Superbowl Ad? I Vote For Viral Video Instead

A friend just sent me the first installment in Coke’s viral video campaign and I loved it. In fact, after watching it, it’s still playing through my head and making me smile.

It’s the story of a very special Coke vending machine being placed on a college campus and spreading some “love” to a bunch of unsuspecting kids. And watching it brought a smile to my face and warm fuzzies to my brain. Funny, I think that might be just exactly what the folks at Coke intended with this viral video campaign. The back story – the video launched on January 12th and has already surpassed a million views as the result of being shared on various social media sites. Here’s a link to the video:

and here’s the link to Ravi Sawheny’s terrific story in FastCompany that described the campaign.

I’m one of those wacky advertising types who watches the Super Bowl every year less for the game that is played than for the ads that are featured and even I have to admit that this is one cool viral video campaign. And exponentially less expensive than the cost of producing and running a Super Bowl spot. Ad folks have long been charged with coming up with the latest, greatest super cool idea and that has mostly manifested itself in great creative – TV spots, traditional print campaigns, etc. I think that while that won’t necessarily change, over time, we’ll see more and more of this kind of ingenious creativity marking unique moments in time and then see the people who are the recipients of the message assuming a major role in spreading the message. And it’s just that kind of consumer-driven emotion that enables a brand to really connect with its customers.

Disclosure. I have Coke in my fridge. I’m a Coke girl. I know all the words to “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” I am old. And I like Coke.

What do you think? Do you agree that these viral kinds of campaigns – video or not, are the kinds of things best suited to capture the fleeting attention span of today’s consumers? I’m kind of thinking that I do. And would love to hear your thoughts.

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  • http://twitter.com/LisaNewton Lisa Newton

    OMG, that is so cool. I know my kids, two of whom are still in college, would have loved to see this Coke machine suddenly appear in their dorm or food hall.

    I'm still smiling. And hugging the Coke machine? How great is that!!

  • http://www.vongehrconsulting.com/ Erroin Martin

    The super bowl ads became boring after the immaculate wardrobe malfunction a few years ago. What makes YouTube and other video outlets on the web fun for the marketers is the creativity their allowed to use. This ad could never run in its entirety on television. It can here. What makes them even better is that they can be shared.

    Great find! Oh, and I am a Coke Girl too!

  • ShellyKramer

    I loved it, too, Lisa. Can you imagine how fun it would be to have been in the room when that happened?

  • ShellyKramer

    I agree! And goodness, but I had no idea you were a girl, E. Heh heh heh. That's what makes it so cool – especially as a marketer, to be involved in the conceptualization and creation of amazing stuff like this. And having people share it because they like it is, to my way of thinking, much cooler than standing around the water cooler the next day talking about a spot that they saw on TV. This seems, to me, to have more “legs.” Legs are good.

  • http://www.vongehrconsulting.com/ Erroin Martin

    Speaking of “Legs”, Lego is going exclusively to YouTube and viral for their marketing. The link below is an ad that I love and share with coworkers/clients.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OinrOnjzH_A

    Lego, Coke, and others are on the right track when it comes to building buzz.

  • ShellyKramer

    That's awesome, E! Love it. Thanks for sharing!!

  • http://www.signupandmakemoney.com/ Greg London

    I liked that commercial a lot. I think the nacho commercials were the best though. I don't know how they spend all the money they do on advertising. I would prefer online avenues.

  • Shelly Kramer

    I liked those too, Greg.

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