Marriott Says Fat People Should Eat The Buffet


Obviously not a commercial running in the hyper-PC U.S., this spot promoting a Marriott All You Can Eat Buffet makes no apologizes for fat people being difficult to kidnap.

by Steve Hall    Jul-29-05    
Topic: Viral

Lips Moan For Lynx Deodorant


Not exactly the sort of site you want to visit at work unless you turn your volume way down, Lynx/Axe has developed a simple, little keyboard game that, for every different key you press, the pair of lips on the screen utter a different sort of moan. As Adland mentions, some enterprising soul could string all these sounds together into one huge, orgasmic song. The D, J and Y keys get right to the point. One has to wonder just how weird the recording session for this must have been.

by Steve Hall    Jul-27-05    
Topic: Viral

Media Falls For Viral Hook, Line, Sinker


Intended to look like a bunch of fellow employees helping a 31 year old, un-married co-worker find a date by placing a billboard and creating an accompanying website, the effort, created by Lindon, Utah-based logo design company LogoWorks turns out, apparently, to be a LogoWorks recruitment campaign as indicated by the DateLance website copy which reads, "You don't have to DateLance to meet Lance. You can work with him," followed by, surprise, a link to the recruitment section of LogoWorks. Also indicative this is marketing ploy is the disclaimer mice type which reads, in part, "You may not use if you 1) do not have a sense of humor 2) fear rejection."

Humorously and the the unmitigated glee of LogoWorks, hundreds of news organizations took the bait and reported the story straight singing the campaign-induced "guy needs date, friends help with kooky campaign" tune. Even the Washington Post ran the story, headlined, "Friends Mount Billboard for Bachelor."

by Steve Hall    Jul-25-05    
Topic: Viral

GAP Launches Dressing Room Viral


The GAP has created a site, called "Watch Me Change," on which visitors can play dress up and dress down with virtual models whose body size, facial features and clothing can be customized to suit an individuals taste. The model then does a little strip tease, goes in the the changing room and emerges, dressed as the chosen clothing. Of course, it has the whole send to a friend thing so we guess we have to call it a viral of sorts. It's mildly entertaining.

by Steve Hall    Jul-22-05    
Topic: Viral

AOL Uses Blogs and Video to Introduce AIM Mail


To promote its new AIM Mail, AOL has a couple of strange online videos, created by Attik. One has a receptionist drifting into a daydream which consists of superhero midgets...oops...dwarfs...oops...little people giving her a tickle attack. The other has a pair of sushi falling in love only to have one killed by getting eaten. Both end with @aim addresses and no other form of linkage.

Once at the AIM Mail site, there are blogs that promote the videos. The videos can be viewed here and here.

by Steve Hall    Jul-20-05    
Topic: Online, Viral, Weblogs

Nestea Ice Gets Kooky Microsite Treatment


Adverblog points to a microsite, created by Juxt Interactive and done up with a combined country/hip-hop/British twist, for Nestea Ice which hopes to attract 12 to 24 years olds guys with its music videos, T-shirts, branded character stories and a contest which offers chances to win a bunch of Sony products including a TV, mini stereo, PlayStation 2, games, music CDs and inflatable chairs.

by Steve Hall    Jul-20-05    
Topic: Online, Viral

'Billy The Finger' Promotes Virgin Mobile


Puppet Vision Blog points to another chapter in Virgin Mobile's Canadian "The Catch" campaign. This one, called "Billy the Finger," consists of a site with several videos in which finger act out various scenarios involving a shady cell phone salesman who attempts to convince Billy to sign up for one of those "bad" cell phone plans. The execution provides the viewer with the option to make decisions for Billy and view the various outcomes which include a trip to prison, a threesome, a hot cheerleader, circus acts, unintentional rear entry and finger burning.

The site is being promoted with fake "Wanted" posters in Toronto which don't mention Virgin Mobile but simply point to the Billy the Finger website which, as all viral-intended creations do, has a send to a friend feature which is labeled, cutely, "Finger A Friend." It's well done and amusing enough to create interest in checking out the various chapters of the story.

by Steve Hall    Jul-19-05    
Topic: Viral

Viral Advertising is A Response, Not A Strategy

Writing on an Adrants forum, Kevin Glennon brings a contrarian but common sense point of view to the practice of viral advertising. Glennon claims viral is not intended. He says it can't be planned and is a response, not an intent, to a piece of work that happens to be worthy of passing along. He claims there's no difference between a viral campaign and a successful campaign, writing, "You do not create viral campaigns or efforts. You try to create them. Just like you do not create successful ones. You try to. You can launch something funny that gets 20 hits, and it's not viral. Launch something that explodes into 200,000 hits overnight, and yes, it's viral. It's not viral until it's successful. Anybody who tells you otherwise is robbing you blind."

While Glennon's point of view is certainly true in many respects, the notion of viral marketers as enablers of viral activity - those that implement tactics to increase the likelihood an execution will spread - can't be completely dismissed. It's true that the best viral activity is organic but many creative pieces do find their way around simply due to a little "push" from these enabling companies. They may not go far after the initial push unless they are well received, thus successful in Glennon's words, but they wouldn't go anywhere at all without the push in the first place. It's an intriguing catch-22.

by Steve Hall    Jul-15-05    
Topic: Viral

Monitors Orgasm to Promote TVGuide Online


TV has launched a yet another orgasm-themed viral called "Fusebox" which, using a computer monitor and a flat screen TV, illustrates the attractiveness of TV Guide online content. According to discussion in an Adrants forum, it has not been well received by the industry. From the wide screen take over to load times to relationship to the brand, many found the effort underwhelming.

Fusebox, Inc. Creative Director, whose company created the spot and who, commendably and in an uncommon practice, placed this work up for discussion in front of a naturally voracious and opinionated audience, has promised to heed the advice of his peers during the creation of the next three spots in the series. Join the discussion here and offer your opinion. We know. We know. It's pain, but you have to join the network to read the forum.

by Steve Hall    Jul-14-05    
Topic: Viral

'Wedding Crashers' Promoted With 'Trailer Crashers'


New Line Cinema, like every other movie distributor has a website promoting its upcoming movies. But, for the release of its Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy, Wedding Crashers, New Line has added a twist and created a section of the movie's website where visitors can "crash" the movie trailer. Visitors who enter their name, a friend's name and their head shots will appear atop the bodies of their characters in a "re-cut" version of three minute online trailer. Once the "re-cut" trailer has been completed, people will want it to be seen so, of course, they'll send it out to their friends. It's a very simple, yet ingenious way to get the movie's site spread virally.

by Steve Hall    Jun-30-05    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Viral