For most people, watching a slab of beef smoke for 13 hours would be about as exciting as watching paint dry. Who in their right mind would think of using something so dull, so monotonous, as the basis of a brand-new marketing campaign? Apparently, Arby’s would. The fast-food chain released a 13-hour video on YouTube, demonstrating the slow smoking that’s used to create its new Smokehouse sandwich.
Watching beef cook not your thing? Then how about heading over to Jamba Juice’s YouTube dance contest, designed to promote its new line of healthy green smoothies? The company is partnering with popular YouTube channel DanceOn and offers prizes including trips to New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, in addition to Jamba Juice gift cards.
Different products, different campaigns, but they have one important thing in common: They’re weird. And apparently, their weirdness is drawing a lot of media attention which, as any company knows, can be worth more than gold (or certainly more than a slab of smoky beef).
Video plays an integral role for many companies, but what these companies (and others) have shown is that to garner interest, you need to go beyond the staid, scripted delivery of your marketing message to truly think outside the box – way outside – to get results once only dreamed of by top marketing gurus.
Blendtec is another great example. Sure, now they’re known for their top-quality, state-of-the-art blenders, but when they were a fledgling company trying to make ends meet, one of the company’s partners decided it would be cool to film the Blendtec founder blending all kinds of things – from golf balls to garden rakes – to demonstrate their power and post the videos on YouTube under the compelling title, “Will it Blend.” The videos went viral – not only that, but devoted customers began making their own videos to show what they were able to blend (think iPhone smoothie).
The upshot: Video can be a great marketing channel, but to be successful, you have to think far beyond a scripted interview and use it as it was intended – as a visual medium.