A few days ago, cable's TNT unleashed a "We Know Drama" ad that, ironically, is really funny. You may have seen it by now, but it's well worth an in-depth look as an example of branded entertainment. In the world of online video, it's not enough to simply display a bunch of dramatic TV shows and movies that your brand specializes in, you have to grab the viewer's attention with something special, perhaps original, and definitely something that people will talk about later. TNT's ad takes the "Improv Anywhere" model and runs with it very successfully.
TNT "We Know Drama" Ad: Extreme Drama At Push Of A Button
Here's the ad, "A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square":
Right off the bat, this ad arouses curiosity by placing a mysterious button in the middle of a public square, informing anyone who cares to look that pushing the button will "add drama." The actual only real drama that occurs is, "Will anyone push this thing?" In this day and age, a drama button could mean anything. But of course, curiosity gets the best of one of the townspeople and the button is pressed.
What I enjoy the most is that it seems like it's going to be something silly, and then goes over-the-top. The ambulance clearly looks like all the drama we'll be seeing, but then the paramedics hilariously botch the job, and that's when things get really interesting. I love the guy on the bike crashing into the ambulance and then getting upset, and then getting in a fight, and the one paramedic pulling off his shirt is a nice touch...and he knows kung fu.
A shootout occurs and that can only mean a football team is around the corner to complete the drama we've just witnessed.
One of the major things that sell these videos are the reaction shots in the crowd. The Improv Anywhere skits benefit from the same: people just looking puzzlingly at the action. I will say that the Improv Anywhere videos have a slight disadvantage in that they mostly occur in New York City and it's easy to shrug it off and say, "Heh, New York." This is a "quiet square in Belgium," so it's interesting to see the reactions. I especially like the girl who is just thoroughly entertained, perched at the button location.
This continues the sermon as far as good "viral" videos are concerned. It has great content that is created rather than recycled, and it comes courtesy of TNT at the end of the video, rather than plastering TNT logos throughout...although it might have been a nice touch to have some actual or simulated (explosive) TNT in the middle of all that drama. It's a fantastic ad and it's been watched 24 million times since last week.