Two YouTube Videos Ruined By a TV Advertising Mentality

This post is part of Rassak’s “YouTube Tuesdays Plus” featuring mini case studies of marketing videos (sometimes we look at other digital media too). New on Tuesdays. Don’t miss one, subscribe.

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Dewar’s, the whisky maker (owned by Bacardi), has, what is in many ways, a nice campaign going now called Live True (although, shit, as I type it out I think of “Live Strong” … so … hmmm..  maybe not so good after all) … anyway, that aside, … it has the hallmarks of good thinking…  the Live True website shows how it all ties together.. it’s a call to action to live true (classic “aspirational” advertising that pushes people to do something they already think they want to and then gives them a product to help them do it) … it’s a call to action to join a movement of sorts .. it’s about true Scotch… and, as part of the mix, they highlight people who are living true to themselves somehow. OK… I can see some of you already rolling your eyes. But the point is when done right this can work on many, if not all, of us.  And it can be done right, even on, perhaps especially on, YouTube where you have a lot of time (vs. TV where you don’t.). But Dewar’s fails here.

I am a really big fan of finding real people and interviewing them. We actually do that quite a bit at Rassak … and I’m a big fan of setting a scene … and making things look good.. perhaps a bit better than they might in reality. BUT.. doesn’t this Live True video interview ring untrue to you? It does to me and I quickly lose trust in the artist being interviewed (not fair .. I’m sure he’s very cool)… but the fake bar scene interview setting, the dubbed over “interesting”s and “um humms ” just kill it for me.  This could have been an easy fix: Interview the guy on a curb by one of his murals, have him talk as he does, let him take a sip or two of Dewar’s while talking …. just lose the fake barkeep. That would have been living true.

OK. Now on to Microsoft … a video introducing their new wearable tech.

There’s a lot I love about this video. I love the idea of moments being lost. I love the long shots of lights turning on in apartments and houses as people’s days get going.. I like the long shots of cars on the freeway… I especially like how these long shots are juxtaposed with close ups of a good mix of well-cast people who look pretty real and pretty great at the same time.

But wait… really!?!?! Glancing for a second at the inside of your wrist is going to make a moment mean something (or mean more than it already does). That’s just weird and off-putting. Maybe if it was done once.. but it was done like 30 times.. It was the concept. And the concept is flawed.  I’m trying to imagine this same video without the glancing. The product would have appeared FAR less often. I think that would have worked much better —at least in a YouTube, social media environment where the goal is to evoke a feeling and get people to push your ad for you. And that is often accomplished best by focusing much more on the people and much less on the product.

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