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Viral Marketing on Metafilter
May 10, 2007 1:46 AM   Subscribe

Viral marketing video as front page post, up long enough that it doesn't seem like it's going to be deleted. Slippery slope, blah blah. What say you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken to Etiquette/Policy at 1:46 AM (113 comments total)

Fairly interesting discussion in the thread about the fact that it is in fact viral marketing (since there's not so much to talk about in terms of the 'content' itself), so there's that. For the record, though: no sir, I don't like it. I'm starting to wonder if my fear and loathing of this kind of thing has become a cranky outlier opinion. All good, pure evil, or something in between?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:46 AM on May 10, 2007



If the post had stated: "check out this ad blah blah blah something relevant and/or amusing or at least elaborating" I would not have cared.

But keep your fucking ads on your side of the bed.

As far as the merits of viral marketing I don't think there are any. As I said in my comment on said post: we all remember that viruses are _bad_, don't we? Marketing is marketing and if it's more subtle and invasive how is that good again?

Is shopping so important? Put me down in the "saying no, it isn 't" column.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:53 AM on May 10, 2007


Slippery slope, blah blah. What say you?

You're damn right. Companies making cute films people actually want to watch that make no mention of their product. Where will it end?
posted by cillit bang at 2:38 AM on May 10, 2007


Viral marketing video as front page post in two sections of Metafilter.
It worked. pure evil.
posted by peacay at 2:40 AM on May 10, 2007


Yeah, kind of amazed it wasn't deleted. Then upon returning, amazed some more. Then slightly less amazed. Then merely surprised. Now it's just sad.

Hey, this is kinda like American politics.
posted by dreamsign at 3:05 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Raybanhammer!
posted by rob511 at 3:13 AM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Heh, dreamsign.

rob511, I'm stalking you. Go ahead and make another pun anywhere on the internets, I'll find you.
posted by taz at 3:39 AM on May 10, 2007


I'll agree with anything you say, starvos, so long as your pretty little mouth never stops moving. *dreamy sigh*
posted by liquorice at 3:45 AM on May 10, 2007


Where will it end?
In the soulless commodification of every human emotion and interaction, at a guess.
posted by Abiezer at 3:46 AM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


If folk hadn't overthought this particular plate of beans, I never would have known it was a viral, never would have associated it with a particular brand of sunglasses, and continued my daily life unimpeded. Since that discussion, however, I have felt compelled to spend every last penny of my family's income and savings on branded sungalsses. We are now bankrupt and destitute. Thank you MetaFilter!
posted by MrMustard at 3:49 AM on May 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


Erm, sunglasses. Obviously.
posted by MrMustard at 3:50 AM on May 10, 2007


King Herod's tomb - nope
ad for Ray Bans - yup
posted by caddis at 4:38 AM on May 10, 2007


Commercials aren't inherently evil unless you're completely unable to control yourself from purchasing items.

To me, this is a non-issue.
posted by ColdChef at 4:40 AM on May 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


branded sungalsses

I rather like the idea of sungaloshes.
posted by chrismear at 4:44 AM on May 10, 2007


Well, it's damn motherfucking sure not the best of the web. I was looking for the delete button myself.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:00 AM on May 10, 2007


ColdChef - Dude - commercials are not inherently evil maybe, but they are in the exclusive service of a particular thing. As such they are inherintly manipulative and, often, deceptive.

Ultimately what the viral ads are trying to do, are doing is what all advertising seeks - to make you think of their product first when a need corresponding to that product arises. Fine.

We are largely inured to advertising in its many forms because it is so pervasive, but when you step back for a little bit and then look at it again it's intrusive, totally artificial, and not necessarily ever to our advantage.

Is it inherently evil? It is inherently mercenary.

As such, I retain the right to tell it to get the fuck out of my life (and especially the lives of my children - whom I tediously lecture (just as I'm doing now (and with just as many (well maybe not as many) parenthetical asides)) at every opportunity (and they aren't even in kindergarten yet - that's right, I'm insane on this issue but I want them to grow up thinking about things not just reacting to whatever pitch is aimed at them)) just as I like to keep out rodents and cold draughts.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:02 AM on May 10, 2007


commercials are not inherently evil maybe, but they are in the exclusive service of a particular thing. As such they are inherintly manipulative and, often, deceptive.

