Bad Viral Content is a Good Lesson

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We apologize in advance for the following atrocity in custom content — but trust us, it’s for your own good. This video from Papa John’s Pizza is just plain terrible. Whoever thought the world needed to hear Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones rap needs to be seriously slapped. The Loomis agency is to blame for this crime against hip hop, pizza and humanity and is perhaps the longest 30 seconds you’ll ever experience. There’s something intrinsically uncomfortable about white people rapping in the best case scenario, but when the rapper in question is a 69-year-old billionaire, awkward is suddenly taken to new heights.

That said, beyond being epically unfunny and horribly produced, this awful commercial actually has some real value as a learning tool.

Viral marketing is a tricky little devil. Campy and self-effacing can easily become “Oh dear God! Make it stop!” if you’re not careful. The thin line between laughing with your brand and laughing at your brand truly lies in knowing your identity. What makes the Papa John’s clip downright criminal is that it has nothing to do with the brand or the brand’s personality. It seems miscalculated and out of left field. Tongue-in-cheek gangsta and Papa John’s just don’t seem to mix. We say make a splash with video content and we believe any size company can benefit from viral marketing. Just makes sure the message fits with the rest of your marketing. Also, when making a humorous viral video, make sure it’s actually funny. Maybe a handful of people got a chuckle out of this clip, but judging by the YouTube comments, it was a tiny group. When pursuing laughs, have some blunt and trusted friends and coworkers tell you the truth about your clip. Real friends don’t let friends release unfunny videos.

Lastly, a great thing to ask ourselves about video content is, “What’s the point?” Clearly, the point of the Papa John’s ad is to promote their Cowboys Combo — but do you remember the great deal on pizza or the incredibly awful backup dancers and old white guy rapping? Yeah. We thought so. Always make sure people remember your video content for being creative and smart and not for being an abomination.

But now it’s your turn. Tell us what you think of MC Jerry. And what other branded viral videos from hell have you seen lately? Spill it in the comments section below!

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