The Onion Lampoons Viral. Tide Runs With It.

Last week, The Onion ran a wonderfully fictitious article by “Fred Hammond, Director of Digital Video and Social-Media Ad Integration, Tide Detergent.” Onion, you had me at hello. The desperately hipster editorial promotes his own low-involvement brand, and all of the cool (yet faux) social-media programs that try to engage Tide customers. Clearly Fred has read my “Stupidest Article on Social Media Ever.”

My absolute favorite line: “Go to Tide’s website and hang there for a while. It’s a totally awesome place to go and play online games and meet other cool fans of Tide products.” Because we always want to hang out with fellow customers of our brands.

The article opens by making reference to an “awesome new web video by Tide detergent.” A video that “everyone is discussing it on popular blogs and linking to it from social media platforms.” Sadly, there is no such video.

But in a self-deprecating and timely display, Tide and Digitas filled that void. Embedded below, please find Tide’s very own lampoon, which has already gotten some industry trade magazine attention (MediaPost). Per The Onion, Tide provides a hip rocker, puppets and groovy 80s music. Just 10K views so far, but that beats the ExpoTV product reviews littering Tide’s YouTube channel with views as low as 15. Even more notable is the sheer number of positive “likes” the video has so far (even though we know where some of those are coming from). And the video ends well like those rare SNL skits. Meet the bird in the laundry basket who tweets the finale.

Tweet

Some brands have cringed from The Onion satire. Others would have ignored it and moved on. Tide and Digitas get credit for embracing it, and riding it fairly quickly — especially by P&G standards. Despite my temporary Twitter hiatus, I couldn’t help but notice an @nalts tweet by Digitas’ John McCarus (who I met while working on a different P&G brand). His self congratulatory tweet just fits the whole thing beautifully.

Now for the learning for brands and social media folks:

  • Laugh at yourself. It makes others laugh with you, instead of at you.
  • Humanize the brand as being self deprecating
  • Move quickly (this wouldn’t have worked as well if it took one more week to post)
And the final lesson is revealed in this priceless quote by the fake author: “Everybody in my office has been going crazy for this video. It’s practically all we’ve been talking about.” Do everything you can to avoid drinking your own Koolaid and thinking/communicating that your brand is way cooler than it is. Let other people tell me how cool your brand is. 
In appreciation of this campaign I promise to: a) buy Tide, b) give Digitas props, c) not sue P&G for infringing on my Nalts logo.


 

Best Cartoon About Viral Video

Meet Tom Fishburne. He’s a former marketer that got wise and is pursuing his passion. Much like someone we know, who eventually sold out to corporate America again. I met Tom when he spoke at J&J and he looks like the kid in Sixth Sense.

This cartoon is brilliant because it reflects the naive hope that a viral-intended video will certainly go viral… and drive sales. If you haven’t heard this blather you may not find it as funny as me.

I wish I had it to include in Beyond Viral.

Nalts005

 

Google Plus to Rollout “Shoot the Tumbleweed” Game to Entice Stagnant Registrants

Karim began to visibly cry when he described the game, but then realized he still had $64 million in cash.

Of the 52.5 percent of active Internet users who have registered with Facebook-competitor Google Plus, only 7 percent have used the service, according to a fake comScore report. But Google Product Manager Jawed Karim said he was confident Google Plus was only beginning, and that his company has bold plans to increase use of the new social-media tool from an average 8 seconds a day to well over a minute.

“We are launching a “shoot the tumbleweed game,” Karim said. “Although my attorneys have advised otherwise, I’d like to describe it as a cross between those killer “shoot the monkey banners” I played as a toddler, but with all of the cute sound effects of Angry Birds,” Karim said, while holding back tears.

It won’t be enough, said Rainbow Rowell of Omaha.com. “Only three of my friends and family have actively started to use Google Plus,” she wrote. “What good it Google Plus if only half of my six friends and family members use it?”

Google Plus "Shoot the Tumbleweed" will mix Flash animation with real photos of the West

Health & Community: Pictures & Video’s Impact

I’ve seen YouTube’s power as a community, and occasionally it rallies on behalf of an individual or cause related to health. However I’ve yet to see a health community that’s truly powered by images and video (and involves patient-to-patient peer support leveraging webcams and the Internets).

In general, I like when the power of new-technology marketing is put toward a health cause.

Some of the graphics are a bit more compelling than others

Like imagine the video campaigns that can come out of the FDA’s imagery for cigarette packs! Graphic cigarette labels: Will they work? You damned straight they will… at least compared to text. The proof is in other countries.

They challenge, of course, will be to use these negative reinforcements the drive urgency, then positive-reinforcement and behavior change to help people. A scary imagine alone can have moderate effect, but people are generally more eager to change when you tell them how and try to go beyond scaring them into change.

 

Now on a happier but related note:

PatientsLikeMe is a health site where you can specify your illness(es), see how other people rated various treatments, and (if you wish) engage with other patients. The site jumped on my radar when it launched years ago, and I wrote the founder. It surfaced again when it surprisingly was able to publish findings on co-morbidities (if you have x illness, you may likely have y).

The site held a video contest answering the question “how has PatientsLikeMe helped you,” and here are the winners (see link for embedded videos).

