Posts Tagged ‘viral’

Dias’pura II promo videos

February 23, 2009

I’m guessing they’re meant to be somewhat viral, so here’s me playing a part in the chain.


Celebrity CEOs

January 24, 2009

The recent hoopla about Steve Job’s health and the ensuing hysteria among Apple shareholders (later proven to be unfounded, given Apple’s latest quarter results) has demonstrated the downside of having a headline-grabbing CEO at the forefront of a public company.  Investors, journalists and web pundits rigorously analyzed every single word in his interviews, press releases and memos, right down to the intonation of delivery (sparking a great catfight between CNBC’s Jim Goldman and Gizmodo, which can be seen as the perennial battle of old media vs. new media), and announced their findings through Apple’s stock price.  The SEC even deemed it necessary to step in and see if Apple had been misleading investors about Steve Jobs’ health.

You’d think this Steve Jobs episode might have scared some corporate bigwigs into downsizing their ambitions of becoming “celebrity CEOs”, but still they press on.  The latest to step up to the plate is Domino’s CEO, and it’s great viral material:

In a shocking ad aired during a commercial break on ‘American Idol,’ Domino’s CEO David Brandon tosses a cease-and-desist letter from the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust into the pizza oven. The ad has since gone viral, and there’s even a place on the Domino’s website where you can torch your own letter.

A great way to respond to your rivals’ lawyers, except that the lawyers in question are probably NOT watching American Idol, but are locked up in some conference room in Midtown, crafting another iteration of a more threatening cease-and-desist letter.  At least it’s more engaging than watching a talking head go on an ego trip:

Singapore has its own Steve Jobs too in Sim Wong Hoo, whose Creative Technologies fell off the rails ever since they signed Paris Hilton a few years back to endorse their MP3 players.  Much like the discussion about who’s gonna be the next celebrity CEO of America, Singaporeans are all wondering who’s gonna take over Sim Wong Hoo’s place as corporate Singapore’s “it” CEO?  One candidate might be CEO of Apex-Pal, Douglas Foo, who owns the Sakae Sushi chain in Asia.  I remember going to a talk organized by Contact Singapore in NY where he was speaking.  He eagerly showed us a corporate video, which had a line that said something about [paraphrasing here, don’t send me a cease-and-desist] “all this success [of Sakae Sushi] would not have been possible without the vision and leadership of our CEO” or something like that.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t close enough to him to see his facial expression when that part of the video was playing, but I guess he was just enjoying his own MacWorld moment – he was in town to finalize details of Sakae’s first restaurant in NY in the iconic Chrysler Building.  Which recently closed.  NEXT!

Here’s a review of the East Village Sakae outlet in NY by a Japanese show:

Raffles Place Ghost video

May 9, 2008

A recent viral video sensation in Singapore turned out to be a hoax. It started with a video, allegedly some CCTV footage of an elevator in an office building, with a couple of dudes just standing and chatting in the elevator. As they walk out of the elevator, a mysterious hunchbacked figure appears from one of the guys’ shadow, and lingers for a while before slowly lumbering out of the elevator. This video caused quite a rage in the local press (think WanBao) and it got a jillion hits on YouTube, with commenters debating whether it was real or fake. A blog soon popped up on, allegedly started by a group of university students who were investigating the video. Several more videos featuring strange “paranormal” activity in offices at night were featured on the blog. On Labour Day, the big announcement came – it was a fake video, created by a job search company called GMP, under the guise of warning people not to work late at night in case you see ghosts. Check out the explanation video here:

I have to admit, when I first heard that this was a hoax video as part of a marketing campaign, I was shocked. They got the eyeballs they desired – 169,465 views on YouTube as of this post; They captured the attention of mainstream traditional media; they engaged the blogging community in more discussions of the video on their accompanying blog. Unfortunately, they faltered when they decided to release that lame-ass explanation video with a direct link to the website.

According to The Feed Company, which was behind the wildly successful viral video campaign, RayBan’s “Catch”, social video’s audience would “rather be part of the campaign than be marketed to” (see their white paper on social video here). That means less “look at me, buy me” sort of ads, and more interactive, user-centric campaigns. The big corporations are realizing this as well, as evidenced by the Google video that featured people passing a Gmail envelope around, or the more recent Microsoft Ultimate Video Relay, all of which feature user-generated content. GMP was doing it right, creating buzz with their video which was actually chilling to watch, but they also created the biggest anti-climax ever in Singapore’s new media history when they had a corporate talking head making some tenuous link between ghosts, working late at night and finding the right job.

From an interview with the head of The Feed Company on Adweek:

What’s the risk for brands not being upfront that videos are ads?
We believe in a level of transparency. And transparency could be saying it’s an ad. It’s about not lying. [Not acknowledging sponsorship] is like going to a social event or party and not telling people your real name.

GMP’s like the irritating kid at banking/consulting recruiting sessions who displays the “Hello my name is” sticker tag prominently above his left breast pocket and has a fake, irritating grin plastered on his face, nodding fervently at everything the recruiter says. Watching the explanation video made me turn away in disgust at how lame and irrelevant their campaign was.

Nevertheless, they got my attention. And as the first viral campaign that captured the attention of the online community in Singapore, hats off to them. Please just put more effort into a proper, satisfying ending, and don’t leave us with a bad taste in our mouths.

As a reference, check out RayBan’s “Catch”:

as well as Levi’s viral video:

and Coor’s lower-budget video:

Also, Gawker dissects these videos here (Levi’s) and here (Coors).

[This post was inspired in part by a conversation with my roommate last night, who said that “everything in Singapore is just gross”.]

More info:

$100K spent on Raffles Place hoax –
Horror in Singapore – Raffles Place Ghost Video