It’s 2009 and Marketers Are Still Lying Via Online Video?

You know, it occured to me after writing that headline, that most of you will snip “marketers have and always will lied.” But let’s put that debate aside for a moment.

If the past few years have taught us nothing it’s that social media doesn’t respond well to advertising pretending to be otherwise. I’ve got probably 2 dozen examples in the WillVideoForFood archives. And here’s a new example.

Naked Communication trying to sell Witchery jackets using a vlogger pretending she’s trying to find the boy who left the jacket… Puleez- Cinderella and the glass shoe, and ads pretending to be otherwise.

SO 2006.

39 Replies to “It’s 2009 and Marketers Are Still Lying Via Online Video?”

  1. Awwwww, lonelygirl’s all grown up. How sweet. Bleh.

    You know, putting on a show is one thing. I myself plan on manufacturing some artificial drama sometime later this year, solely for entertainment purposes (I have an idea that entertains me, and I do it.).

    But this whole “pretending to be real to sell a product” thing is so 2006. Seriously, they got a couple journalists to fall for it. Then they smeared the journalists. Frankly, this will come back to get them. Yesterday, I didn’t know Witchery jackets existed. Today I have resolved never to buy one of their jackets as long as I live. The irony is that while I’m out job-hunting, I need to get a new jacket and now their brand is the only one that is a definite “no” on my list.

    They get an A for building rapid exposure, but an F-minus-minus for building actual “fans” or “loyalty” or “stickiness” or anything else that matters in REAL marketing. In a month, none of us will remember them, and none of us will be telling their friends about them. And THAT, friends, is why this approach is a guaranteed marketing failure.

    When will all these “viral marketer” wannabes realize that lots and lots of views overnight does not a good campaign make? It’s like that guy who’s created the MLM scheme on twitter. Sure, get 10,000 followers. None of them are targeted, and 98% will eventually unfollow you because you don’t interest me.

    No folks, I plan to stick to my sensible plan of making appealing content that brings people back, and by being open and honest. It never fails, which is a huge advantage over these campaigns that “sometimes succeed”

    Okay, enough ranting.

  2. I completely agree with what you guys are saying, this will ultimately piss off their potential consumers. I’m guessing the other two alternatives to creating a “fake” viral video are pre/post roll commercials and video sponsorships.

    What is the average CTA rate of sponsored video blogger vids?

    -Scott Summit

  3. The revealing part about these lonelygirl15 type ads shows how stupid and gullible (some) human beings are. My just referencing lonelygirl15 demonstrates how well they work. In some circles being the creator of that phenomenon will get you into some one’s door.

    Is it an ethical way to do business? No. But from the PR PR point of view they work. The only thing that the public needs to remember down the line is the name of the product. If this were a lie in a real life situation, say a charity or a love story, it might not pass gas on Oprah, but enough of the public accepts and perhaps even assumes that advertisers are going to lie to them so the name recognition eventually (sadly) outshines and outlasts the stunt.

    The best part of these ads on You Tube:
    1. the comments are funny.
    2. when the public finds out it’s all a set up the comments are even funnier.
    3. click –

  4. It’s not the first time Australia has had its LonelyGirl moment. There was also a YouTube account called CassieHasDreams which was setup obstensibly to be a vlogging channel by a girl named Cassie to report on wild firestorms in 2020. Of course Cassie was a paid actress promoting a telemovie on channel nine.

    Its disappointing but its hard to teach old marketers new tricks.

  5. Although as an aside the marketer responsible has “left” the company (which are not sure if they jumped or were pushed, but the outcome is essentially the same).

  6. Who needs these naked attempts at advertising. I’m to busy watching potty mouthed bathroom humor with snarky narrative thrown in for good measure. Right Peter?

    @MDJ I’m sure that Jan will lend you some brains. They have more to spare than the rest put together.

  7. @13
    Sanitized for my protection?

    “potty mouthed bathroom humor with snarky narrative thrown in for good measure”


    Oh I already knew the answer to THAT question, jischinger. So yes, I WAS joking. Or rather, my hydrocodone was.

