VW – “Vanishing Car”
VW continues its dominance in this week’s round up with yet another fantastic ad displaying humor and creativity. In this ad VW utilizes some Back to the Future references as their test GTI is a time machine that goes to the past. A follow-up video, which can be seen here, continues the journey of the test drivers. Like the previous Beetle viral video, this one encourages audience participation by going to the official VW Facebook page to find out what the ad is all about. There are other videos which are listed in the “suggested videos” section of the YouTube sidebar, however, which can also help guide a curious viewer to next chapters of the narrative. This viral, like some other recent videos that have been posted, is of high quality but has not gained the views one would expect from the creativity implemented.
Motorola – “Payload”
Phone ads have become increasingly extravagant lately, but this one by Motorola may take the cake. This thing might as well be a mini-movie, with incredible stunts and special effects as well as an impressive soundtrack. There are even comparisons to be made between this ad and the movie Dark Knight that start with the incredibly cool stealth motorcycle and culminate with the copious amounts of leather. Not to mention ninja stars. Every ad should have ninja stars. While this ad hasn’t been released for very long, the amount of effort put into this “great phone robbery” has yielded a disappointing amount of views. At near 40,000 views this blockbuster is deserving of far more. Being San Francisco based, it’s also fun to see the commercial was shot on local streets.
VW – “Juiced Up”
There is nothing aggressive about the Volkswagen Beetle. Even its name is about as intimidating as a kitten playing with bits of string. This ad would have been a wash if it weren’t for the sudden tone shift that altered the focus away from the least threatening car on the road (second only to the Prius), and onto the most epic and incredibly creative interactive campaign, dare we say – In the world (a la Jeremy Clarkson). The highly unexpected and creative interactive campaign revolves around an app that can be downloaded from iTunes and allows iPhone and iPad users to select VW billboard ads around town and unlock secret animations. It isn’t clear how many of these interactive billboards exist or if the app is available for Android users, however. This type of ingenious advertising is something we’ve come to expect from VW over the years. Their fun theory viral commercials were wildly successful, not to mention the previous decades of advertising dominance in print and television. This video hasn’t garnered many views, even after being out for almost a month, but sometimes good videos slip through the cracks. The ad isn’t particularly creative but the app they are attempting to launch an awareness campaign about is. Maybe they should have launched a music video instead?
GEICO – “Guinea Pigs”
GEICO is known for making great commercials for both web and radio but this extended version of a T.V. commercial is especially perfect for the web. The guinea pigs in this commercial are adorable, and having them row a boat to produce electricity is just the right amount of crazy for a GECIO ad. The main actor in this spot is great – we can really feel his excitement when the guinea pig learns how to saw “row”, and his sadness when he loses one of his furry friends in the abyss of the garage. This ad never reaches laugh-out-loud status, but does manage to gently tickle the funny bone and cause smiles. There is no branding for this ad, not in the beginning or end, and the only way it’s even known that this is a GECIO commercial is because it’s on the GEICO YouTube page. There’s no mention of saving money for car insurance or any expected tagline at all. The ad even starts off looking as though it’s for a life insurance commercial, but takes a drastic turn when the man announces he’s going to be using guinea pigs to power his computer. It would have been nice if they had done more with the guinea pigs to try and illicit a few more laughs, and at least one laugh-out-loud moment, but overall it is a strong spot.
AT&T – “Responsibilities”
This is a moderately amusing T.V. ad from AT&T that crossed over into the viral space on November 7th. After a very short period of time this video has reached almost 400,000 views (as of the time of this writing) and shows no signs of slowing down. There is even potential for meme status with the so-called “huh?” guy (the one checking his Facebook). One of the strongest aspects of this ad was the guy who disappears after he is told he can work from the golf course. The fast cut and spinning chair were brilliant. The purpose of the commercial is clear: you can be more efficient and get more done on 4G with AT&T, but instead of giving us a boring infographic or some age-old voice over telling us why AT&T is better then everyone else they chose to create an amusing ad. It’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s entertaining to watch. It would be nice to see AT&T take a dive into the viral marketplace instead of re-purposing T.V. ads for the web (or simply sticking to flashmobs), but the success of this ad may influence them to create something specifically for the web. Only time will tell.
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