Here’s a social media and traditional advertising gimmick hand crafted for our voyeuristic times. The good folks at Downy have shoved a comedian in a department store window and forced him to stay there for a whole week while the world watches his mannequin antics online. It’s not as cruel as we’re making it sound. In fact, “Mike in the Window,” as they’re calling it, is a smart and funny old-fashioned gimmick that uses today’s social media and online branding to drum up interest in fabric softener.
This is how it works: For one week, comedian Mike Birbiglia will live and sleep inside a Macy’s Herald Square display window. Downy has been pitching its product as a sleep aid claiming that soft sheets help folks get a better night’s rest. Procter & Gamble, the makers of Downy, even funded a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. The study naturally found that things like clean, yummy-smelling sheets help folks fall asleep faster. So to put that theory to the test, the company enlisted Birbiglia to live and sleep in the busy window.
What makes Birbiglia the ideal candidate? He’s an infamous sleepwalker. In fact, some of his most famous stand-up routines revolve around his sleepwalking problem. So fans of the comedian will be tuning into see if wanders in the middle of the night or sleeps soundly, thanks to Downy, of course.
Using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Birbiglia will chronicle his life in the store window with observations and one-liners. As he stepped into the window yesterday, cameras rolled and live footage of his press conference was seen on Facebook. Fourteen thousand people have already ‘liked’ Mike and his week has just started. The stunt is sure to bring in more followers as the week goes on.
Speaking of followers, “Mike in the Window” was the top trending topic yesterday on Twitter, and although it was a sponsored tweet, it crushed other topics floating around Twitterland. Mike will be tweeting to his followers about his April Fresh-smelling adventures. And if you’re one of the 30 people who don’t use Facebook or Twitter, you can catch up with Mike on his own YouTube Channel.
Smells like a hit to us – but, readers, tell us what you think. Does “Mike in the Window” rock or does it totally stink?