Last week a YouTube campaign made a big fuss online (2700k views and counting), using a pastiche of “viral” techniques:

  • Re-adaptation of the 5 year old Subservient Chicken campaign for Burger Chicken
  • Recycling of the Nintendo Wii Wario Land / Tostitos takeover
  • Tricky title by using “NSFW” on perfectly safe content.

I have nothing against using shortcuts to create buzz, but something felt fishy (and it wasn’t the bear) on this campaign. After spending 5 minutes of my time entertained with the videos, i couldn’t remember the brand’s name. Even considering my short attention span as a Twitter user, that observation kept being reinforced after reading the comments by my friends, all of them praising the campaign but almost none mentioning the brand.

Last Saturday, instead of spending a lazy afternoon on the sofa, i decided to send a brief survey to my Facebook and Twitter friends. Only 50 answers were good enough, since being many of them ad people, they surely paid more attention to the brand than the regular Joe.

What I found out confirmed my suspicion that a great majority of people didn’t recall the exact name of the brand sponsoring the YouTube takeover.

This might be just anecdotal data, but it was enough to reinforce my conviction that using tactics is not enough, specially when your target consumer doesn’t even remember your brand’s name. Or quoting David Ogilvy:

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

P.S. Perhaps reading too much Ad Contrarian isn’t doing any good to my bad temper regarding these quick fixes.