Thursday, July 28, 2011

To take down the other guy, is funny video the kindest cut?

Wit is a strategic asset in marketing communications.

You can use it to disarm an issue, minimize a blunder and change the subject. But when to use it? And how can you do it well and effectively?

Here's a recent video reportedly done by Microsoft to advance its email program over Gmail, Google's free product that comes with ads served when monitoring search gizmos detect key words. I give this a 7. It doesn't reach a 10 because using the child to express moral indignation is overused, but mainly because I'm touchy about picking an actor with hair loss. (Hair-ism is the final scourge in our culture, yes?) I assume not a fragment of this ad is accidental.

I did a piece on Gmail and Google's privacy policies in 2007 for Crosscut.

Now, reaching back a few years into Seattle politics, I still love this video that sought to use humor to break the log jam around our city's debate over replacement of the aging, crumbling, unsafe Alaskan Way Viaduct on the central waterfront. Casting Seattle's Matt Smith in the lead role to stop the destruction of "big ugly things" was inspired. I think the guy scratching himself in the background (at 32 seconds) perhaps was an unscripted homage to Charlie Chaplin. The video failed in its intention. Seattle is year 10 in discussion on this issue. Ugly prevails.

P.P.S. Now, a digression. Half of YouTube is funny pet videos. This one is okay....

.....but this one just kills me. Counting its various postings, I think it's been seen by half the planet.

Sunday, July 17, 2011