Well actually WillVideoForFood doesn’t have a “viral video marketers of the year award,” and even if it did, we’d wait until December to give it out. Still, this “Cherry Chocolate Rain” video sponsored by Diet Dr. Pepper’s Cherry Chocolate is a near perfect case study on smart online-video marketing.
Proof of the viral-video campaign’s strength is in the (chocolate) pudding…
- TayZonday cost relatively little relative to typical CPG ads (but probably wrote the biggest check the unsigned 25-year-old musician will ever cash).
- The brand identified a producer/director to help the singer, but gave creative freedom away… and kept the branding to a bare minimum. Had the branding been more overt, the pass-along would have dropped precipitously.
- The spot is funny, self-deprecating, transparent, tantalizing, and engaging. It includes music, pretty women, a bedazzled amateur with talent, and chocolate being tossed on squirrels.
- This same video posted by Dr. Pepper (instead of posted on TayZonday’s popular YouTube channel) would have been viewed maybe several thousand times at best, but it’s already up to nearly 3 million views since its November launch. By comparison, my most popular video was 4.5 million views and not sponsored. That view count is quite rare for a sponsored video — if each view is worth a nickel or dime to the brand, the program has probably paid for itself already.
- More importantly, it’s been featured on television which is equally rare for an advertisement. This alone probably justified the moderate cost of the program, and in fact may be worth more than the viral view.
- Check out the Google search results for “cherry chocolate dr pepper.” The video outranks the Dr. Pepper website, where a visitor will fumble through a bloated flash interface before finding the Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry Chocolate page and not even find the video (an intentional move). So the brand has a better experience now for curious consumers.
- While a few criticized TayZonday for “selling out,” most of us were happy to see an amateur capitalize on his talent. It’s a bit long for my taste, but it made me smile and made me aware of a brand I didn’t know existed until now (despite the fact that Diet Dr. Pepper is my second favorite drink after Diet Mountain Dew). Say, that reminds me. The Mountain Dew site is pretty cool, but they sure could use a viral video about farts.