If we rid the site of everything that fit this definition, it would be an empty space.

To me the distinction is this: MetaFilter member links to a site that sells products or is a clever viral video (and I'm not in any way suggesting that this glasses thing was at all clever), no problem. Member joins out site to exclusively pitch their product at us? Banhammer his nuts.

As such, I retain the right to tell it to get the fuck out of my life

That's fine. Just don't try to parent the entire website.
posted by ColdChef at 5:15 AM on May 10, 2007



It's a fucking one-like YouTube post. To a commerical.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:16 AM on May 10, 2007


That's not always such a bad thing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go overthink this plate of delicious Heinz baked beans. As a food, Heinz baked beans have few equals in being both delicious and a valuable source of nutrients. They are a good source of complex carbohydrates, including dietary fibre, and protein, iron, calcium and thiamin.

They are low in fat and contain no cholesterol. The popular meal of beans on toast provides an excellent balance of quality protein. The protein content makes them a suitable substitute for meat, poultry and fish.
posted by ColdChef at 5:27 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]



wow. That reads like it was intentional.

But uh no, I will not "...try to parent the entire website..." and yeah, member joins our site to exclusively.... yeah.

And lastly, it's a fucking one-link YouTube post. To a commercial.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:29 AM on May 10, 2007


It's a fucking one-like YouTube post. To a commerical.

Ah, now I get it! Why didn'tcha just say that in the first place? ;-)

King Herod's tomb - nope
ad for Ray Bans - yup


*imagines inline image on this thread: photoshopped King Herod in RayBans*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:32 AM on May 10, 2007


But uh no, I will not "...try to parent the entire website..."

I apologize. That came off way bitchier than I intended.

I had actually written this whole thing about your kids in the future bitching because they just wanted a fricking box of chicken nuggets but you were unable to stop lecturing them about how they really didn't want the nuggets, multi-nation corporations were making them THINK they wanted chicken nuggets. But it was only funny in theory, and probably only funny to me, so I deleted it.
posted by ColdChef at 5:36 AM on May 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


The Sum(glasses) of all Fears
posted by Flashman at 5:38 AM on May 10, 2007


It was funny to me, too, Coldchef, but I was laughing through my tears.

Laughing through my angry, angry tears.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:53 AM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]



laughing. apology accepted. but about the ckicken nuggets, it's true, let me tell you, last week, we were in the car, and...
posted by From Bklyn at 6:00 AM on May 10, 2007


Have we ever had a hard rule against posting 'viral' ads? They get deleted here because they're 1) Posted as self-links, or 2) Suck. Those are the same criteria for any other deletion, as far as I know.
posted by delmoi at 6:02 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I had actually written this whole thing... But it was only funny in theory, and probably only funny to me, so I deleted it.

So it was probably better in the end, then, that you went with this synopsis version.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:03 AM on May 10, 2007


I saw people flagging it (some, not a ton) and I saw people discussing it and it seemed like "MeFi discusses a viral sunglasses video" not "someone uses MeFi to pimp their sunglasses" and I left it, but I was sort of on the fence about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:06 AM on May 10, 2007


"MeFi discusses a viral sunglasses video" not "someone uses MeFi to pimp their sunglasses"

This point, to me, is key. Somehow I doubt Flashman is a stockholder in the corporation that owns RayBan.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:09 AM on May 10, 2007


Speaking of viral videos, I'm still convinced 28 Days Later was just an epic viral for Pepsi. Thoughts?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:19 AM on May 10, 2007


What struck me, too, was this:

Fairly interesting discussion in the thread about the fact that it is in fact viral marketing (since there's not so much to talk about in terms of the 'content' itself), so there's that.

People are upset by things that get deleted, and by things that don't get deleted. We're never going to manage to walk a perfect Lincoln-defying line with this stuff, and it seems like letting something harmless simmer longer than normal sometimes is a good idea, if only to test the waters. Maybe push the pendulum the other way a little if people are, say, fretting over deletions lately, and give something breathing room to see what happens.

