Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Part 1, The Good: Pepto Max

Over the weekend I was watching TV when I saw this 15 second commercial. It had a campy song and giant monsters moving to the same synchronized interpreted dance moves. I had to replay it over and over and show it to everyone in the house because it made me giggle. I think I played it too many times because my daughter began singing “diarrhea!” the rest of the day. Thanks, Pepto Max!

I went to YouTube to see if someone posted it. Of course it was there, but what was also there were dozens of other people like me. They recorded themselves doing the monster dance while singing, “Nausea-Heartburn-Indigestion…Upset stomach, Diarrhea.” They were giggling too. There are videos in Spanish. There are kids in school having dance-offs. There are videos of people practicing the dance. Here’s a blurb from one:

My friends and I practicing for our Pepto Bismol dance. Sorry about it being kinda dark (which is why we moved later) and when we finally got it all sorted out, the camera cut off =P

Was it their intention to get people to make their own videos and post them on YouTube? The bottom line is that it makes me remember the product, causes me to blog about it and makes countless others do silly dance moves while singing about diarrhea. If I gave you those as business objectives, could you meet them?

Evidently this commercial came out during the super bowl, but I had never seen it before. Shows it still has legs to be played months later and that they haven’t moved on to the next campaign.

Unfortunately, the official Pepto Max website doesn’t capitalize on the viral nature they spawned with the commercial for the same product. Why aren’t the monsters on there? Just like the commercials for the super bowl showing a woman that wasn’t even on their website, Pepto dropped the ball here as well. Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg would not approve! (Buy their book, “Waiting for your Cat To Bark” for more on persuasive momentum). Instead of learning and adapting from their success, they have meaningless things like a max-o-meter or stories about customer’s backdoor trots. I want to see the making of the video or something related. Why not display the best Pepto Max customer videos from YouTube on their site? There are countless things they could have done here.

Some may hate this commercial, but even with a disappointing website it’s still a good example of marketing and creating a genuine viral experience.


Steve Portigal said...

diarrhea is a genuine viral experience.

And congrats, your hits will now go through the roof as people Google for pepto dance etc. etc. I can tell you this from bitter experience.

Michael Grossman said...

Ha! Can't be more genuine I guess. That probably came up more than once in their pitch meetings when developing this.

Doodie humor as a hit generating tool! A trick of the trade? What other topics are potential bot landmines?