How far would you go to seed a viral video of your brand’s latest product?
Bissell Canada Senior Brand Manager Ravi Dalchand answered that question this summer when he steamed a grimy layer of soot and germs off a Toronto subway platform with Bissell’s new Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop, dumped a bowl of pasta on the floor, tucked a white dining napkin tucked into his collar and then ate each noodle off the ground. He even finished off the meal by sopping up the leftover sauce with a piece of bread.
Cringe-inducing? For sure. But was it effective?
The video stunt released on Aug. 22 is still “picking up steam” across the internet, and to date has amassed more than a half a million views—a viral hit by any standard.
In coverage from our 2014 Event Measurement Report on measuring viral content, we heard marketing and data experts talk about the importance of authenticity—that you shouldn’t set out to make viral content. But we think this stunt, while obviously staged for viral effect, has a few winning attributes:
1. It strikes the “gross” nerve. This impacts the campaign in two ways: First, the stunt itself and the reactions from onlookers are oh, so priceless. And therefore well worth sharing. And second, you can see onlookers recording the stunt with their phones. Consumer generated recordings of a viral stunt are critical to its overall success. This one’s a win-win.
2. It’s a simple concept. It didn’t take elaborate stunt components or famous people to make the point. And it didn’t call for a ton of branding. (Which brings to mind U.K. streaming brand Blinkbox’s “Game of Thrones” dragon stunt.)
3. It’s a sneak attack. No one in that subway station saw this coming. You know they all went home and talked about what they saw, or shared what they saw online.
4. It’s about as authentic as it gets. Hey, if the guy trying to market this Bissell product to you feels comfortable with its performance, it must really work, right? Straightforward—right from the horse’s mouth. That’s authenticity.
- Nine Tips For Deploying A Measurable Viral Content Strategy
- Bissell Canada | Symphony [YouTube]
- Bus-Sized ‘Game of Thrones’ Dragon Skull Lands On Beach [CNET]