It was a cute video; but it was viral advertising; but we figured out quickly and definitively that it was viral advertising; discussion proceeds.

Like jessamyn says: it was a fencer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:19 AM on May 10, 2007


You know who else tolerated a fencer?
posted by Abiezer at 6:23 AM on May 10, 2007 [6 favorites]


I guess I'll weigh in here, again. To say that yes, I think this sucks and is not awesome.

Viral ads are not awesome because they coopt genuine creativity, and genuine culture, with something that has the appearance of such, but carries the added intention of (further) associating all aspects of our culture with the consumption of products.

Yes, the choice whether or not to buy stuff is ultimately always up to me, but I resent that the imperatives of those trying to get me to buy stuff are making further inroads into my interactions with other people and my world.
posted by flotson at 6:26 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


The prudish, intense opposition to benign viral ads like this one is strikingly similar to the prudish, intense opposition to "indecency" one sees in more conservative camps. When ads become truly subliminal and impossible to detect, I'll be worried, but until then, I'm going to enjoy the funny videos.
posted by brain_drain at 6:40 AM on May 10, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm glad it didn't get deleted, as I think it's a useful thread to help people recognize "viral" advertising; and there was some pretty good conversation on the pitfalls of this kind of thing. This is part of the world we live in, like it or not. I don't think anyone could read that thread (or simply watch the video) and walk away thinking, "I got to get me some Ray-Bans stat!" The thread exposed one of the major flaws with viral advertising—people don't like having their trust abused in this way, and may walk away from this kind of exposure with a lower opinion of the sponsor than they previously held. Not always though; see the Simpsons "Angel"* episode. (pre-internet viral advertising).

*The Simpsons is a Fox TV show. Fox is so awesome!
posted by Mister_A at 6:40 AM on May 10, 2007


I thought it was cool to see the Mefi Junior Detective Squad uncover the scam. (And the cherry on top being when someone pointed out the word viral was in the url the whole time.)
Then again, I don't seem to froth over the foul evilness of advertising the way others do.
posted by poxuppit at 6:41 AM on May 10, 2007


What flotson said, for what it's worth, and much more that I won't bother going in to, because it's predictable if you know me at all.

I hear and understand what jessamyn and cortex are saying, but if it'd been up to me, I would've nuked that damn thing so fast there'd've been a mushroom cloud. For what little it's worth.

But you know, so it goes, and so there become fewer and fewer spaces in our waking lives that remain uncolonized by those whose only interest is in trying to sell us something by whatever means they can.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:41 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know what sucks and is awesome?

The Dirt Devil KONE™
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 6:42 AM on May 10, 2007


I think a lot of you people are pissed because you got taken in.
posted by Mister_A at 6:43 AM on May 10, 2007


Viral ads are not awesome because they coopt genuine creativity, and genuine culture, with something that has the appearance of such, but carries the added intention of (further) associating all aspects of our culture with the consumption of products.

I'm fairly certain that this
A) Is not limited to Viral ads, and can be said of advertising in general, and as such
B) Is nothing new.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:50 AM on May 10, 2007


I throw up, and not in my mouth, and not just a little, when I hear phrases like "co-opts genuine creativity".
posted by Mister_A at 6:55 AM on May 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


I don't think the original poster even knew it was connected with a company. No one figured it out for a while. I thought it was a funny parody of the quarters/pong/basketball videos we've seen before and enjoyed it on that level.

Finding out later (what, 30 comments in?) that it was made by an ad company for some product certainly dulls the finish on the post as a whole, but it was still an amusing little parody. I don't hate all advertising enough to think it's suddenly gone from amusing to delete-worthy, so I didn't do anything about it.

I hate it when something seemingly amateur and fun turns out to be a well-crafted ad made to fool you into thinking it was amateur and fun (and when I picture the board meetings planning it... shit, I hope the marketing douchebags that created it die in hell for tricking everyone) but the final product is still amusing, even though it's an ad.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:04 AM on May 10, 2007


I throw up, and not in my mouth, and not just a little, when I hear phrases like "co-opts genuine creativity".

Thanks for your helpful, insightful and genuinely creative contribution to the ongoing discussion. We look forward to many more!

