Neil Mammele, an account manager at drinkcaffeine, a social media-centric ad agency, said that working with smaller companies on social advertising, "forces you to be creative."
Residents of Savannah, Ga. witnessed some small business creativity in February, when Jamie Casino, a local personal injury lawyer, wrote and directed his own two-minute ad "based on a true story." It aired at the first local commercial break of the Super Bowl.
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The ad was a dramatic—some might say creepy—rendition of Casino seeking to avenge his brother's death with the iron fist of the law. The ad went viral on Youtube—some people argued it was the best Super Bowl commercial. Casino—who has a history of low budget, local ads attracting outsize attention—declined to comment.
Mammele said the trick to ensure attention-grabbing ads hit their mark is consistency with what the brand represents.
American Greetings, an Ohio-based greeting card company, recently made a bid for the viral video record book posting a compilation of fake interviews for "the world's toughest job" with no vacation time and no pay—being a mom. The video seemed like a misfire when it went up, but as Mother's Day approaches, success resulted—the Youtube video clip racked up 17 million views.
The company logo doesn't appear until the very end of the four-minute "toughest job" video.
Mammele said the "toughest job" video ran the risk of violating a few basic rules of native advertising and video-making with viral ambitions—rolling out under false pretenses with an obvious bid to go viral, and not indicating association with a brand right from the outset. It seemed "canned," he said.
Patrice Sadd, an American Greetings spokeswoman, said that the video was meant to mislead viewers initially. "It was intentional," she said, adding that traffic on the company website had increased since the campaign. "I believe it was an effective ad," Sadd said.
Mammele, echoing Coker's concerns, said that even doing all you can to make a video go viral doesn't guarantee that the brand will resonate with the viewer. "There has to be a sense of traditional advertising or branding in it so people will walk away knowing what they just watched," he said.
Just because you don't have a big budget doesn't mean you can't generate compelling ad content: Content truly is king and can come from anyone.
Creativity without brand relevance won't increase business: You can get the YouTube hits, but does it lead to increased sales and referrals?
Attracting attention is the goal, but leaving viewers with the feeling that they've been misled into watching an advertisement is a slippery slope.