advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Friday, May 8, 2009

That viral thing.

Triumph Boats with N.C. agency The Repuplik put out a recent vid turned viral with angry Carl trashing his cheatin’ wife’s trailer. Only it’s not hers! Trashed trailer ensues! Compared to other cgi-heavy virals stuff costing a lot more, this is pretty good. A few minor things from the cheap seats that I’m applying to not just this viral, but others I’ve seen. (Sounds like I’m bashing things but it’s really minor stuff.) Some comments I saw felt planted and a few discussed the “fakeness” of the vid itself, but it’s believable in a Reno 911 way. I would’ve gone the extra step and shot completely on video though and not gone for a filmed look.

The whole premise was “caught on tape” and this still feels too slick. (Call Rhett and Link for help—they’re local.) Even have a crew show up like COPS and shoot it from the officers POV as it was happening. Other versions have a fake bimbo newscaster to lead the story, but this didn’t need it. Her puns undermine the feel they had going. (Would’ve liked to see typical local news desk two-anchor thing, then cut to her.) I didn’t think it needed a payoff at the end either with the boyfriend.

Okay, so up to this point, maybe you watched the the clip or not, but either way, you would have never guessed the purpose of the vid was to actually show how indestructable the boat was. This is something all agency virals have been doing though. Even though online clips can now run any length of time, the :30 TV spot mentality is still alive and well as brands have agencies keep adding in extra story elements. The traditional Problem > Benefits > Solution once run through the viral filter online now becomes: Set-up > Event happens > Punchline.

You could argue that because it’s unbranded it makes it real. Eh, maybe, but fake dialog and forced scenarios which inevitably show up in hese things undermine the lack of any branding. Don’t get me wrong—I love watching rednecks *said with affection* destroy stuff—but I’d also argue back that you could apply Will It Blend logic here. Take the traditional dynamic of product benefit head on and see what stuff the boat could destroy and thus extend this series.

This is a hybrid of the two types of virals known to scientists and the difference between unseeded “real” and agency-produced efforts : 1) An amazing performance whether staged or not, (Levi’s jump jeans), or 2) A genuine human moment/event caught on tape (Don’t Tase Me Bro). The special cousin to both is the forced celeb viral endorsement, but I don’t have a clever name for that yet. There are no other kinds though so don’t send me emails saying there are. Most agency efforts are a little of 1 & 2, but they don’t always need to be. The draw here is that sometimes people just like watching shit blow up, crash or fall.

*raises hand*

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