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When Viral Videos Don’t "Blend" As Planned

By Ryan Douglas

This week a team from our company went to Internet Retailer conference as did many of you who read this. We (and I say we because everyone in this company contributed in one way or another) were very proud of our own Tim Jackson and his first speaking engagement at the conference session. Our team had a great time and became well informed of new e-commerce topics, networked with many, and probably partied it up too (the real reason people go to these conferences). But enough of the shameless self plug…

In a previous post this week Greg Howlett brought up the topic of Blendtec and their popular viral marketing videos “Will it Blend?”. The effectiveness, positive or negative, of viral marketing has become increasingly more popular over the last few years. It seems like everyone remembers at least one silly commercial during a Super Bowl halftime, but don’t’ recall what the actual product or service was. We likely told all of our friends about this funny commercial, probably found it online and emailed it to several others, thus completing the viral marketer’s ultimate goal. Blendtec’s success with some home made videos from their test labs worked extremely well for them, did not cost much to produce at all, and seems to really have influenced people to purchase their products; way to go! Now we have videos of users at home blending up all sorts of items (much to Blendtec’s disclaimer not to) and I can watch everything from a Wii remote to operating systems (on cd) get blended up.

At the conference, the man in the Blendtec videos the CEO himself, attempted to blend a garden rake in one of their blenders. What company would not want to create some viral buzz at the conference, and what better way to utilize an already successful method and blend something! It just so happened that this time the Blendtec blender just couldn’t manage to blend the entire rake handle. We happened to catch it on video.

While I have made no attempt bring down the character of Blendtec (they seriously are cool blenders, and some folks here own one or two), I wanted to just share the humor and perhaps embarrassment that sometimes does occur in reality. I pose the thought that viral marketing doesn’t always ‘blend’ so well. For a few industries and markets I imagine viral marketing does not work, and in others it’s how businesses thrive. A few comments on the video expressed viewer’s being turned away from the product marketing hype after seeing that highly marketed products are not always sunshine and rainbows, like many advertisers may make them out to be. On the contrary, many respondents to our video said previous videos had led them to purchase a Blendtec.

I encourage companies like Blendtec and others to continue being creative, produce more sweet videos, and sell their products (regardless of what they can or cannot blend). Maybe Tom will send us a blender and we can try blending PVC pipe connectors and shower heads and post our own “Will it Blend?” videos, further promoting Blendtec.

About Ryan Douglas

Ryan Douglas manages search engine marketing and comparison shopping engines for PlumberSurplus.com.

  • Vanessa

    Glad to see the PlumberSurplus.com guys caught it on tape. I love the excitement from the guy in the background.

  • anon

    It DOESN’T Blend! :)

  • http://www.technologyevangelist.com Ed Kohler

    the power in BlendTec’s commercials vs. most superbowl commercials is their ability to be memorable AND show off the power of their products. One without the other falls short.

  • http://bushidoblog.com.ar Dario

    Seems to me it blended alright. Plus, who need to blend a garden rake? Call me crazy, but I only blend frutes! :P
    Plus, this dud is continuing the viral buzz… although probably in a not-so-good kind of way.

    Great post!