Facebook’s Puzzling Yet Popular Viral Ad

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Online video creation and viral marketing can certainly put a brand on the map. Over the years, we’ve seen odd foreign companies, tiny undiscovered brands and perhaps otherwise ignored individuals positively explode thanks to a great viral campaign. A new and highly-watched spot for Facebook had us scratching our heads, however. As more money gets sunk into viral advertising by big brands, we’ve started to wonder: Just because it’s a hit on YouTube, does that mean big profit follows?

The short answer is “heck, no!” You think everybody who chuckled at the Old Spice ads rushed out and bought a bottle of the stinky stuff? Yet Old Spice’s viral campaign did manage to put a forgotten company back on the map, which is sometimes even more powerful than huge sales.

Facebook’s new ad, we’re guessing, won’t have the same effect. Entitled “The Things That Connect Us,” an all-knowing voiceover tells us that chairs, door bells, bridges and even the universe are all like Facebook. With nearly a million views in less than a week’s time, the ad is certainly viral. But comparing your product to essential items when it’s already a product under fire for being a pain in the neck seems like a big mistake. We’d even put money down that comedians and SNL are already prepping spoofs of the pretentious spot. Facebook, especially in the viral arena, would do well to lighten up and laugh at itself instead of scaring you into thinking it’s some all-seeing evil being.

When doing our own online videos, we want to make sure our brand is approachable and that our videos are unique. In our opinion, this Facebook ad fails on both counts. But you tell us, dear readers: Is this majorly viral Facebook ad a big deal that will turn into a big leap on the stock market, or is it just a big mistake?

Five Things You Might Have Missed

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Check out these cleverly-branded APIs, online video creation filled with heart-stopping stunts and oh so much more of the best stories in online marketing in this week’s Five Things You Might Have Missed!

1.) Muscle Music: Old Spice tops our list with another great viral marketing ploy. This time the men’s cosmetics giant wants viewers to get hooked on its earworm of a song “Muscles” featured in the video starring Terry Crews as a buff one-man-band. Then Old Spice wants followers to record their own version of the song in real time and post it on its Viveo channel. That ought to make some fun watching.

2.) Coffee Cup Polling: 7-Election is 7-Eleven’s first (genius) forray into API marketing. Using coffee cups marked either Romney or Obama, 7-Eleven customers can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and developers can visit the chain’s API for non-scientific polling results. Never has which coffee cup you pick been so, well, hot.

3.) Don’t Try This at Home: To demonstrate how powerful its new line of trucks is, Volvo turned to world-record holding highliner Faith Dickey, two speeding trucks and an empty Romanian highway. The result is a nail-biting viral hit. Will the stunt make you run out and buy a Volvo? Maybe not. But you sure won’t forget it after you’ve watched it.

4.) The Brand that Cried Fire: Oh, Amazon. You’re turning into quite the master of tooting your own horn. Amazon released a statement this week saying its popular product the Kindle Fire had completely sold out in the United States. The news arrives days before the company releases Kindle Fire 2. While skeptics are raising eyebrows over the shady numbers, we’ve gotta hand it to Amazon for taking over the exciting tech hype and publicity territory once completely dominated by Apple.

5.) Read it and Blog it: And, finally, here’s a story from the “Yes, you can blog about anything” files. Fashion blogger Wendy Felton took on the five-pound monster that is Vogue’s September issue and blogged to tell the tale. She wrote about every single page and even dished about the ads! “People live-blog major events like the Oscars, and the September issue of Vogue is hugely important and influential,” Felton told the New York Daily News. “So why not give Vogue the same treatment?” Why not, indeed, Wendy! Her coverage was a hit and we say blog what ya love and the readers will come.

iPad Can Even Help You Get Divorced!

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ipad_divorce
The good folks at Apple are expecting the iPad to be lots of things — useful, buzzed about… maybe even a cause for marital discord? Early word is that relationship coaching software and legal advice have been neatly packaged into the LoveU app, which is free to download for all iPad users. Recently, psychologists have written about the disconnect that happens to a couple when a third party gadget enters the picture. Apple, upon learning of breaking more