A few weeks ago a new production company DumbDumb released a video/ad »The Prom Date« for Orbit chewing gum. This is the first video in the series »Dirty Shorts« – a series of sketches that will be created for Orbit.
DumbDumb was founded by actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, most famous for their roles in American sitcom Arrested Development. DumbDumb stated that Energy BBDO, the creative agency for Orbit, provided creative insight into the campaign development.
Short synopsis: Jason Bateman plays the father of a daughter who is getting ready for her senior prom. Will Arnett plays her date, who also happens to be her social studies teacher. Both lead actors reference Orbit in the video, Arnett even said that he wants to “freshen up the old kiss-hole.”
If you watched the video you can easily make your own opinion whether it is funny or not. Since it’s been only posted online, DumbDumb and Orbit count on word-of-mouth effects. Now here’s the tricky part – the video will be successful if it will be perceived as a funny video or a 'wow' commercial, not as an usual ad. In my opinion The Prom Date failed to make a 'wow' effect :(
Paul Chibe, Wrigley’s VP-general manager, U.S. gum and mints, said that he supports edgy humor as long as it’s within the interests of the brand’s demographics. “If it’s younger people, you stay within a boundary, but this [The Prom Date] is i
ntended for a college audience. The company does a very good job of making sure we’re tasteful and doing this in a way that doesn’t cross any boundary with the audience.”
On 30th June 2010 the video had around 400.000 views on YouTube. I believe that Wrigley has some ROI benchmark to measure the effectiveness of The Prom Date video and Dirty Shorts campaign. I also believe that new videos will follow soon.
But are long-form videos/ads really the future of advertising? In some way yes, but they certainly won’t displace classic 30-second ads. I’ve already blogged about Oliver Peoples videos, but they are not a lonely case. I’ll probably cover some of them in my future posts (BMW’s The Hire, Audi’s The Next Big Thing, Phillips’ Parallel Lines …).
A recent study conducted by research/consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates for the video site Metacafe revealed, that for consumers watching short professional videos online is just as entertaining as watching full-length TV shows on television. Moreover, more than one in four respondents also said short-form online videos are more entertaining than full-length TV shows.
Well, that could explain the recent success of Nike and Adidas 'wow' commercials. Nike’s Write The Future ad has more than 17 million views on YouTube, while Adidas Originals has almost 4 million views.
In comparison with those two ads the results for The Prom Date are really quite moderate.