Whatever. All the admins have weighed in, and as Metatalk dénouement usual, it looks to be heading towards the circlejerks and potshots now, so I'll bow out, because it's my bedtime.

I don't think I'll ever understand people who are willing, even eager to have things marketed to them. Even if I don't understand them, I won't bother insulting them. 'Cause that'd be dumb.

Even if they are monkey-raping cheesedicks.

I don't think the original poster even knew it was connected with a company.

Yeah, I think that was almost certainly the case. That makes it even more pernicious, to me at least, though. If the poster'd known and worked for the marketing firm, at least those of us who hate this stuff would have the satisfaction of a scapegoat. As it is, we're just left with a vague less-that-fresh feeling, minor anal leakage, a new Raybans™ neural circuit in our brain, and nobody to shake our mock-operatic fists at.

Ah well. Nighty-night all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


check out the op's site - great photography
posted by caddis at 7:31 AM on May 10, 2007


so I'll bow out, because it's my bedtime.

Why do yo go to bed in the morning?

[NOT TIMEZONIST]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 AM on May 10, 2007


I have a bee in my bonnet about the way people use the words "creative" and "creativity". I was just trying to be funny with that phrasing, but I apologize if it came off as insulting.

To the point: It seems like many people think "creative" means the same thing as "artistics". You can be creative without being artistic, and vice versa. The other thing that bugs me is that there's this idea among some that "creative" (and/or artistic) endeavors that are undertaken for monetary gain are somehow impure or unworthy. Well folks, advertising is very often creative. Elements of the TV advertising vocabulary have been incorporated into mainstream film-making. More often, advertising is not very creative. There's something to be said for the "honest" approach of hitting the audience over the head with your sales message.

I digress. The broader issue I have is with this sensitivity to the "abuse" of creativity in service of Mammon. Artists in general do everything in their power to get to a point where they get paid to create their art. Dutch masters didn't necessarily want to paint chubby Flemish merchants, but they did, and some of these paintings are great art. Michelangelo didn't work for free either. Artists have had patrons for at least the last several hundred years, and that is an ugly truth that is not likely to change any time soon. The people who created this video may go on to become middle management at some NY agency, or they may go on to become "real" film-makers. Their "creativity" has not been "co-opted" by Ray-Ban or its parent company; that corporate entity paid for their creative services because somebody recognized some glimmer of talent or novelty in their proposal and/or previous work.

That said, I do understand the sensitivity to having someone "put something over" on us like this, but again, ask yourself, did it really work? Can this work? I don't think so, because in order to be effective, it has to mention the brand (a category sell for sunglasses is about the stupidest idea I can imagine); but to be accepted and "go viral", this kind of stuff must avoid mentioning the brand. This is like one of those hilarious 2000 Super Bowl ads for companies we've never heard of. Cute little film, lousy advertising.
posted by Mister_A at 7:43 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Viral ads are not awesome because they coopt genuine creativity, and genuine culture

Hmm, I sympathize with the sentiment but really, logically speaking it takes creativity to make these things and who gets to decide what's genuine culture? Who are the culture police? It could be well argued that viral ads are very much a part of the culture. Look at commercials from say, the 70's. Is there any way you can argue they aren't part of the culture of that time?

carries the added intention of (further) associating all aspects of our culture with the consumption of products.


I personally hate that our culture has this tendency, to associate everything with consumerism. But, one can hardly blame individual marketers for the state of society or somehow think of them as "not us". We are all complicit.
posted by scheptech at 7:47 AM on May 10, 2007


branded sungalsses

Any sunglasses that cost over $10 (Cdn) are just asking for trouble -- sat on, scratched by keys, left on a bus. Ideally, sunglasses should cost between $3 and $5. Dollar stores are good but selection varies.

For more info, see

Oh, and viral advertising sucks like pick pockets suck. They both take creativity. So what?
posted by dreamsign at 7:55 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll come clean:
I am employed by Duncan-Hines.

I feel much better now.
posted by Dizzy at 7:56 AM on May 10, 2007


I love stavros.
posted by taz at 8:07 AM on May 10, 2007


"last week, we were in the car, and..."

What kind of car?

