Thursday, April 26, 2007

Part 2, The Bad and The Ugly: Jingles for Pringles

After my horrifying experience of discovering Pringles Prints, I found something else while looking around the Pringles website. Jingles for Pringles is a campaign that tries to get customers to post videos of themselves singing made-up Pringles jingles. They even teamed up with a vendor named Sharkle to implement their own Pringles-branded knock-off of YouTube on their very own website. How much did that cost? This started off wrong right from the start. They have a “Skip Intro” intro Flash animation with a custom song for the campaign. Does YouTube do that? If you are going to rip them off, at least do the things that they do well.

One of the things Pringles may have seen as a positive for having the videos posted on their own website is that they can control what is posted instead of being at the mercy of a YouTube. Unfortunately I see this as yet another negative. The result is that when people that take the time to record a custom jingle and get rejected, they get pissed off. They then go to what they are familiar with (YouTube) to retaliate and post their video with a rant on being rejected. For example:

This is B.S. Our video was rejected for reasons unknown. Help us send a big F U over to Pringles by sending this to all your friends!

Oops. Viral backfire. People are now promoting others to get viral against you. Another problem they have by creating PringleTube is that you have now severely limited your audience and their ability to use the social sharing tools they use all the time.

All of this feels so forced and phony. A lot of the videos have the same background which made me wonder. If you read the website, Pringles sent out “Street Teams” to go out and get people to create videos. It feels like they gave people free stuff at these events along with props in order to get them to participate. For example, these two submissions have different guys using the same guitar with the same droopy Pringles background:

If you think about this further, that means that they also uploaded the videos for the “members” as well. Is that the experience you get on YouTube? When things on YouTube don’t smell genuine like lonelygirl15, people begin to rail against them.

Overall, this is just bad and ugly and doesn’t seem to meet the goals they set out with. There is so much they could have done with this same budget they invested in this to meet those goals. Learn from Pepto Max, Pringlesfolk!

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