Every week there are countless brands taking advantage of the word-of-mouth power of YouTube to spread ideas and thoughts about their company. Some execute their videos better than others. Of all the many branded videos that hit the web on a daily basis, two clips – both released on the same day – stood out this week with outstanding concepts and near-flawless execution.
Skittles Is Creepy, Hilarious
Skittles has been running commercials of a less traditional variety for several years now. Several of them have been strange, many have been funny, and almost all of them walk the line between hilarious and creepy. And audiences love that kind of thing, as evidenced by the love shown to that uncomfortable Snickers ad from late last year.
Their latest online video is as uncomfortable as anything they've ever made, and people love it (nearly a million views in just three days). Check it out:
Any great viral video (branded or otherwise) needs to do three things to succeed:
- Grab the viewer's attention
- Hold the viewer's attention
- Create an emotional reaction in the viewer
If you can do all three of those things, you will likely go viral. Problem is… it's not easy to do all three. But Skittles did it. What I like about the video is that it encourages sharing and viral behavior no matter what your reaction is. If you're laughing hysterically at the end… you're going to send it to friends so they can have a laugh as well. If it creeps you out completely and you feel gross… you're going to send it to friends so they can share the misery.
It's also worth pointing out that Skittles clearly knows their branding very well. They've carefully constructed this "weird" image over several years, and have taught the audience to expect it. So a video like this one plays right into the viewers' expectations.
ETH Appeals To Smart Kids With QuadroCopter Demo
ETH is a university in Zurich for hyper-intelligent engineering, science, and technology students. And rather than go the "creepy" route taken by Skittles (smart move), they took a page out of the Blendtec book, and went with a straight-up demonstration.
Of course, they chose to demonstrate something that is very cool–quadrocopters in action… playing a real life version of Pong. (I guess technically, they're demonstrating their school environment, and students working on a class project). It should be pointed out that these copters aren't remote-controlled. Instead, they and the ball are "tracked by an overhead motion capture system and controlled by a pair of computers." Awesome.
Check it out:
This ad is genius. First of all, it doesn't feel like an ad. It feels like someone's home video of a pretty neat technology trick, even though the university's branding is all over the end of the clip.
Second, it appeals to a pretty large subset of Internet users: geeks. It does so by showing us something most of us haven't seen before.
Finally, it appeals directly to the core demographic of the school–science and tech geeks. Anyone who dreams about going to a college where playing with self-flying quad-helicopters is considered actual school work is going to be intrigued after seeing this… which was, of course, the whole point.
Bravo, ETH. You're just an engineering university in Switzerland, but you've currently got a higher view count than Skittles after three days… so pat yourself on the back and hire an extra person to help the registrar's office handle all the new inquiries and applications you're sure to receive.
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