Last July Evian unleashed its viral video campaign, Roller Babies, on the web. The video, which jokingly illustrates the youthful effect Evian mineral water has on the body by showing a bunch of babies freestyle roller-skating, received a whopping 102 million views, 130,000 comments and 500,000 Facebook fans across a number of Roller Baby fan pages. Now, ten months after the online release of Roller Babies, Evian is taking a hint from the success of their viral campaign and is bringing the Roller Babies to television.
The ads began running in the Los Angeles area this week and are set to begin running in New York this summer. According to Euro RSCG spokeswoman Heloise Hooton, the Roller Babies Evian ads have also appeared on television in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
Jerome Goure, VP of Marketing at Danone, the company that owns Evian, assures that this movement into television does not mean the end of Evian’s viral campaign. He says, “While we are expanding into traditional media in order to broaden even further the reach of the ‘Live Young’ campaign, online remains a major pillar of our strategy.”
The advancement of Roller Babies from the web to television is the opposite of the direction most advertising campaigns take. Many popular television advertisements are uploaded to YouTube after they have aired on television. People come online to watch television commercials that they have heard about, or to share their favorite television ads with their friends.
I think Evian may be on to something here. The costs of posting and advertising a viral video online are significantly lower than paying for prime television ad time. Testing out commercials on YouTube could be a great new way for brands and advertisers to gauge customer response. The videos that go most viral on the web can then be considered for television ad campaigns. Do you think Evian could be starting a new trend in advertising with their web to television model?