Be careful what you ask for...you just might get it.
Viral video has been a building hot media trend since the release of Apple's Video iPod last October. The device created a whole new reason to find, view and share online video content...and advertisers quickly saw opportunity to reach consumers in a whole new way. This viral video trend (here, here and here) may have just found its first casuality.
It started as a campaign sprung from a mid-March episode of The Apprentice. In an effort to engage with its potential customers, Chevrolet is asking consumers to create custom 2007 Chevy Tahoe ads for them. The idea was to award incentive prizes for the best homemade ad. Some of the responses they've gotten haven't exactly been what a media agency would like to see consumers doing with their client’s brand. Several examples depict the gas-guzzling SUV as a contributer to global warming, oil dependency on terrorist-sponsoring nations, and a fast way to drain your wallet due to poor gas mileage. Example messages:
"$70 to fill up the tank, which will last less than 400 miles. Chevy Tahoe."
"Our planet's oil is almost gone. You don't need G.P.S. to see where this road leads."
"Like this snowy wilderness? Better get your fill of it now. Then say hello to global warming."
Starting an ad with "Don't Buy Me" says it all. Literally "Heavy on Chevy (click for a long list of various viral video examples)."
Clearly, Chevy did not understand the dynamics of the market most likely to use the application – teenagers and young adults...ready to put the full snark on a major invitation from a corporation to be spoofed. To give them credit (or points for insanity), they are actually leaving up all the submissions -- positive, neutral and negative.
Yes, the campaign is generating desired buzz...but for all the wrong reasons.
New York Times article (free log-on may be required) here
Chevy Tahoe viral videos here, here and here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, April 05, 2006,
- At 10:35 PM, gp said...
The answer is here, and it's call the smart car. ZAP has finally brought this 60 mpg non hybrid car to the U.S.
- At 7:07 PM, said...
Chevy’s getting the picture…looks like they’re taking down the negative ads, pulling PR spin saying they “comfortable” with the campaign, and all the while, not allowing negative ones to get sent to a friend…people are creating their ads (for other brands!), and then driving traffic over to youtube or somewhere else…
No such thing as "bad" press...I disagree.