Less "commercial" viral videos are more believable
Date of webcast: 25 October 2012 10:58 GMT
We’ve seen a couple of cracking little hidden camera campaigns over the past week or so.
Difficult to miss has been the Coke Zero campaign to support the brand’s Skyfall sponsorship.
Meantime, less famous perhaps, but a lovely piece of thinking and creative, was this little gem for LG.
But the thing that I’ve been pondering this week is whether (certainly in the case of the Skyfall work), the whole thing just feels a bit too “perfect”?
In the time since it went live there have been a number of accusations that those filmed are actors and that the whole thing is therefore a bit of a fake.
And indeed it is incredibly polished.
Which would be fine if it were an ad, rather than something masquerading as a piece of hidden camera content.
If, for example, we had seen some of the out-takes – of the blokes who stopped to chat up the bird in the red dress for example, rather than tripping on the rolling oranges in slapstick style – it might have felt a lot less like it was a … well, ad?
I’m pretty sure that, had that been the case, the whole thing would have generated a far greater reach.
There’s been (that I’ve seen and have been able to find), remarkably little written about this campaign – it’s hardly a T-Mobile Full Month, that much is for certain. I’m pretty sure that, had the film looked and felt a less polished, it would have done a lot better in traditional media.
No such question marks over the LG campaign.
It’s nowhere near as polished, for sure. But somehow the fact that this piece of work sets itself up as an ad … and then delivers an ad, seems to have gone down far better with the punters (albeit with lower numbers of them).
So what’s the lesson for the rest of us?
Perhaps that the ad agency approach to virals – where the content looks and feels all clean, polished and sparkly – is going to feel faked (even where that isn’t the case) and that the viewing public would prefer to suspend their belief and see something that looks less “commercial” (in both senses).
Also that a great piece of content (and both Coke and LG have produced that here) is always going to fly higher, further and faster when there is a community of fans who will spread the word.
This content works best where the product message is loud and clear – it may reach fewer people, but they are more likely to hear what you’ve got to say.
And, just maybe, perhaps that it’s time to give hidden camera activity a rest for a bit?
James Gordon-MacIntosh is a managing partner at Hope&Glory PR and occasionally pens things on Spinning Around, a blog that he describes as “thinking out loud”. He hasn’t been thinking much lately.