Welch makes his first of many appearances to come in the Post. “Matt Welch, a former Los Angeles Times opinion writer who wears pink vests with rhinestone buttons and has a French wife.” Thank God they didn’t notice the hat.
Rounding up the best and worst advertising of ’07, WSJ’s Susan Vranica mentions Dove’s Real Beauty “Evolution” video as “one of the best examples of a company using the Web for advertising,” noting that the video was viewed 25 million times on Youtube and cost just $150k to shoot.
While the video may have been one of the great viral successes of 2007 (though posted in 10/06, eh?) and inspired many tributes and parodies, beyond the launch, Dove failed to follow through on the ad’s tremendous social promise.
And the “house” version video is buried on at www.campaignforrealbeauty.com, and the corresponding discussion forum is unfindable and impenetrable. (Try to find both in less than 90 seconds!)
The campaignforrealbeauty.com’s “in the news section” promises “Whether it’s local journalists or world-renowned personalities, people beyond this site are talking, too. Look around to hear the most current, interesting and, often, surprising things.”
But the most recent news is from February 2007. Almost as bad, while the ad spawned thousands of comments and blog posts, there are only a dozen or so articles linked, and all either by professional press or Dove press releases.
It’s also worth noting that most of Dove’s other efforts in the series have gotten little sustained traction. (The longest running forum on the site has been active since May 2006 and has just 3500 comments, less than PerezHilton.com gets on a single post on a good day.)
So saying that the ad cost “just $150k to produce” is like bragging you spent a week in Vegas playing blackjack, roulette and the slots and only spent $1 to win $1000 on one pull at the slot machine.
None of this is to say that Dove did a bad job. The video itself is a work of genius. It’s just that if thi is some of the best social media advertising in 2007 (or 2006, for that matter), it’s still pretty weak relative the potential of the communications medium.
Thinking about whether viralness and social marketing are the same led me to this great video. This image has been seen far less, but is as powerful and funny as the Dove ad. (And probably cost a lot less than $150k to produce.)
Though most of my “old school” still isn’t online, I’ve been enjoying catching up with people from 25 years ago via Facebook. Someone I ate lunch with in college. The brilliant younger brother of a roommate. I look forward more re-connections.
Jeff Jarvis has been thinking about the same experiences and what the future holds for our permalinked lives:
First, I think it means that they will maintain friendships and other relationships longer in life. I didnâ”t. I moved to four schools in three states in both elementary and high school (no, my father got out of the military so we wouldnâ”t move but then went into sales and we moved). I think that nomadism may have actually helped me. Friends will think this is a punchline but in truth, I was shy and being the new kid eight times forced me to be able to talk to people. But as we moved, I lost touch with almost every friend I had and that is a loss. If I had what young people have today, I could have stayed in touch with many of them or at least been able to track them through life.
I think this will lead to not just longer but better, richer friendships and I hope that is good for the character and good for the society. Youâ”ll know that you canâ”t just escape people when you move on; you are tied to your past. And youâ”ll be able to stay in touch and wonâ”t have those awkward moments of trying to catch up on 30 years over a single cocktail or email.