Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Environmental Advertising

In environments where ad space is sold on almost anything, it’s a breath of fresh air to see something new and creative like these Hurley ads:

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This custom ad can be seen at a venue in southern California called Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction is ‘Southern California’s coolest all ages venue,’ at least according to their web site. This staple to the southern California pop-punk/indie/emo scene has hosted such acts as Saves the Day and Fall Out Boy.

This ad caught my attention, because not only was it customized to fit right into the space on the outside of the sound board, but it was also completely manufactured just for this spot. The whole thing was made from stitched together fabric giving it a very personal touch. The location of the sound booth faces right into the main floor in front of the stage, where on a sold out night 500+ attendees can be found. This niche advertisement is the perfect way for Hurley to reach its target audience in an environment with high loyalty to a lifestyle directly related to Hurley’s products. Hats off to them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chocolate Rain: Some stay dry and others feel the pain

It never ceases to amaze me how some online videos can take off into the vast reaches of our universe without powerful marketing machines or production budgets behind them. It's one of the beautiful ironies of the online viral world. Those that wish to go big, struggle to find the path; while those that wish nothing more than to record their favorite karaoke song on home video and show it to their friends will inevitably become Internet superstars.

Tay Zonday is the most recent in this notorious line of unsuspecting Internet heroes. A few months ago, Tay was a no-name musician, writing and recording cheesy covers and the occasional original song in the comfort of his home. Today, Tay Zonday is Chocolate Rain! The man behind the myth behind the online video that I've now watched at least 30 times in two weeks.

When I first saw it, Chocolate Rain was at the 500,000 views level - hardly something to scoff at. Now, just a couple weeks later, this video has climbed to over 2 million views. I personally have sent this link to over 20 people and shown it via light projection at our most recent Street Attack office party (to another 30 or 40 people). Some look at me with quizzical stare going, "huh?" While others, like me, laugh hysterically and think, "Oh my God, this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life!"

So what makes an online video explode? That is the million dollar question that every company is asking every ad agency in the country. Unfortunately, if you are in the position of creating a video for the purpose of spreading a brand message, answering the million dollar question is only half the battle. The other half is figuring out how to incorporate your brand without creating a commercial. Something our good friend Tay didn't have to concern himself with.

So, while you're pondering these questions for the next month, I highly recommend you check out Tay Zonday, and his unbelievably catchy rendition of Chocolate Rain. You may just find yourself skipping to a whole new beat over the next week.