Category Archives: viral

Atlas Shrugged The Movie – John Galt Goes Spartacus

The target audience for the new Atlas Shrugged movie, doing their own advertising for it. (Photographed in Santa Ana, California, April 15, 2010.)

Here’s a challenge for marketers: How do you promote a low-budget independent movie without any stars? A film based on a verbose 1,000-plus-page novel about a philosophy called “Objectivism.” Got a campaign yet?

(Hint: social media, of course!)

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1” arrives in theaters on April 15 —“tax day” in the U.S., the traditional deadline for filing income tax returns. Coincidence? (Sure, just like the sudden omnipresence of Highway Patrol issuing a lot of piddly traffic tickets in a futile effort to bail California out of debt. But that’s another story.)

Before we get to the marketing of the movie, a little background about the book.

Communism vs. Capitalism

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. The author lived through the communist revolution in Russia and came to America because its capitalist free-market system represented her ideal of a free society. As the book jacket summarizes, Atlas is the story of a man who said he would stop the motor of the world—and did. But that doesn’t quite explain the story’s relevance today. Continue reading

Accidental AutoTune Celebs – Antoine and the Bear

Antoine Dodson's YouTube rant has spawned a hit song as well as a Halloween costume.

The Rapist and the Rainbow

A funny thing happened at the most recent wedding reception I worked. The mother of the bride says to me (as the DJ), “Have you heard that song about that guy on YouTube who stopped the rapist?”

A song about the what…? I don’t think so.

“You know, about the intruder who snuck in and was trying to rape the guy’s sister in her bed?”

Hmm. No, I don’t think I’ve heard that one before.

Then there was the 13-year-old’s birthday party, where some kid wanted to hear the “Double Rainbow” song.

Is that a Skittles commercial? No? I don’t think I’ve heard that one either. Sorry, just not as hip as I used to be. (So much music, so little time.)

Lyrics by YouTube, Music by Gregory Bros.

“Bed Intruder” and “Double Rainbow” have a few things in common.

They’re both hit iTunes songs that were inspired by viral YouTube videos. Both have resulted in new commercial opportunities for their accidental stars. Continue reading

The “Inception” Ad Deception

Inception: The Dream Is Real. So is the marketing.

Inception” is a powerful, original film filled with deceptions. Both the special-effects kind and the plot-driven mental kind. There are also larger themes running through it. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry. No plot points will be revealed.

This is Not Another Review

Critics were sworn to silence before it opened. If you still care what critics are saying after a “dreamy” $62.8 million opening weekend and a cumulative $143 million for the first 10 days, a collection of choice review excerpts can be found at the WSJ Speakeasy blog.

As a fan of both film and advertising (see 101 Ad-Movies in 99 Years), I want to highlight some of the ads and how well they tied in with the story themes. The multichannel marketing campaign consisted of traditional TV spots along with Facebook fan pages with social games, mobile apps, and an online comic book to create fanboy engagement and spur strong word of mouth. Continue reading

Old Spice Guy Spends Two Days In Bathroom, Blows Up YouTube

Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice Guy, the hardest working man in the bathroom.

After two days and two hundred kajillion personalized videos, even the Old Spice Guy has to take a break and come out of the bathroom.

Please forgive the link overload here, but after spending the last 48 hours or so in front of a camera, the Old Spice Guy (Isaiah Mustafa in real life) has been overwhelming social media channels by tweeting links to customized videos made for fans with his bare hands.

The suave smelling dude responded directly to ordinary average fans from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, gave shout-outs to corporate pals like Starbucks, GQ and sister company Gillette, nods to influential blogger fans like Perez Hilton and Guy Kawasaki (“Is there a Girl Kawasaki?”!), props to celebrity friends like Ellen Degeneres, Ryan Seacrest, Apolo Anton Ohno, and Ashton Kutcher. He wowed Mrs. Kutcher by bashing a pirate piñata, courted Alyssa Milano with roses, wooed Rose McGowan, successfully proposed marriage on behalf of fan JS Beals, and admitted he’s only human and will eventually die someday. He even responded to himself (Isaiah Mustafa). Continue reading

How an underground video goes mainstream: Winnebago Man

Winnebago Man: He works with swear words the way some men work with oil.

It began as a bad day on a corporate video shoot in 1988.

Now it’s going to be a major motion picture in 2010.

Winnebago Man is coming out from the underground. Actually, down from the mountain top.

Boing Boing recently premiered the trailer for a new documentary film about the most famous man no one knows: Jack Rebney, better known as Winnebago Man, aka the angriest man in the world. Continue reading