There is a constant fight in the heart of every serious marketing department these days: 1) The desire to stick to the old marketing techniques of selling with nothing but idealized beauty and empty statistics. 2) The push for edgy, weird, downright strange online content.
The people who consume internet marketing advertising through social media demand strange, edgy content. They’re tired of the marketing techniques they’re forced to watch every time they turn on their TV.
A number of brands have worked to bring this strange, exciting, different, unusual, and downright crazy content to us in hopes of striking a nerve and going viral. Some have succeeded. Some have been pure #fail. Here’s the best/worst/strangest of it!
The strangest branded content online:
Old Spice – the ads you didn’t see
We’ve all seen at least one of Terry Crews’ Old Spice commercials. They absolutely took the Internet by storm a few years back. There were, however, a few that were stranger than the rest which really only caught on with the late-night munchies crowd. The Muscle Music video was definitely one of those:
The video connected to an interactive game where you could ‘play’ Terry’s muscles with your computer keyboard. Things got stranger when the user generated content came in…
Nokia and ‘That B.E.A.T.’
Nokia is a nice, safe manufacturer of electronic goods. They’re also willing to go way out on a limb with their branded content.
Nowhere is that more evident than with this branded documentary about Bounce music in New Orleans on their Vimeo account. This video is not for the timid. There are big booties shaking all over, they look at the gay dance scene, and the first swear word is dropped in the first minute – with plenty more to follow.
The whole time you’re watching it think to yourself ‘This is branded content that Nokia paid for,’ and know that I was right when I said they’re willing to go out on a limb! Here’s your NSFW WARNING: Watch here –
Pretty much anything Mountain Dew’s Twitter account does.
Mountain Dew have always been a bit unusual. “Do the Dew” is a bit of a silly slogan, but they make it work. Most of their branded content centers around snow/skateboarding and music festival videos from their #DewTour. Their Twitter account seems to want to go a bit beyond ‘unusual’ and head straight into strange.
They have a slightly large ego:
They have a…unique…view on weather:
They have bizarre mascots that show up at random, hangs around for a bit, and then disappear without explanation:
Unfortunately, nothing done by their modern marketing efforts has ever matched the glory that was one of their first national TV commercials:
This goes to show you that branding is best when it’s a little strange. Why? Being strange is a great way to be memorable and get more free followers easily. I also dare you to get the “Good Ole Mountain Dew” song out of your head!
While all of this content may be strange, it still tells the unique brand stories of these brands. Not everyone can pull off a clean, sexy campaign like Calvin Klein can. For the rest, there’s strange. What are your favorite pieces of strange branded content? Share a link below and let’s have a chat about it!
Keep it poppin’ with popchips
When you’re a new company trying to sell potato chips, and you’re up against the likes of Lays and Hostess, you’d better be inventive. Lays has Lionel Messi pimping them out, how do you beat that on a new company’s budget?!?
You don’t. You play a whole different game. The popchips (yes, all lowercase like adidas) team have been creating some of the most consistently weird content out there for years. Here’s their current Facebook cover photo:
Strange…but maybe not strange enough for this list.
Winner! You get all the strange prizes.
BIO: Ernest Thompson works behind the scenes as a social media strategist and general online marketer. He is behind a number of online websites, and enjoys YouTube a bit too much.