Locally-grown Viral Magic

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“Local” has become one of those nouveau hippy words that signifies both locally-grown and undeniable pretension. Yet you can’t truly argue with the concept of helping your community by buying goods produced in your neighborhood. With local chic being something city folk simultaneously embrace and snicker at, there is one local good that has become a beloved viral sensation: the local commercial. These corny (and sometimes downright strange) low-budget delights are the viral video age’s version of independent film — so much so that the Independent Film Channel now has an entire series devoted to local commercial icons Link and Rhett entitled “Commercial Kings.” So we wondered: What does it take to become a viral video local commercial legend?

What every popular local commercial has in common is its “what in the hell is this?” quality which makes viewers stop, re-watch and forward to friends. And speaking of friends, ours over at Make the Logo Bigger found this gem from Lipstick Bail Bonds which illustrates our point nicely. This ad is part Charlie’s Angles, part Dog the Bounty Hunter and part unintentional comedy gold, making it just the thing people will eat up with a spoon. The Credit Mac Daddy is another example of local genius, and one which illustrates the other key to viral success: humor. Whether it’s bad jokes or good jokes (or just so bad it’s hilarious), viral genius like Credit Mac Daddy makes viewers laugh and makes ads memorable. Another common ingredient in these spots, although not an essential one, is music. A sublimely silly song can elevate a local spot from bearable to booty-shaking brilliance.

While it is difficult to say if producing a campy commercial actually helps one’s business, it certainly can’t hurt. Millions of people are hearing about dinky mom and pop places which normally only locals would have known about. So, did viral marketing make local commercials hip or is it the other way around? Sound off in the comments section below, and include a link to one of your local greats.

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