Deconstructing makeup: is all viral media social?
Monday, December 31st, 2007
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.
(More links and an overview of the Dove ad here.)
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.
The official Youtube version of the video, posted by Dove’s creative agency, is not embeddable.
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.)