One of my favorite types of branded online video content is the fake out, where a seemingly-normal YouTube page is revealed to be a full-page Flash animation or some other marketing trickery. We've seen Wario break the page apart. We've seen Stallone blow it to smithereens. And now we've got Po, the star of Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda series, slicing and dicing up a YouTube page with his signature brand of martial arts.
It all starts off normally enough, with a totally standard YouTube video starring Jack Black. Take a look:
If you click that "Click For Epicness" button at the end of the video, however, you're taken to the real treat: the destructible YouTube page. And unlike Stallone's offering, you can actually interact with this custom ad.
You'll get a quick greeting from a computer animated Po, and he does a little Kung Fu move that rattles the page a bit. Then Jack Black pops up in one of the right-side suggested videos, and encourages you to drag something over the video player.
If you do... Po will give it his signature "skadoosh" move--it's basically a karate move with his big flabby gut.
After a bit of this, the page then changes and shows you an actual trailer for Kung Fu Panda 2--though it's still interrupted a few times by a quick Jack Black pop-out from below. And after the trailer, there's a button that says "Skadoosh Again?" in case you want to go back to letting Po destroy the YouTube page.
The whole thing is insanely clever, and clearly took a lot of planning, coordinating, and effort. And I'm thrilled to see the "fake YouTube page" trend being combined with true interactivity. As fun as it is to see a YouTube page fall apart or behave strangely, it's even more fun when I'm the one controlling it.
Which is why brands are flocking to interactive video in droves. It's far more engaging to users, who are more open to a marketing message when they have some measure of control over when or how it's delivered.