and listen to a voice mail message and enter the ubiquitous, but cheap in this case, sweepstakes to win one million...Pesos, that is...not dollars. One million Pesos is $88,000.
GamesRadar surmises OurColony to be another ilovebees-like viral campaign. ilovebees, created by 4orty 2wo, an agency created by former Microsoft employees, promoted Halo 2 with an extended and elaborate campaign. GamesRadar believes Microsoft is employing the same tactic to promote Xbox 2. Site visitors are encouraged to recruit five friends who then compete in challenges to win gifts. GamesRader reports some of the gifts contain pictures hinting at Xbox 2. Additionally, flyers have been spotted attached to billboards, lampposts and on the walls and windows of game shops. As always, time will tell.
OK, let's make this a group effort because we are getting tired of trying to find out who's behind these elaborate stunt marketing schemes. This one's called BovineUnite and it's all about cows uniting in a clandestine, Nazi-esque manner. It's promoting something that will launch May 5 and tells visitors to "tune into the networks between 8:45 and 9PM for further instructions." It's got everything: videos, a blog, wallpaper, IM icons, games and lots of moo sounds.
Because we can't help ourselves, there are some findings we can share. Whois info points to domain registrant William Davis residing in Bel Air, Maryland which Google Satellite reveals to be what looks like a residential neighborhood. Upon calling the phone number provided in Whois, a woman provided the work phone number for Davis which, when called, led to a company called Eisner Interactive. Davis is listed as VP, Director of Operations. None of the clients listed on the companies site jump out as obvious choices for this effort but, then again, what smart agency would list a client for whom they were doing a stealth effort such as this? We placed a call to the provided number but, of course, got voice mail. We did, however, confirm that Davis is a real human being working at a real agency.
Someone in Ask MetaFilter says the marketing firm RedPeg Marketing, which lists some very major brands as clients, is behind it. Another Ask MetaFilter poster claims to have seen a truck in Bethesda, Maryland with the words "Bovine United" on it and the poster later saw four people dressed in cow suits waving in front of a Barnes & Noble.
As always, more to follow...
UPDATE: In comment, two people suggest it could be Chik-Fil-A. We're not quite sure what cows have to do with chicken, though, other than there being used to illustrate some sort of "uprising" against humans eating meat...like their current ad campaign as pointed out in comments.
UPDATE II: Since old comments are gone due to the redesign, I'll state here. It's been confirmed this is the Maryland State Lottery. This was previously stated in the old comments.
Those who toil in the creation of B to B advertising know there's seldom a time when the work approaches the level of so-called "fun" their counterparts in consumer advertising supposedly experience working on those cool accounts like Apple, Volkswagen or any beer account. [Ed. I know. I've been there.] Thanks to Andreas, after viewing this little animated video created for Hitachi, there's proof at least a few who work in B to B are having a bit of "fun."
To explain how a 6GB hard drive, like the one in an MP3 player, can hold 30,000 songs instead of 3,000, this Hitachi video illustrates, amusingly, how lining up the bits in a perpendicular manner (as opposed to laying flat), can dramatically improve a hard drive's storage capacity. A 30,000 song iPod would sell pretty well, don't ya think?
OK, OK. We give in. We'll write about this. Even though we saw it already, our inbox needs a break so here's the deal. Tiring from the all the Subservient Chicken copycats (alright, there weren't really any), we opted not to cover this much hotter version of the "tell me what to do" marketing microsites. But now you've made us do it. At this site, called Virtual Bartender, for beer enthusiast, beer.com, you can boss a hottie around to your heart's content. She'll take her shirt off for you and typing "show me your panties" gets a good result as well. And yes, she has a Pamela Anderson-like pillow fight too. Have fun. Drink more beer.