I'd have nuked this without hesitation, but I understand the position of the mods. I just don't like being advertised to, the same way that I don't stay friends with people who get involved in Amway.

And I just got a cell phone call from "restricted" that was spamming me home improvements, so excuse me if I'm a little tetchy about advertising in my life right now.
posted by klangklangston at 8:10 AM on May 10, 2007


Well klang, the new iPhone will filter out those annoying sales calls and replace them with soothing Apple sales calls with rounded corners and other oxymorons.
posted by Mister_A at 8:13 AM on May 10, 2007


I am angry because I watched that video and then, like someone posessed, drove myself to the mall, and bought myself 6 pairs of Ray-Bans. I live underground. I feel duped.
posted by mckenney at 8:18 AM on May 10, 2007


mck-- you ain't the only one:
I've got 4 CraftMatic Adjustable beds being delivered today.
I do whatever Pat Summerall tells me.
posted by Dizzy at 8:27 AM on May 10, 2007


stavros, no insult intended to you or anyone else. I do think the reaction of many to this innocuous little ad is disproportionate and oversensitive, but that doesn't mean y'all aren't fine and decent people. [this message brought to you by OmniCorp]
posted by brain_drain at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2007


I wish Trojan would get in the viral marketing business. I would love to see some posts of those videos.
posted by dios at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2007



circlejerks and potshots! Sounds like FUN!

I didn't think of it at the time but, "But keep your fucking ads on your side of the bed." - I didn't mean this about the original post: I'll side with the admins, good discussion came out of it.

My ire is for the producers of this 'viral.'

Who do I shoot/jerk now?
posted by From Bklyn at 8:35 AM on May 10, 2007


You can shoot me if you want, but you must also make with the jerking.
posted by Mister_A at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2007


Next up - getting buzzed.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on May 10, 2007


I totally agree with st

OMG MUST BUY AND CONSUME A PLATE OF BEANS
posted by oneirodynia at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2007


re: Getting buzzed:
That manufactured word of mouth thing keeps rearing its ugly and ineffectual head. People, don't worry about this shit, it's yet another failed experiment.

And like most of this crap, it has historical precedent. The shill at a 3-card monty table comes to mind, as do the shills at traveling medicine shows, etc. Nothing new under the sun. What has changed is that most people are far less credulous about such things.
posted by Mister_A at 9:38 AM on May 10, 2007


I do think the reaction of many to this innocuous little ad is disproportionate and oversensitive, but that doesn't mean y'all aren't fine and decent people.

That is my take as well. And one of the things I love about stavros is that he recognizing his crankiness without either apologizing for it or celebrating it excessively.
posted by languagehat at 9:43 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


That is my take as well. And one of the things I love about stavros is that he recognizing his crankiness without either apologizing for it or celebrating it excessively.

Yeah. Stav is a fine example of a mefite who has strong opinions and expresses them firmly without being belligerent (usually). He often does this by explicitly making friendly gestures along with his crankiness. I suspect that other personality types may think "why bother?", "it's insincere", "it's obsequious", "that takes the fun out of it". But they're wrong on all counts. Stav is a good mefi role-model.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:00 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


If anyone who watched more than five seconds of this thought it was an amateur effort, then the much vaunted sophistication of the web audience is a myth.

Even forgetting the ridiculously improbable stunts, how did you think the live actors managed to synchronize their hand claps, high fives and dance moves with the backing music over eight or nine jump cuts?
posted by timeistight at 10:43 AM on May 10, 2007


If anyone who watched more than five seconds of this thought it was an amateur effort, then the much vaunted sophistication of the web audience is a myth.

