YouTube Tuesday: Pepsi Max, Year Zero, Greenpeace, Best Buy/Soccket, PBS, (and a Bonus Reader Submission from Cisco)

You know the drill… what follows are three (actually six) product or service videos and a mini marketing critique of each. You get six today because YouTube Tuesday’s going on summer vaca and will return in late July. L8r g8rs!

1. Pepsi Max

I saw this cool video on my old boss Allan Thygesen‘s Facebook wall. It’s a great story. Got good tension. It’s funny. And it ties hard to the brand promise of Pepsi Max — and this is made explicitly clear toward the end (when it says “zero calories in disguise”). It’s a bit long.. so if you’re not into basketball (or make up) give it a wee bit of time.


2. Year Zero, The Book

I saw this on David Hornik‘s Facebook wall. The author is his friend. The trend of creating “book trailers” seems to be getting stronger and stronger. It’s a good idea. It’s likely smart to think of all product or service videos as trailers somehow. Anyway… I like this one. It’s funny — like the premise of the book. Seems to me that if you’re turned on by a book that Amazon describes like this:

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.

The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.

You’ll be turned on by a trailer made like this. And that’s the idea.


3. Greenpeace Unfriend Coal

Here’s a great video from a couple of years ago though the campaign only recently came to a close. Causes like this count as products or services — they’re videos designed to persuade or incite an action— so I include them in YouTube Tuesdays. The video is really cheeky and funny and serious all at once. And apparently it worked <– note how much video was made by many supporters for this campaign and note too how Greenpeace is not shy about promoting its win.


4. Best Buy

I saw an ad promo-ing this video while watching Hulu and I totally made a note to watch later on Youtube. But, having watched the whole thing, I just don’t believe it. I mean I believe the women… but it’s tough to square this feeling of innovation and startupyness Best Buy’s trying to give off  with the reality of the feeling walking into a Best Buy gives off. Maybe that’s why this video’s views are so low.  Also, they try to jam the word “laptop” in there just a few too many times. I can just read the notes from the various stakeholders as this video got made — and the laptop group must’ve had the cash.

Interestingly American Express is riding these womens’ coattails too. The Amex video (which is on the homepage of the four Harvard womens’ website itself) is a lot less forced somehow. Better.


5. PBS

Mr. Rogers autotuned! Super cool… and people agree. Almost four million views on YouTube and counting — and there’s a nice “donate-to-PBS” link below the video too. A few more of these a year and perhaps it’ll put an end to painful pledge drives!


BONUS. Reader Submission from Cisco

A reader, Deborah Strickland of Cisco, sent this one in. Thank you! One of my main reasons for writing YouTube Tuesdays is to help encourage large companies to get creative and have some fun with their videos. So it’s cool to see companies like Cisco going for it. My take — it really gets the point across that they make super-heavy-duty routers. And it does so in a fun way. If you’re in the market for such a device  this video will make you want to find out more. The video is long though.. and not as funny as it could be. It’s better to err on the side of leaving great stuff on the edit room floor (or the digital equivalent of it) than to err on the side of leaving too much in the piece. But Cisco’s going for it… and that’s awesome!”

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