  8. Hey MDJ,

    MY wife says I’m not using my brain, so it’s here if ya need it.

    (get well soon)

    On the subject of brand recognition after a stunt like this – that can be a bad thing just as easily as it can be good. You don’t need to remember the whole deal – you just have to associate “good” or “bad” with the brand. For me, “bad” is forever associated with this brand. When I hear the name I’m going to be reminded that they resorted to creating artificial drama, or at very least I’ll remember the negative feelings. Just because I can easily remember the names Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin doesn’t mean that I’m going to buy a T-shirt with their names on it.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that the axiom that “all press is good press” is a nifty little proverb, but proverbs are never 100% universally true, or they’d just call them promises. If you really want to get long term results, you need to build a marketing platform that draws in people, and gets them to 1-Stick around, and 2-Tell others.

    And as a final note, while this is likened to LG15, it’s not really all that comparable. As annoying as LG15 can be, I have to give them props for sticking with the story. To this day they’ve kept up the fictional storyline. The witchery lady? She made one video, and came out a month later on her second video. If you’re going to try and pull a scam like this, at least have some staying power.

  9. I would say ‘who cares, this is obviously fake’, but a lot of people have no skepticism ability at all and just believe everything like that whole Boxxy thing a few weeks ago.

  10. Dahlia:
    Deal. I’ll see if I can find an old vacuum cleaner box it’ll fit in. And a plain brown paper sack to wrap the box. PM me your addy over at YT.

    That onion video IS funny! Betcha Kevin has one of those.

  11. @16
    And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

  12. Well. I guess when that ad fails…you will just have to buy the jacket to go with your ridiculous plaid Nikes that no one else wanted, either.

  13. @27
    Go to your nearest VA hospital. Find the designated smoking area near the emergency room entrance. Listen for the most ignorant loud-talker there. He’ll most likely be wearing what looks like homemade clothes. He’ll be in his mid to late 50s. He has some vicodan he might be willing to part with.

  14. @Sukatra Well maybe if you’d respond to my e-mails once in a while…we could work out some sort of deal.

    Some being so selfish and maybe people will SHARE with you.


    @nalts Hey Kev Kev…happy “going back to work” day!! YAYYY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. @30 – WTF? Kev is going back to work?

    am predicting he’ll be so frizzle tired, no new blogs or videos for at least a week.

    BSON, are you happy “for” him or happy to be “rid of” him? (not that you can’t be both.)

  16. Glad you are getting back to work, Nalts. Hope you are feeling better. I’m sure Jo and BsoN will be glad to get rid of you.

  17. The new Democrat Attorney General says that we are “a nation of cowards.” So why shouldn’t our advertisers lie, steal and deceive? They’ve nothing to fear from us cowards.

  18. I have to agree with you all here, this is an incredibly insulting bit of advertising and the ensuing debate/squabble with the press is an exhausted (if not pointless to begin with) topic. The standout difference I see between something like lonelygirl and a condescending ad such as this is that lonelygirl was conceived from the beginning as an experiment in the then-new realm of web series. It quickly became convoluted, transparent and was one of the first examples of blatant corporate sponsorship on youtube, yes, but there was an undercurrent of irony that made the whole debacle fascinating at the very least. A stupid endeavor like this australian ad is reminiscent of ads from companies that target demographics they think they understand, assuming they can adopt the appropriate slang and convince the populous of their street cred (think car commercials with skateboards). The main thing the advertisers have overlooked here is the fact that many, if not most of us have been youtubing as long as youtube has been around – we collectively invented this style and have watched it become what it is! Did they really think it was going to be easy to fool us? If this backlash has re-proven anything, lets hope it is that the advertising ego is no match for the collective intelligence of a social medium

  19. “…In things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”

  20. Yeah. In addition to the millions going to save the Pelosi salt marsh mouse in San Francisco, and the billions going to Acorn, there is a provision in the stimulus for flatulence prevention. It’s true. I read about it on a blog.

    Oh, and no ObamaChecks. Sorry. But you will be getting a $7/week tax credit. Go nuts!

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