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Successful brand building through satire?

December 14, 2006

Quick!  What’s your favorite short video associated with a company?   Perhaps something on YouTube being passed around as a link, or maybe it was one of those over the top beer commercials during the Superbowl.  Either way, the goal was to make a memorable impression on a lot of people and then convert that impression into some profitable connection with your brand.   After all, you don’t think these companies are spending millions on Superbowl ads just for your entertainment while your up getting another beer, or making a sandwich do you?    Now, with YouTube, perhaps it can be done for less, and seen by just as many eyeballs over a longer period of time.

Production costs are all still there, but your not paying for the 30 seconds of airtime.   Ok, sounds good so far, but aside from sex, what gets peoples attention and makes an impression?  Humor, and one of the easiest forms, Satire.

To be successful, you have to take something that people are generally familiar with, and then turn it on it’s head.   For instance, most people are well aware of the import car customization movement.  Fast n Furious, etc, etc.   We see wildly painted, and stickered up import cars with potatoe shooter sized exhaust pipes that sound like a mad bumble bee everyday.   So, VW did a satire campaign of this in 3 installments.  Here was #2, my personal favorite.

 So the concept is satire, and this was a particular treatment.   But, was it a success?   I like it, and use it to illustrate my point, but only as a case study example.   The commercial doesn’t really change my view of VW or it’s products, except perhaps to make me think that they hired a good ad firm, with some creativity and a wicked sense of humor.   Things like this will circulate, and people will talk about them. Great, but does it create a defineable perception about the company?  Does it make you want to buy the product?  After all, that is the end game isn’t it?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Garry permalink
    December 15, 2006 2:15 am

    It might be “catchy” but you wouldn’t catch me purchasing a VW.

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