One of these years, advertisers are going to stop posting bogus video clips on YouTube that purport to be something other than shameless marketing plays. Alas, 2012 will not be that year. The best we can hope for, probably, is that advertisers make these clips entertaining, or at least not flat-out irritating.
Y&R in Amsterdam gets things off to a decent start with this LG clip. Posted to YouTube on Dec. 28 under the innocuous title "smart thief caught on cam," the video shows the odd behavior of an electronics-store thief, who seems to have a curious relationship with the shop's security cameras, moving stealthily toward and away from them while always facing them directly—never turning to show himself in profile. At the end, it becomes clear what he's been up to—in a fun little payoff that shows him bolting for freedom, with a clerk in hot pursuit.
The final shot includes an LG poster in the store window advertising the very product feature that's just been cleverly (if exaggeratedly) illustrated in the video. Viral marketing clips have been headed in this direction for some time. Making the ads' provenance more obvious, and letting the viewer in on the joke more quickly, perhaps makes their mercenary ends more palatable. The other way to do that is to make them legitimately fun to watch, and even to rewatch—and this spot encourages the latter in particular.
With 1.4 million views and counting, off a tiny budget, this one was a steal.
Agency: Y&R, Amsterdam
Creative Directors: Lionell Schuring, Sheldon Bont
Copywriter: Andrew Maaldrink
Art Directors: Theo Korf, Nick Plomp
Director: Hans Knaapen
Production Company: Electric Zoo