To be fair, a group of talented amateurs could probably create something like this. That said, it probably was a little too clean around the edges
posted by timelord at 10:57 AM on May 10, 2007


Clearly not amateur, but it could have been an "independent" effort by talented video dudes. It's not though
posted by Mister_A at 10:58 AM on May 10, 2007


We ought to ban people who post any advertising, whether they realize it or not. No appeal, no discussion, just instant bannination. Something like the self-link taboo but the added element that the offense need not be intentional. Innocents could be punished. This would add a kind of mindless, god-like ruthlessness that I feel is missing from the moderation effort which would in turn prevent many melodramatic discussions about slippery slopes. After all nobody complains about slippery slopes when the law is present, simple, and without mercy.
posted by nixerman at 11:04 AM on May 10, 2007


I don't know, I think what kind of sucks about the video being here isn't that someone specifically targeted mefi (I think it's pretty clear that no one did) but rather that the site is falling prey to the kind of subtle manipulation a lot of us would like mefi to rise above. is it a guidelines violation? nope. are people enjoying it and enjoying discussing it? i guess so. so i guess it stays but man do I wish we were better than crap like that. we're doing a marketer's job for him for free, and that feels dirty.

but moving on: i've said it before, but I am fucking sick to death of the plate of beans thing. Not for the same reason anymore. I used to just think the joke had been beaten to death, but now I'm seeing it as this cute little synonym for "thinking about anything is bad." just about every thread gets somebody going "well, so long as we're talking about THIS particular plate of beans..." god damn it! not all discussion is overthinking a plate of beans, motherfuckers!
posted by shmegegge at 11:21 AM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't understand whether this community thinks viral marketing is somehow more evil or insidious than other forms of marketing. I'm curious about that. My position is all communications are viral to the same extent. Is that overly pseudotheoretical?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:28 AM on May 10, 2007


I'm totally on-board with shmegegge on this plate of beans stupidity. It's way more of a problem then viral marketing. It's such a powerdown (feature request: everytime someone makes a beans joke, this sound plays). It's well past any shelf life it had for the funny, and now its nothing more than a desperate attempt for people to say "look at me! I know about the funny injoke thing and I'll prove it by using it." In reality though, the person using it looks like a desperate and boring douchecock.
posted by dios at 11:34 AM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


<douchecock>
dios, might you be slightly overthinking the plate of beans phenomenon?
</douchecock>
posted by cgc373 at 11:47 AM on May 10, 2007


I think somebody needs a refreshing Bud Light.
Or 4.
posted by Dizzy at 12:05 PM on May 10, 2007


Did somebody say douchecock? Sit down friend, and let me tell you about the world's finest douchecock, the DC-10 from the good folks at Schmeler and Neibler Apparatus...
posted by Mister_A at 12:16 PM on May 10, 2007


HAI GYZE LOOKZ AT ME IM IN UR MEHFEE OVERTHINKINGK UR BEENZ JOAKZ LIEK U KNO WHO PLEEZ HOPE MEE
posted by oneirodynia at 12:18 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


just about every thread gets somebody going "well, so long as we're talking about THIS particular plate of beans..."

And to think mathowie can make some money on selling Metafilter-shirts. With that on-site marketing meme he could make a killing selling a MeFi line of canned baked beans.
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM on May 10, 2007


Am I the only one who doesnt' understand how the ad was supposed to sell a specific brand of sunglasses?

if there was a unique feature of the glassess that is needed to throw them at your friends face I would sort of get it.
posted by Megafly at 12:51 PM on May 10, 2007


a specific brand of sunglasses?

The Ray-Ban sunglasses (Wayfarer) in the video are very distinct and iconic. They were very popular in the '80s and are making a comeback now. The Wayfarer and the Ray-Ban Aviator models are two of the most imitated styles of sunglasses.
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM on May 10, 2007


"Ray-Ban Wayfarer Relaunch" -- Wallpaper | Jan. 25, 2007

"Risky Business!" -- Runwayreporter.com | Apr. 4, 2007
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on May 10, 2007


Proper hyperlink for Risky Business.
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on May 10, 2007


Why aren't they using Tom Cruise for the comeback campaign oh right yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:14 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


If this really is a Ray-Ban ad they should have not had two stupid looking guys stupidly faking a stupid trick. In my opinion (should I go into advertising?)

This comment
, on the other hand, is the not only the best of the web but the best of all possible webs.
posted by nanojath at 1:23 PM on May 10, 2007


Fuck Tom Cruise; Ray Charles made Wayfarers cool before Cruise was born.
posted by timeistight at 1:39 PM on May 10, 2007


I wish Trojan would get in the viral marketing business. I would love to see some posts of those videos.

