What happens when brands start acting weird? Advertising tends to be a long game of follow the leader, with the bulk of an industry quietly minding the status quo while a few riskier types jump out in front. Usually there is a set style, an industry norm that can be immediately recognized, immediately associated with a particular product, status, or category. Active smiling women, for example, help sell us yogurt. Hardworking everymen sell us sandwiches. That’s just the way it is.
But occasionally, and it happens more or less in a cycle, brands will experiment with the truly odd. And as much as active yogurt women, and ruggedly handsome sandwich men are successful, sometimes It’s the odd that really works.
Option 1 – Get weird with hamsters
Most people remember the Kia Soul commercials even if most people couldn’t tell you what a Kia Soul actually looks like. These have been going on for over six years. Six years of painful absurdity and catchy music. Six years of hamsters dressed like hip urban youths. Speaking of strange hamsters and repetitive music, the Quiznos Subs hamsters were the first modern brand spokerodents, although they were admittedly much less pleasing to look at.
Option 2 – Just make stuff up
Old Spice. You knew it was coming didn’t you. Old Spice was once the brand for the old men who refuse to wear a towel around their waist in the gym locker room. Old Spice was the stodgy east coast old money, the tradition for traditions sake. And now, now they sell strange. This campaign was effective because it was so different, and not many brands can pull it off. Everyone associate Old Spice with the weird without even registering it, but few remember the pitiful attempt Dairy Queen made to capture the same magic.
Option 3 – Get weird with atypical models
Beautiful people sell products. Just look at the yogurt girl or sandwich man. Attractive people are the brand spokesmen and women we come to expect. But sometimes, sometimes we love the…different models. We love them because it’s absurd, because it’s so patently unique. Southern Comfort successfully made 18-34 males want to emulate a greasy, pear shaped, middle aged European man. Consider for a moment most liquor ads that you’ve seen. If you can’t actually think of a specific one it’s because they are all similar. Most liquor ads feature aspirational shots of successful socialites laughing while clinking highballs in their custom tailored business suits.
Get weird with your videos. Let us help.