Everyone in the marketing business has heard of Subservient Chicken, Will It Blend? and the Serenading Unicorn. These campaigns are legendary within the business for the vast audiences they created.
But have you ever wondered how many people in the general population—i.e. those whose jobs don’t depend on following viral marketing campaigns—have ever heard of these endeavours?
Heat, a San Francisco-based ad agency, took some of the most famous (and brilliant) examples of digital marketing out there and polled both “normal” people and ad/marketing professionals to see who knows what. The results are sobering. Internet famous is not the same thing as famous, it turns out.
(Heat also created an awesome infographic about how ad people use social media incredibly differently from the rest of the world … they also are more likely to be sloppy messes at office parties).
You might want to sit down.
70 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 8 per cent of the general population.
CP&B concocted the Subservient Chicken campaign for Burger King's TenderCrisp chicken sandwich. Going with the 'Have it your way' slogan, the man in a chicken suit would do actions that users input into the computer. The ad world went so gaga for it, that the 2005 stunt made it to The One Club's list of top 10 campaigns for the digital decade in 2010.
61 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 7 per cent of the general population.
The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive music video for Arcade Fire's 'We Used to Wait' that also features a slew of Google products. Type in your address, and you got a personal video that incorporated your house. It was created by Google Creative Lab, B-Reel, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, and @radical.media in 2010.
66 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 13 per cent of the general population.
In 2009, Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Nike, and Livestrong joined forces to create Chalkbot, a robot that allowed people all around the world to send chalk messages of encouragement and inspiration to those competing in the Tour de France. Users Tweeted their messages and a street painting robot would put them on the bike path.
63 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 9 per cent of the general population.
In celebration of Jay-Z's 2010 memoir 'Decoded,' the rapper teamed with Droga5 to create a massive outdoor campaign to bring pages of the book to unexpected locations: the lining of a suit, the exterior of a car, the bottom of a pool. The promotion won a 2011 Cannes Lion for the Outdoor Grand Prix.
56 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 13 per cent of the general population.
To promote the Core i5 processor, Intel and Projector, Tokyo created the Museum of Me: A virtual museum of a user's life that was created simply by logging onto Facebook. This celebration of narcissism, separating different photos and stages of life into different museum corridors, won a 2012 Grand Clio.
67 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 16 per cent of the general population.
Will It Blend? did the impossible: it used the internet to make a blender seem edgy and cool. Tom Dickson, founder of Blendtec blenders, posted videos of himself blending everything from an iPad to Old Spice. It turned out well for some products, like Sonim's incredibly durable Xp3300 Force phone.
34 per cent of advertising/marketing professionals aware of campaign vs. 7 per cent of the general population.
Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum came up with a masterpiece: A little ditty from the Serenading Unicorn is enough to sweeten (ha ha, get it?) anyone's day. Created by Evolution Brands, Partizan Productions, and the wonder that is Jim Henson's Creature Shop, videos of the unicorn singing everything from Devo to Boyz II Men went viral. It got an honour in Facebook's first ever Studio Awards in 2012.
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