Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm so proud of you Mother$#*%ers!"

Last summer, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) named the best commercials of the year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Many of us expected the year's most talked about commercials, like the Whopper Freakout, to be honored, and they were. There was, however, a very special honoree. The following Bud Light gem that many of us (all of us in Gens X and Y at least) received from friends via e-mail.

The Bud Light Swear Jar commercial was made specifically for, with no hopes of approval from the FCC. I, for one, have never logged on to, but probably received the spot in my inbox or on a MySpace comment at least three or four times. The fact that a commercial that was never aired on television was so effective in reaching its target audience and was honored by such a prestigious organization really speaks volumes about just how well new media can be utilized as a creative advertising option. This is a great example of viral marketing and of the success a corporation can experience using a non-traditional medium while being a little edgy.

According to Robert Lachkey, executive vice president for global industry and creative development for Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, as of April 9, 2008, over 12 million viral views were tracked of the commercial, and over 2.7 million were viewed on YouTube (Elliot, 2008).

Stuart Elliot expands on the tracking ability of advertisers in another NYTimes article, about the ability of new media to keep such close track on consumers, down to the websites they visit. This has opened up an entirely new appreciation for behavioral marketing--a practice that can be executed well using the web and consumers digital footprints.

I'm not sure that viral videos like the Swear Jar commercial (and the Whopper Freakout, for that matter) increase sales, necessarily. However, they do play a a huge role in brand building and positioning the brand name at the top of consumers minds while the videos are circulating.

Anyone else receive the Swear Jar commercial in your email? What did you think?

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