Ziddio.com Defines ‘Organ Grinder’

NEW YORK Urban legends meet cyberspace in Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ latest effort for Comcast Interactive Media’s video-sharing site Ziddio.com.

In a spot that bowed this week on Comcast’s video-on-demand service and over the Internet, a slightly disheveled man sits in what looks like a cheap motel discussing urban myths. He deconstructs one story about a tourist in China waking up in a bathtub full of cold water missing a kidney.

“China has no black market for organs,” he says. “Believe it or not, it’s the Saudis who pay the big bucks.”

The camera pans to a woman yelling at the man in a foreign language from the bathroom. At her feet is a bloodied corpse. Near her is a bed covered in plastic and streaked in blood.

As the horror of what is going on sinks in, the man matter-of-factly continues his discourse: “Kidneys are like flank steak compared to what you can get for a nice pair of lungs,” all the while calmly placing a fresh organ in a plastic baggie.

The tagline, “Make it scary. Make it believable,” closes the spot.

The clip touts a contest sponsored by Ziddio, Sony, Lionsgate and Comcast horror VOD service FearNet. The competition encourages users to submit their own urban legends with the chance to get their videos shown on TV.

“We were interested in capturing the grittiness of the situation, to feel homemade [in terms of production values] and to add the touch of reality needed to come off as genuinely creepy,” said Tyler Hampton, associate creative director at Goodby.

This is the second Ziddio spot from the San Francisco-based Omnicom shop. The first was “Viral Learning Center,” which poked fun at the idea that there was a standard way to make a viral video.

The agency is anticipating making about one spot a month for Ziddio’s various upcoming contests, Hampton said.

The work attempts to engage the target audience and also give viewers directions on what sort of material is required.

“We’re treading the fine line of trying to get people intrigued in the contest and communicating what their assignment is,” said John Young, vp, marketing for Comcast Interactive. “Ziddio is looking to redefine the way people think of user-generated content sites and not be just another YouTube.