Screencap from Volkswagen's 'Shoot the Gap' adEnlarge Photo
Shocked, saddened and utterly dismayed at the day’s events today, it ended off with something even more heartbreaking, something I read about on SocialCarNews.com. In short, among the the top 20 social media campaigns, according to Forbes, there were very few car companies. Only VW, with the FunTheory.com and BMW’s 1-Series Graffiti were up there.
Now, being a big fan of VW ads and of German cars in general, this was nice to see, but car companies were notably in short supply in the list. And that is not a good thing. Car companies really need to get on the social media ad wagon, and soon. Nothing spreads the word faster about a brand than being a viral video.
Then it occurred to me. The essence, the core, the very nature of social media is what is hip, cool, now, in, dope, fly, wicked, boom or whatever my teenage nephews with the hanging pants say this week. What is the viral video of today is yesterday’s bookmark in the “oubliette” of a browser somewhere. To gain social success, ads have to be gratuitously and childishly silly or just brilliantly weird (Old Spice wins the “genius weird” award). Essentially, something my nephew will laugh and tweet or put on Facebook.
So to try and start a new viral campaign, I bring to you two ads from a used-car chain, no less. Yes, the profession only surpassed by trial lawyers and bureaucrats in the “son, where’s my rifle, we got some killin’ to do” category.
The humor is low-brow, I grant you, but it’s the mouthpiece salesman that gets me. Have you seen a hair piece like that in 20 years? It gravitates gently above his head, and could be used to replace a divot on a golf course. What an inspired choice for a spokesman! As for “Stanley”, (think Laurel and Hardy) well, he’s just perfect, especially as the sex kitten, or the volunteer “cup shot” victim. And it’s for a New Jersey used car chain. Watch it, tweet it, post it.