Ah viral advertising, that old rub. You know the video that pretends to be made by some indie filmmaker locked in solitary genius, or something. But wait...that's not what's happening...it's a clothing ad! Oh, that's why I felt kind of weird despite the fact that the video was undeniably compelling.
There are two videos for you to watch to see what I'm going on about. The first is the Viral First Kiss video that has had upward of 30 million views and was an advert for a clothing brand. It's cool, it's sexy, and yet...it's not real.
Then there's the Jimmy Fallon First Kiss Puppy and Kitten Love video. It states on the outset that it's a video making fun of another video. It doesn't pretend not to be straight up entertainment and comedy. And it's fully of puppy's and kittens who have no hidden agendas and aren't wearing any clothing.
Which of the two videos makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside?
In the First Kiss viral video, I felt sort of nothing. I knew already it was a clothing campaign, I didn't see any of that first kiss magic I've felt every time I've kissed a person I like for the first time, none of the soulfulness of that moment of wanting and then going for it.
In the Jimmy Fallon Puppy Kitten Love video I just felt warm and fuzzy because damn baby animals are cute, and oh look how floppy they are, and yay authentic behaviour.
Now I'm not saying the clothing company shouldn't have made the First Kiss video, nor am I saying that this is a terrible thing to do. I guess I'm just saying that I don't actually think the viral kiss video truly benefitted the brand.
If you want people to trust you and honour you and respect you, I don't think this is the way to go. Nobody likes being duped, and nobody really loves or respects an inauthentic moment.
Will their sales jump? Probably.
Is this going to mean lasting success and a name people respect? I don't know. Maybe in certain circles, but in other circles it has had a very negative impact.
You know that old saying of Any Publicity Is Good Publicity. Mmmm, not sure I agree on that one. If the publicity is that people don't trust you any more. That can't be good.
What do you think?