Google seems pretty intent on pursuing this Google TV thing, despite the television networks' initial skepticism. There's just too much evidence that consumers want technology that helps blur the lines between broadcast TV and online video--and Google TV helps provide that. And now they're getting some help from one of their partners, Logitech.
Logitech makes a device called the Revue, which is currently one of only two ways you can use Google TV--the other way being to purchase a Sony television that is built from the ground up with Google TV as its backbone. Revue brings the same experience to people who aren't interested in purchasing an entirely new TV. It's a "set-top box" that plus into your TV, and it's gotten some pretty good reviews so far.
But even as consumers clamor for more Internet on their TV and more TV on their Internet, the actual mechanics of how it all works remains a bit beyond the average person. This means there's a lot of education and explanation needed for Google and Logitech (and Sony) before the public can truly embrace what is essentially a product/service that hasn't ever existed before.
So Logitech has drafted ubiquitous Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon to help demonstrate how the Revue works. Thankfully, this is far more than a standard "demonstration" video with a celebrity spokesman. It's also freaking hilarious. Oops - video removed.
Convincing Bacon to play a lovable-but-obsessive fan of Kevin Bacon is a stroke of genius, and not just because he's a great actor. Bacon's career has been so long and so filled with roles, that he's considered one of the hardest-working actors. You feel like you see him in movies all over the place because you actually do. In the 1990s, some college friends even created an entire party game out of the phenomenon, called The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon--it riffs on the notion that we're all connected to each other by no more than six degrees of separation, and challenges players to link a random actor to Kevin Bacon in the fewest amount of moves possible, using only the movies that each actor has starred in.
Having this renowned and revered character actor slip into yet another great character--this lonely Bacon-obsessed fan--is a nice nod to the Bacon's career and his legend. And audiences everywhere can appreciate when a famous actor is willing to have a little fun with their own reputation.
The video hits a lot of the other notes we have come to expect from great branded viral content--it's funny, it's odd, and it's even a little uncomfortable. There are so many nice detailed touches, like the cross-stitch of Kevin Bacon, or the actor doing an impression of himself.
But perhaps most importantly, the ad deserves praise for not losing sight of the actual product goals in the pursuit of humor. In fact, the ad is so odd and offbeat, it's pretty amazing when you look back at it and realize they actually managed to explain and effectively demonstrate how their product fills a legitimate consumer need.
Kudos, Logitech and Kevin Bacon.