Last month a video posted on YouTube hit the Guitar Hero fan and gaming community. If you're familiar with the video game "Guitar Hero"... this film will appear to be incredibly creative and surprising. The video had over 1.747.000 hits within less than a month. Recently it was unveiled to be a viral video launched by Activision to promote their last version of the game, Guitar Hero Worldtour. So, at the end of the day, the bike hero video was not made by a bunch of talented kids, but developed by independent shop Droga5 (check their client list and work).
And here comes the debate about "authenticity" again. Is it OK to play with your audience and authenticity or is it just not a good idea? After a quick check, it seems that the feedback after the revelation is very much mixed between "fake = lame" and "who cares it's a fake, idea and video are still stunning". I noticed a tendency to get more votes from the "it's OK" side on this specific viral case. As mentioned in interesting AdWeek article "Viral Video Hits Blur the Authenticity Line" it seems that advertisers are clearly exploring the limits of fake vs authenticity.
"To be sure, there continues to be a fine line between fooling with
consumers and simply fooling them. Like much in viral marketing, it
remains unclear how much an advertiser should reveal during
campaigns." - says Brian Morrissey of AdWeek.
"It was awesome only because we thought there were creative kids
doing this in their free time," noted a commenter on game blog
GameCyte. "Now, it's just a good commercial." - [AdWeek article abstract]
I like a related comment found on Twitter and left by Daniel Stein, CEO of EVB in SF the company behind Office Max's "Elf Yourself" :
"I like Droga's Bike Hero. Who cares if it is fake, it is entertaining. New definition of viral video should be 'ads people actually want to see.' "
There is one important thing to consider, though... the kind of product we're talking about and the related target group. OK for a little authenticity play with Guitar Hero Worldtour is one thing. OK for authenticity play with the New York Times, might be another one.
What's your take on this? Is authenticity an absolute must or can marketers sometimes cautiously play with it?
PS : Thanks to Cedric M. for pointing this video to my eyes. Dude... you simply Rock! : )
"Consistency isn't everything it is cracked up to be" - Then, naturally I can hear your immediate question why? Andy brings his own answer to this : "In business, a reputation of being reliable and true-to-your-word is
both admirable and desirable, but there's something to be said about
the currency of Surprise being part of your corporate DNA."
He then points to the way Andy Berndt of Google described working with Obscura Digital in Fast Company (see other article on digital projections here) :
"The thing about working with these guys is that you never know quite how a project's going to come out... you just know they have great taste and are going to wow everybody"
That is definitely a very nice way to be described by a client. So this lead me to investigate a little about Obscura Digital. Who are these guys and what are they doing. Well, glad I did... look what I found in a very interesting CNET News articleby Kara Tsuboi - (video credits CNET) :
CEO Patrick Connolly describes his company as "... a marketing company revolutionizing the advertising world with its interactive and immersive technology." Obscura Digital is based in San Francisco USA (soon new offices to come) and their work has found clients all over the world.
As you might know by now, documenting "new & innovative live experiences" is one of my favorite topics. This, because I believe that unique experiences will always strongly insight conversation. I just love the "I wish I could have been there... I wish I could have seen this" effect. But when you make the experience INTERACTIVE + IMMERSIVE + CAPTIVATING you get really powerful human emotions drivers... and so, powerful communication tools when mastered with the appropriate expertise, of course. Well, I wish I could meet these guys and visit the testing labs of Obscura Digital! ; )
When was the last time you were impressed by a "unique" live experience? What made that live experience memorable?
After a long break out of blogging, we're are back. This time with a new blog design to freshen up the last days of December and (...fingers crossed, here) boost a new start in 2009.
I wanted to have a more organic look and feel. A simpler and brighter banner also. My dream would be to have all this into motion around the central text zone. I imagine lava lamp-like "blobs" of different colors moving horizontally, touching, splitting, merging... like the metaphor of ideas of mixed origins, connecting, evolving, growing. But well, dream on... step-by-step, right!
I hope you like it.
PS : The paint art picture I used to illustrate this little announcement post was made by my daughter Ness when she was 2. Can't wait till she grows up to help me out.