Portal A Danced All the Way Around the World to Promote the Lenovo Yoga Tablet

By Patrick Coffee 

When last we heard from S.F./L.A. digital studio Portal A, it earned headlines by spoofing the “Is Mankind?” Airbnb work from fellow LaLa shop TBWA\Chiat\Day. The company previously scored coverage by poking fun at the overdone Dove “Real Beauty” campaign, and it’s best known for creating the annual YouTube Rewind–but Portal A does indeed make its own work for its own clients.

For example, a globetrotting campaign for Lenovo launched this week. Its purpose is to promote the company’s Yoga tablet by enlisting top YouTube stars or influencers from Russia, India and back here in the old United States of America.

Here’s the anthem spot. We’re not familiar with Matt Santoro, but Gary Vaynerchuk follows him so he must be huge.

The dance-off ended in a tie, then.

This campaign was clearly not targeted at consumers anywhere near our demographic, and it doesn’t really tell us what makes the Yoga preferable to an iPad or even–shudder–a Surface. But that’s not the point.

Portal A partner and managing director Zach Blume tells us that it’s all about the creators.

“Lenovo has empowered the YouTube creators (and our team) to create content that will feel truly special to their audiences. It’s a different way of looking at marketing, where the first objective is to delight and entertain millions of viewers, positioning the brand as content creators themselves (as opposed to simply advertisers).

These creators each have their own niche audiences, and what this campaign was able to do was speak to those niche audiences authentically, and build a bridge between them. If you look at the comment thread on just the collaboration video, there are fans of each of the creators around the world participating in that conversation.”

Finally–and most importantly–all this exposure is organic, not paid. (Read: cheap.)

Each of the three influencer parties in the dancing spot also created a separate clip. Here’s Santoro explaining what water is, exactly. No, we didn’t know that wet stuff is sticky! Tell us more.

We might watch some of this guy’s “amazing facts” clips, but Mental Floss kind of has that one down.

The Russian kid “EeOneGuy” also made a video, and we’ll let you guys try to figure it out after the pre-roll. He’s definitely more fond of bodysuits than any dubstepper/sort-of-rapper we’ve ever come across.

The part where his mom walks in on him is fun, and the video’s already got a million views in less than a day, so you see what’s going on here.

Finally, the men and women of ViralFever have their own take. (This one takes a while to get going, but we’re always suckers for Spaghetti Western themes.)

#Goodweird is not new: in September DLKW Lowe, We Are Social and Blast Radius collaborated on a campaign that was a bit more conventional than this one. We Are Social also recently got some street artists in Singapore to demonstrate what the Yoga can do, which is to make animated videos and project them on walls.

At any rate, Blume predicts that the campaign’s four spots will get at least 20 million views without requiring Lenovo or Portal A to spend a single dollar on paid media.

We have seen the future. We can’t say whether we like it, but there will be dancing.