Advertising

A Big Hand for Honda “Hands”

Clocking in at two minutes, this Honda commercial would be a very expensive ad buy on prime-time TV, but thanks to the accessibility of YouTube and Vimeo, audiences are seeking it out online. The Honda “Hands” ad starts with a cog, just like its award-winning Cog commercial (see July 24 post below). This time Honda teamed with Wieden + Kennedy London to “celebrate the curiosity of Honda engineers” who have made Honda the world’s largest engine manufacturer and racing company since it was founded in 1948. Through “slight of hand” and brilliant animation, the cog morphs into a dazzling array of products, from motorcycles and jet planes to solar-powered cars and robots. The making of this video, directed by Smith & Foulkes and Nexus Productions, is a technological feat in itself. For brands that think they don’t have the budget for such an ambitious production, consider this: Is it better to do something middle-of-the-road and run it on prime time TV or to create something awesomely original that people will “google” to see on their own. If it is good, it will go viral.

Motion Graphics

Gangnam Style Flipbook Animation

Not much is known about the artist who created this Gangnam Style video, except that he goes by the moniker “etoilec1” on YouTube. The hand-drawn images are synced precisely to the music, making this animation fun to watch. Some report that the audio had to be removed for copyright issues, but it is up now…for how long, we don’t know.

Viral Marketing

Nokia N8 Mobile Phone Film Winner

Here’s a novel way to get consumers to test out your product. In March, Nokia announced a competition to shoot a short film entirely with a Nokia N8 mobile phone. It invited entrants to send in a story pitch and offered a $5,000 filming budget and two Nokia N8s to eight finalists.

“Splitscreen: A Love Story,” directed by UK-based JW Griffiths, won the first place award of $10,000.

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Humor

Online Video Ads Come of Age

According to industry forecasters, online video ad spend is expected to top $1 billion in 2011 and keep on soaring upwards. Even in the depths of the recession in 2009 when overall online advertising fell, online video spend grew by 41%. For good reason. Some of the most creative and memorable ads today are video ads found on YouTube and Vimeo that get tweeted and fanned virally. They run the gamut from the infomercial-like Blendtec video with the company’s CEO Tom Dickson liquefying an iPhone to JC Penney’s hilarious classic “Beware of the Doghouse,” which won the 2009 World Retail Award for Best Digital Retail Advertising Campaign. With the ads typically running more than a minute to nearly five, there is time to create an engaging storyline and no fear of being forgotten when the real TV program returns. Consumers click on it by choice and stay because it holds their attention. They recall the brand, the message and they like it.

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Viral Marketing

Moleskine’s Viral Strategy

Moleskine is a product that you are unlikely to see advertised on television or in print, but If you do a search for Moleskine on YouTube and Vimeo, lots of videos will pop up. That’s the way Moleskine customers like it. Moleskine has a cultlike following among designers, artists and writers enchanted with the idea of preserving their sketches, profound thoughts and poetic musing in the same kind of little black notebook used by Van Gogh, Matisse, Hemingway and Chatwin. No spiral-bound steno pads for them. No perfed sheets only good for writing down meeting minutes and grocery lists. These oil-cloth-covered black journals are meant to capture inspiration at its birth. If you believe the fans, Moleskine isn’t just a notebook or a bound sheaf of papers, it is a blank canvas for the creative mind. So, naturally this mystique lends itself to a viral marketing strategy, with new products launched on YouTube and spread through fan blogs and tweets. A Moleskine site called Detour gives viewers a voyeur’s peek into the personal Moleskine journals of well-known designers and artists, an inspiration in itself. Recently Moleskine celebrated the 30th anniversary of Pac Man with a limited edition notebook and a clever YouTube video. All of this gets linked and forwarded (as it is here), giving customers a sense of discovery and being part of a select artsy circle. Mass advertising on TV or marketing Moleskine as you would reams of copy paper and pencils would diminish its cachet. Viral marketing isn’t a strategy that works for all products, but it is right for Moleskine.

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