Ask and ye shall receive.
posted by dhartung at 1:57 PM on May 10, 2007


Am I the only one who doesnt' understand how the ad was supposed to sell a specific brand of sunglasses?

if there was a unique feature of the glassess that is needed to throw them at your friends face I would sort of get it.


Most of the best -- or at least, most successful -- viral ads don't mention the product at all. Partly it's breaking the longstanding rules of advertising, which jaded consumers will appreciate, and partly it's getting the consumer to congratulate himself when he figures it out. This is similar to the way that sweepstakes mailers come with half-a-dozen different gizmos you have to rip apart or stick to each other. It's a way to get the consumer to feel involved.
posted by dhartung at 2:05 PM on May 10, 2007


Ask and ye shall receive.

Total derail -- that YouTube Condom Video has listed next to it a link to my favorite condom advertisement.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on May 10, 2007


And just to beat my poor l'il dead horse some more, dhartung, while there may have been successful viral ads in the sense that they got a lot of views, I have yet to see any evidence that these things produce any kind of return on investment.
posted by Mister_A at 2:35 PM on May 10, 2007


Even conventional advertising is notorious for being difficult to measure return.
posted by Firas at 2:46 PM on May 10, 2007


worst. sentence. evar.
posted by Firas at 2:47 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I apologize for my "plate of beans joke" and for being a desperate and boring douchecock.
posted by ColdChef at 3:33 PM on May 10, 2007


The douchecocks are the site's cleanest members.
posted by brain_drain at 3:35 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


That kind of party, huh?

*sticks douchecock in the beansplate*
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:45 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the Cooptation of Genuine Creativity

by Cranky "Beans" Blowhard

Mister_A, first, I object to your handle because it's very close to something I sometimes go by and confuses me. Secondly, point taken that the makers of the video were creative. What I object to here is that this creativity is intended to create cultural associations with Ray-Ban brand sunglasses, and to ultimately increase Ray Ban profitability (rather than about a million different better ends it could have been put to). Next, I object to the fact that the video pretends otherwise. It asserts falsely that it's the creative product of a couple likable guys-next-door messin around. So, while it is creative, what I guess I'm saying is that it's creativity with bad intentions under false pretenses. (And is therefore not awesome.)

So, in terms of the "bad intentions" piece, I see that I'm speaking to your artists n' Mammon comments. I recognize that everyone's gotta survive, and I'm very much riding this bus. Just got an MFA in poetry, need to figure out how to put food on my family, etc. and still make art. This is our reality. However, as realities go, I think it's super perverse. At risk of repeating myself, the larger issue that I see here is that at present our culture is mostly driven by the imperatives of profit. This ain't what culture is for, and this is hurting us bad.

Et al, as far as beans go--if it ain't obvious, the issues this video brings up are ones that I care about. A lot.
posted by flotson at 3:53 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


*sticks douchecock in the beansplate*

ewwwwwww...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:08 PM on May 10, 2007


"This ain't what culture is for"

When I hear the word culture, I reach for my computer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:09 PM on May 10, 2007


When I hear variations on that snowclone, I reach for my gun.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:25 PM on May 10, 2007


mmmmm, snowclones!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:28 PM on May 10, 2007


Since I tasted that beansplate, my mind has stayed wrung.
posted by Firas at 4:28 PM on May 10, 2007


BTW, EB, what kinda gun you got? Semi-automatic?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:29 PM on May 10, 2007


You know how we combat viral marketing? We hire people to APPEAR to enjoy and pass it around but not buy the product involved - thereby hurting their conversion-per-impression metrics until the dinglefuck marketing weenie who went out on a limb with the idea in the first place gets fired.
posted by scarabic at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2007


BTW, EB, what kinda gun you got? Semi-automatic?

Nah, I don't have a gun.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:22 PM on May 10, 2007


Successful viral marketing is content so good it replicates itself. It doesn’t need stavros' approval, or disapproval, or indeed a link to it from this community.

And what if the marketing campaign was supporting messages of peace and understanding, or clean air, or school lunches - what if it was a social viral marketing campaign.

Successful viral marketing campaigns are clever and creative although sometimes just plain lucky (strike).

