Guest Review: Roger Baldacci Bids Adieu

By Kiran Aditham Comment

Well, it’s been a glorious run, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Here is your last campaign critique from Arnold’s Roger Baldacci, who decided that a Gillette viral was the fitting way to bow out. Take your bow, sir.

It’s only fitting that my final review for AgencySpy is for a viral stunt video. A bunch of guys with far too much free time use 3,000 liters of paint to spray Roger Federer’s face on a field before they spray 1,000 liters of foam on him and “shave” him with lawnmowers. Sometimes I feel like I’ve fallen asleep in the dim backroom of a focus group facility and woken up with candy stuck to my cheek in a strange new advertising world. Like the guy in 28 Days Later who was horrified to find London inhabited by speedy flesh starved zombies. But in my nightmare/reality, these waves and waves of zombies don’t want to eat you, they’re just desperate for you to “like” them on Facebook and/or give them YouTube hits. Ok, frankly, I’m losing myself here in this analogy.

The point is, this Gillette stunt has no point. I’ve said this before, but imagine if the brilliant, creative, problem-solving minds in this business actually set out to solve real life problems instead of finding ways to create “viral” videos? What happened to a real idea? Leveraging true consumer insight? Or just something simple and charming? Last I checked, the VW “Darth Vader” spot got 40 million hits on YouTube. Sure, running on the Super Bowl no doubt helped goose those numbers, but still. At any rate, that is moot. The order of the day is to do things in a large, public way, show how you did it and be sure to capture enthralled spectators watching your epic, pointless stunt. So I leave you with a couple of suggestions (if they haven’t already been done)—I only ask that you give me a slash for the award show entries.

Jell-O: Create the world’s largest pool and fill it with strawberry flavored Jell-O then have one of those Acapulco, banana-hammock wearing cliff divers plunge into it from 125 feet.

Tide: Have a group of people sneak into the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin and have them use those little Tide sticks to clean the Shroud of Turin. This would be faked, but it would look real. There would be much speculation, blogging, news coverage and debate.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. It’s late and I’ve got an 8:10 flight to Miami tomorrow. All I can tell you is that me and 1,000 other people are about to take the flash mob to a whole new level. Look for me on YouTube soon. Thanks for reading.