For decades, celebrities have been paid a fortune to promote a specific brand or product. It used to be plain and simple – a celebrity promotes a product, you go and buy that product. Now, not so much. Celebrities can’t just say a product is the best and expect you to purchase it. Consumers want to be entertained. To do this, some companies that currently use celebrities to endorse its brand are creating YouTube videos, all in hopes of making the video go viral.
Last week, a video Jen Aniston made for SmartWater launched. It was titled: Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral – SmartWater. While its true that you can’t force a video to go viral, SmartWater proves that you can combine many elements of other successful viral video with the intention of creating creative that is so good, your fans will spread it for you.
The video that SmartWater created shows Jen and her team of three guys coming up with “viral” ideas to help convince consumers that SmartWater is the “smartest, best tasting water that’s out there.”
In no time, it was an instant hit. In just one week alone, the SmartWater video has generated over seven million YouTube hits.
How did they do this? They did this by being systematic in their approach. They did their research on what would catch their target market’s attention. They couldn’t just create this video without a particular audience in mind. They needed people they knew would watch it and then share it. The most common videos that are shared via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have one or all four for the following components:
1) It’s full of humor.
2) It has a good looking girl/guy.
3) It’s short, fast-paced and to the point.
4) It has music.
SmartWater incorporated all four of these components into this short three minute video. Some of the carefully crafted ways they incorporated these four components are:
• The dancing babies. We all remember the dancing baby aka Baby Cha-Cha from the Blockbuster commercials in the mid-nineties. This quickly became a huge internet phenomenon and was one of the first ever viral videos. Jen and her team then had the children dance provocatively all in the efforts to get more views. Sparking a conversation, especially a controversial one, is a great way to increase the number of views. Humor and music, check.
• The Double Rainbow Guy. He became a hit overnight. Sure, it helped he was featured on Tosh.O (a television show on Comedy Central that makes fun of people/ideas in internet video clips). They spoofed him as the parent of the dancing babies and encouraged him to drink SmartWater so he wouldn’t hallucinate those double rainbows anymore. Humor, check.
• In the closing of the video, they suggest naming the video “Jen Aniston Sex Tape.” This is smart for two reasons. At first I just though it was because sex sells. Then, I read an article in the New York Daily News and Shari Weiss made an excellent point – consumers will have a field day with this title, but so will the search engines. As of now, there are over 33 million search results for “Jen Aniston Sex Tape.” Hot girl and humor, check.
The overall concept behind this is great. It was interesting, funny, fresh and has definitely achieved SmartWater’s goal of wanting it to go viral. Its also sparked a lot of chatter about Jennifer Aniston, but what will this actually do for SmartWater’s brand? Will sales increase? I don’t think so. I have to disagree with Sara Marie Watson. She compares this to the Old Spice commercials, which so far has generated a 107% increase in sales of its body wash. The Old Spice videos show what the body wash will do for you. The SmartWater video doesn’t provide any information on what it can do for you.
What do you think? In the long run do you think this was a smart move for SmartWater and Jen Aniston?