They never really did put marijuana in it…
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:22 PM on May 10, 2007


While I'm at it, allow me to introduce you to my beans guru.
posted by flotson at 5:41 PM on May 10, 2007


You know who else tolerated a fencer?

The three musketeers?

oh. Hitler. right. bugger.
posted by Sparx at 5:54 PM on May 10, 2007


I am now awake again and about to drink coffee. Thank you for the kind words above, friends, about my crank, and it's -iness.

This went relatively well, all things considered!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:55 PM on May 10, 2007


Aside to taz: I'm sorry, but you're too late — maxima mea culpa.
posted by rob511 at 7:02 PM on May 10, 2007


Aside to taz: I love you too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:05 PM on May 10, 2007


I love stavros.
posted by taz
Aside to taz: I love you too.

I have photos if anyone's interested.

Ray Charles made Wayfarers cool before Cruise was born.
'tis true, but a pity he never knew it.
posted by dg at 8:33 PM on May 10, 2007



It's funny how the conversation wound around and around and, ultimately, ended up back in the same place.

"Nice talk thread. 'Viral' marketing crap. Snark, humor, not-so-humorous. Repeat."

How many times will it do this?
posted by From Bklyn at 2:02 AM on May 11, 2007


My only regret from this thread is that I think 'monkey-raping cheesedicks' might have been more euphonious and thus more amusing if I'd said 'ape-raping cheeseweiners'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:59 AM on May 11, 2007


Stav is a fine example of a mefite who has strong opinions and expresses them firmly without being belligerent (usually).

Oh but I do lurve me some occasionally belligerent wonderchicken, though. 'Specially when it ends up with someone threatening to skullfuck his verbs.

posted by romakimmy at 4:12 AM on May 11, 2007


I think if it turns out to be a viral video we should get paid for having watched it.

If I want to watch these kinds of videos I'd go to Fark or Digg or (whoda thunkit) YouTube.

If it becomes a pattern I'm outta here. I know, like anyone cares.
posted by unSane at 7:34 AM on May 11, 2007


Well I hate ads in any form, but I find this kind of stuff interesting. After stepping back from a feeling of being duped into believing it was user submitted. I began to think about the effects of viral marketing within a mostly donative community site. There's definitely a range of responses that one could probably write a book on. One of the risks to viral marketing if deliberately obscured is the possibility of consumer backlash as was the case in 2006 with Sony's viral marketing failure.

This Ray Ban one though carefully balances on the grey line. It's not deliberately obscure to the point of not wanting to be figured out, yet its also not intended to be perceived as a viral commercial as it mimicks the homemade trick nature of user made videos such as the ones on beer pong. (so in other words its not a superbowl commercial which oddly a good number of people "look forward" to seeing)

In the end though, it's somewhat of a violation of the donative community within youtube. Granted a lot of the amatuer content isn't that great...but its created by people for people with the love of creativity (however bad it is in some cases) in the fore front. A mimicking ad does nothing but profainate that sense.
posted by samsara at 1:46 PM on May 11, 2007


Fretting Over Product Placement
"...marketers, lured online by YouTube's growing viewership and the low cost of Internet advertising, had already been trying to capitalize on YouTube's big names — just more directly. Everyone from giant brand owners such as Coke, Proctor & Gamble and Hershey, to tiny one-man shops such as Robert Singer's Waterstone guitar outfit in Nashville, have been offering cash and goodies to the amateur filmmakers — in exchange for a little good will toward their product.

And, increasingly, YouTube performers seem happy to oblige.

...since many of YouTube's video bloggers have built their followings without a cent of corporate capital, some have been more circumspect about becoming vessels for paid messages.

...On hoax-happy YouTube, attacks on authenticity and accusations of 'selling out' have always plagued artists, and the influx of advertising dollars has not helped with trust-building.

'It's getting hard these days to even talk about a good movie you've seen,' Robinett said, 'because I know people who have been paid by movie companies to do that very thing.'

The blurry ethics of 'guerrilla' advertising are still being worked out. One trend is ad spots that are made to look low-budget and amateurish when they're anything but. In other cases, such as the payola incidents Robinett alludes to, it can be difficult to tell if a video is an advertisement at all...."
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on May 13, 2007


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