Red Bull Stratos | Felix Baumgartner’s Supersonic free fall
Red Bull has made a name for itself producing what I like to call “stunt videos”. Essentially, they sponsor an elaborate and exciting stunt sure to appeal to a mainstream audience. It’s a simple yet brilliant strategy: the audience gets the content it desires while accepting the subtle branding. In turn, Red Bull builds brand recognition and rakes in views which raise its SEO profile.
Red Bull’s latest video could prove to be their tour-de-force (at least until the next one comes out). Teaming with Austrian skydiver/stunt man Felix Baumgartner and a team of scientists Red Bull created project Stratos — the aim of which was to break the world record for highest sky dive. And boy, did they succeed. On October 14th, Baumgartner drifted into the stratosphere in a capsule attached to a helium balloon. When he reached a height of 24 miles above the planet’s surface – he jumped. On the ten minute fall back to Earth, Felix broke world records for highest skydive, highest manned balloon flight, and became the first person to break the sound barrier without the help of an engine. Pretty impressive there, Felix.
I find it rather bizarre that these kind of aviation breakthroughs, that were once pioneered by NASA as part of the space race, are now being made by private companies whose emphasis is not on scientific research but on creating entertainment. Truly an interesting example of the strange circumstances that can drive innovation.
Bodyform | Bodyform Responds: The Truth
Winner! Bodyform has produced the best feminine hygiene commercial ever made – hands down. The exclusive online ad is a direct response to a comment left on the British company’s facebook page. Richard Neill must have felt pretty clever when he left Bodyform a facetious message detailing his dissatisfaction with their marketing campaigns. Richard’s biggest issue? That Bodyforms adverts make periods look like fun (it’s all skydiving, bike riding, and roller coasters!) when in reality [SPOILER ALERT] they aren’t.
Well who’s laughing now, Richard? A little over a week after his post, Bodyform’s rebuttal went live, and soon after – viral. Sorry Dick, but the debate is over and you lost. In the video, Bodyform’s fictional CEO Caroline Williams, addresses Richard’s concerns – yes, it has all be elaborate lie but it was only to spare men from the real horror that is a woman’s period. The dry, ironic British humour helps the pill go down all the easier.
I’ve seen instances of companies using social media to directly communicate with fans in a fun and humorous way but nothing of this magnitutde. My hat is off to Bodyform for conceptualizing and executing this video over the course of a week. It’s fun, intelligent, and exciting new form of advertising that Internet makes possible.
BlendTec | Will it Blend? iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3
BlenTec has one of the longest running and consistent viral marketing campaigns of all time in Will It Blend? Altogether the YouTube series (which started way back in ‘06) has garnered over 204 million views. Wow. In case you’ve never seen the program before, the title pretty accurately describes what you will see. Host (and BlendTec founder) Tom Dickson attempts to blend any number of unusual objects in his BlendTec blender, always with great success.
A recurring gag on the show is the blending of the latest version of the iPhone. With the iPhone 5’s recent release the time has come to see if the new model features a redesign that will help it withstand the awesome power that is a BlendTec blender! But given all the hullabaloo happening between Apple and Samsung lately, Mr. Dickson has decided to turn the (seemingly) annual event into a competition. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is the challenger, which will blend first? Seems Samsung is the winner in the endurance category – the Galaxy takes a severe beating but remains intact several seconds longer than the iPhone. In the end both are reduced to black powder and smoke. Six years later and still going strong, bravo Tom!
Hot Pockets | Pocket Like It’s Hot
Was anyone surprised when it was announced that Hot Pockets had signed an endorsement deal with Snoop Dogg? Didn’t think so. And the pairing makes a lot of sense (and hopefully dollars…ZING!) if you think about it. Hot Pockets, who has been hurting lately, is attempting to corner one of their most sought after demographic markets: stoners! Young potheads – with their stereotypical love of hip-hop, Internet humor, and the munchies – are the target of HP and SD’s first collaboration: a remix/parody of Snoop’s 2004 hit that is (obviously) called “Pocket Like It’s Hot”.
The response has been solid: over 4 million hits and counting. Snoop’s recent name change doesn’t seem to have affected his relationship as a brand spokesman (in this case, I think it may have enhanced it). The Snoop Lion is comfortable in his new Rastafarian persona and in parodying what is arguably his biggest hit. Alongside him are manchild humorist Andy Milonakis and YouTube top creator DeStorm Power who add to the song’s viral pedigree.