Here are the top winners chosen across three different categories:

Most Creative Presentation:
tiredoftired of New Jersey for Depression Feels Like

Most Inspiring Story:
tired old me of Delaware for Patients Like Me: Bonnie Tipton

Top Voted (by peers):
Roulette67 of New Jersey for I Am Not Alone

 

I Love Cats (Girl Crying in “eHarmony Video Bio”)

She loves cats. She may be faking, or she may be eccentric. But the real question you should ask yourself is… why are we sharing this? It’s like Chris Crocker being dusted off for a revisit.

June 12 addition: And here’s Mikeny500’s “I Like Beer,” and my “I Like Doughnuts” with Pipistrello tonight.

 

Non-Boring SXSW Video!

Okay we’ve had our fair share of SXSW footage, but this one is darned entertaining. And I’m not just saying that because my adult hero is David Meerman Scott. Tim Washer provides a brilliant foil to the self-deprecating and faux-pomposity of Scott.

Oh sorry… not familiar with SXSW (South By Southwest)? 1999 called and it wants to revoke your license to use the Internet. And if you have heard of South by Southwest but haven’t attended, click here to see AlexBlagg’s “SkankJenk” tips for noobs to become “sout by southbests“.

This clip (and the Blagg tips on secret barbecues of Austin, self promotion bumping, and the importance of not sleeping and eating) bring the annual love-fest of “cool nerds” to life. Scott chronicles the “off the beaten path” aspects in short, comedic montages. I challenge you… no I DARE you to find more interesting coverage. Bring it.

Now let me just make one thing perfectly clear about the “alleged” batts of Austin’s bridge. I went to Austin. I watched for them for hours one night. Then the next night. On the third night I discovered the bat rumor is a cruel Internet hoax. There are no bats.

Credits for above video: Directed and edited by John Knowles
Shot by John Birdsong. Brought to you by the Roger Smith Hotel

Follow these peeps or live in shame:
twitter.com/rshotel
twitter.com/dmscott
twitter.com/timwasher
twitter.com/pancity
www.rogersmithlife.com

Tosh 2.0, Meet Double Dream Hands!

Well apparently I fell asleep on the viral road tour last month, because I completely missed the “Double Dream Hands” mini-meme, which seemed to have peaked in December 2010.

This morning I was encouraged by YouTube’s recommendations to subscribe to Fisheloph. The odd name, with the creepy thumbnail was more than I could resist, and I was tickled to discover this “Double Dream Hands” video featuring this most peculiar choreography instructional video for something called “Planet Rock.” Then I noticed a sea of parodies and variations suggestive of a meme… some with few views but worthy of more.

Choreographer John Jacobson brings the "Double Dream Hands" to the masses

For some background on this mini-meme, check out Eliot Glazer’s URLesque article about John Jacobson (his official site), that charismatic dancer who “is apparently on break from his shift at Petco.” In fact, after you learn his dance, you can buy his yellow polo if you want to get hip to the 2011 fashion trend.

So if you’ve seen this one, please shed some light. If you haven’t, please meet the 2010/2011 Double Rainbow… it’s Double Dream Hands, and we’d expect to see him on Tosh 2.0 soon. And be sure to see Hanford High School’s gym performance of Jacobson’s dance, accompanied by his vocal instructions. I’d like to see Tosh erecting the dance, and culminating with something as bodacious as Perez Hilton shooting Double Rainbows out his butt.

We hope to see the "Double Dream Hands" guy on Tosh 2.0 in a celebration of absurdity and ambiguous gayness. Add a swastika and some black jokes to jazz it up even more.

“Bed Intruder” Song Performed by Liberty University Choir

Hide your kids. Hide your wife. News clip > autotune > choir > news

Liberty University’s Vision Ministries’ parodied the Gregory Brothers (shmoyoho) auto-tune spoof, “Bed Intruder,” last week (source: Liberty.edu). The performance were soon posted to YouTube by students, but after comments about poor audio, Liberty officials decided to post the university-filmed version of the song to Liberty’s YouTube channel.

The “Bed Intruder” was inspired by an interview with Antoine Dodson (see interview here) and the auto-tuned musical parody followed soon after (see here). Vision’s version is below and here.)

At 2:17 (two minutes and 17 seconds) in, the tempo picks up and the snapping and cheering commences.

Care to sing along? Lyrics below:

He’s climbin in your windows
He’s snatchin your people up
Tryna rape em so y’all need to
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
and hide your husband
Cuz they’re rapin errbody out here
You don’t have to come and confess
We’re lookin for you
We gon find you
We gon find you
So you can run and tell that,
Run and tell that
Run and tell that, homeboy
Home, home, homeboy
We got your t-shirt
You done left fingerprints and all
You are so dumb
Rou are really dumb–for real
The man got away leaving behind evidence
I was attacked by some idiot in the projects
So dumb, So dumb, So dumb, So
He’s climbin in your windows
He’s snatchin your people up
Tryna rape em so y’all need to
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
and hide your husband
Cuz they’re rapin errbody out here
You don’t have to come and confess
We’re lookin for you
We gon find you
We gon find you
So you can run and tell that,
Run and tell that
Run and tell that, homeboy
Home, home, homeboy