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Top 10 viral videos of 2009

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Josh Warner is president of a company which produces and distributes brand videos. I read in his blog of the ranked top 10 videos this year. YouTube audiences had a great fun this year. A bunch of creative/ touching/ eye-opening/extremely crappy videos came up and caused a viral marketing effect to some level.

Josh gave the top one prize to Inspired Bicycles, which up to today has had 12,858,139 views.

I’m surprised that there’s no bike companies involved in the sponsor list. Bicycle companies or brands owning sports clothes (like Nike, UnderArmer, Puma), always in support of extreme sports (Pepsi) or any brand that promotes cool products should follow Danny MacAskill.

Signs, a video narrates a touching love story was ranked No.2. It has 3,325,495 views. I watched this video many times before and never noticed that it was an ad. I’m sure i’m not alone at this point. Its advertiser is Schweppes, producers are Publicis Mojo and @RadicalMedia. I still haven’t figured out how this video relates to any commercial. Another touching and funny one on the list is JK Wedding Dance. It was put on YouTube simply for the purpose to share the pleasure and happiness and immediately hit the buzz.

The third one is Piano Stairs, a documentary video showing how artists added music to a normal stairway and brings fun to people’s life. It is apart of the campaign–The Fun Theory, which includes videos World’s Deepest Bin, Bottle Arcade, and so on. The campaign is sponsored by Volkswagen. There is only a simple logo showed up at the end. The commercial didn’t pollute the beautiful spirit of the series of experiments and audiences interested could dig into the facts on their own. I admire DDB Stockholm, the agency’s creativity.

Down the list, there are also some anti-viral videos, which instead drew backfires. Like Microsoft’s Hosting Your Party, which was a boring non-sense ad, and United Breaks Guitars, produced by musician Dave Carroll whose guitar was broken by United Airline.

There are a lot of other videos not appearing on his list but are also very popular. Among them, my favorite one is Her Morning Elegance. This musical video creatively reversed video production process by taking pictures to show a story. It was directed by Oren Lavie, a musician, to promote himself and has 9,151,313 views. After the video successfully hit YouTube, Oren Lavie immediately caught media’s attention. He was invited to all kinds of TV shows and was awarded Best Lyrcist by ASCAP foundation. The video Her Morning Elegance is featured in Chevrolet TV commercial and later earned a 2010 Grammy Award nomination for “Best Short Form Music Video”. TouTube provided an unbiased and efficient channel for talents to show their skills to the whole world.

There are also all kinds of posts on Youtube, which may not be ads and very immediately popular but still very influential, such as Ted’s series. For 2009’s records, it’s still too early to say, we have 20 more days to say goodbye to 2009. Maybe something big will come up. Looking forward to it ^-*

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Thanksgiving Week’s Top Viral Video

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Muscle Milk’s “Sexy Pilgrim” video, released the week for its protein drinks, was ranked the top among the viral video that week. It uses viral video and social media and live stunts to reach online customers and put a titillating spin on America’s founding puritans. The singer is Wojciech Wisowicz, a metal band’s lead singer. The video features a sexy pilgrim “doing some soulful crooning through the original Thanksgiving feast. Decked out in classic pilgrim garb with large white collar and cuffs (and dapper mustache), he manages to make Plymouth Rock and decorative gourds sound scandalous and seductively promises to “unbuckle my hat.”” It is the first viral campaign Muscle Milk has ever done.

It’s cool, from an audience’s eyes. Somehow, it reminds me of the toy commercial Nissan released in 2007. Both of them promoted a cool lifestyle by means of a creative thinking. Isn’t it a holiday carrying a traditional meaning? Right. so do something opposite–a sexy singing pilgrim. But Muscle Milk’s ad has a broader vision than the toys in Nissan’s ad. It was released after Thanksgiving, brought audiences back to the origin of the holiday, provided fun factors–R&B singing and a light easy and healthy life style, which fits the product’s promotion code well.
Months ago, when I was going to buy Muscle milk in a retail store, I was told that it was for men. Although I knew it’s wrong, I gave it up. Now I can’t wait to try it and expect to see how its sales number does after this ad.

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Cyber Monday

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I was surprised to find that the traffic always peaks on Monday morning, when I was working at an online company. I shared my wonder with others and the reason, as my boss said, may be that people need time to get their mind back from relaxed weekends so they go online.

And I find the same phenomenon appears in my shopping experience. I routinely visit Hautlook.com and Ruelala.com every morning to hunt for discounted designer brands. But every Monday, I must log myself in before 11:00, when the sales start, and anxiously grab anything I can get once the sales are on, because I know that even slightly good stuff will be gone extremely fast on Monday. Why? I do not know.

This Thanksgiving shopping experience is even more impressive. I did not expect a large amount people go online shopping on Thanksgiving. Who would not go home and enjoy a relaxed vacation with their family? I think it’s reasonable to assume that 90% people get up after 10:00AM and go to something unusual for the holiday or go to mall to celebrate Black Friday. But I was wrong. When I opened the sales website at 1:00 pm on Nov.26, most of the good deals are gone and my “competitors” are still there! Is it a reason that the malls are not busy as before? We are in cyber age in all aspects.

And marketers know it. Big brands/companies like Apple, Bodyshop, A/X, Sony, Amazon all put out their Thanksgiving special sales online and most of them are online exclusive. I read a article on WSJ saying that “Despite the expected pickup in traffic, Cyber Monday’s importance itself has waned as online retailers, led by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), joined other companies in the rush to begin holiday sales early to compete for the dollars of more-discerning consumers.” This article, Online Retailers Shares Rise On Cyber Monday, shows several significant figures:

Cyber Monday gave an early boost to shares of Amazon, which were up nearly 2% and hit a record intraday high of $135.25. Shares of eBay Inc. (EBAY) rose even higher by 3.4%.

Meanwhile, shares of traditional retailers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Best Buy Co. (BBY), were down fractionally.

Nearly 100 million Americans are expected to shop online on Monday, up from 85 million last year, the National Retail Federation said, citing a survey by Shop.org.

Online-payment processor PayPal said the official start to the 2009 holiday-shopping season started online on Nov. 16, when it saw a 28% increase in payment volume. On Black Friday, PayPal saw 20% more transactions than in 2008.

What’s the effects then? We are apparently marching further in the Cyber age. But the  beginning tide is hard to judge as positive. The primary reason of the cyber shopping trend is its lower price. It is okay if it’s based on the lower cost in storage and distribution, but it is not good if it involves into a price battle. Retailers are competing on the price to attract customers. Amazon was forced to respond to Wal-Mart’s moves to cut prices on highly anticipated book titles and DVDs in October and November. Now Wal-Mart’s Web site has posted Cyber Week online specials to offer even “tasty” deals. In this case, the online traffic is actually grabbing customers away from the retail stores. Brands need to be careful of the promising online sales. Who are the people purchasing online? Are those previously the customers in your stores?

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