Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spookymilk Survivor IX: Grab Bag

Another week, another Spookymilk Survivor entry!

This week’s challenge was the grab bag challenge. Essentially 5 or 6 challenges from last week’s Create-a-Challenge were made available to us, with some fun scoring rules and a lot of chances for immunity.

I took the leftovers, which meant I picked up “Publicity Stunt”. The idea of this one is as follows: you’re a minor celebrity with a failing business, come up with a (legal) publicity stunt to boost your business’ popularity.

Here’s my entry.

The life cycle of the viral campaign has become synonymous with a mayfly’s. It can barely be created before it is detected and subsequently rejected. Therefore, we must be clever. My restaurant is failing, but even the simplest bump in customer base could be my salvation. The answer is simple, give the believers something to believe, and almost as importantly, give the cynics something to disprove…

We will record a series of commercials. They will appear to be nothing but ordinary advertisements, but we will inlay a hidden frequency – just barely audible, but nothing so obviously as to merit attention. Two weeks after the commercials initially air, I will have a ‘friend’ air a couple of YouTube videos detailing a sinister plot about ghostly messages in our restaurant, citing the barely resonating frequency in our advertisements as proof. Shortly thereafter, two or three more contacts will make various diaries regarding strange experiences that have occurred in the restaurant (fake deaths, paranormal activities…… ghost stories, really). A viral campaign will be born.

Cynics will decry the existence of any paranormal effects, but in doing so they will play directly into my hand. Human nature will not allow a ghost story to be ignored until it is disproved. Believers in the area will flock for a chance to prove to themselves that their faith is not in vain. Cynics will flock to prove that theirs isn’t, either.

And Spooky’s comments…

While this one lacks the verve of the previous one, it’s still incredibly effective. Exploiting a belief in ghosts is a smarmy, incredibly bright thing to do. “Human nature will not allow a ghost story to be ignored until it is disproved.” Ain’t it the truth? It’s incredible to me what people will believe. 4

I had been wikiwalking not too long ago, and I stumbled upon The Blair Witch Project and the massive boost that Burkittsville got from people trying to find the “real” truth about the Blair Witch. Besides which, viral marketing campaigns have always interested me, simply because they’re so temperamental. Some absolutely explode to the point where they are unstoppable even if proven to be fraudulent, and some are branded fakes almost immediately and shunned like the plague (hi, Starbucks!). I feel like I could’ve written out the whole thing in a more interesting manner, but what can ya do?

Actually, I was kind of thinking that creating a couple of YouTube videos (created as if they were the advertisements in question), and maybe a forwarded email or two, analyzing and overanalyzing the videos and show screengrabs and the like, would’ve been a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I only had a couple of free hours to simply write up what the challenge actually called for, and work and real life got in the way. I still do think that “viral marketing scam” would be a great challenge – Kelly, get on this!

Ugly Juanita kicked some ass this week, but it was rendered moot, because one of Spy Tag’s members had to take herself out because of real life.

Coincidentally, Colin knocked it out of the park with his take on my “That One Guy” challenge with his "hipster who thinks he’s not a hipster”. I wanted to punch that guy, and he doesn’t even exist.

1 comment:

  1. Zillah pulled her "pulling out" thing. She actually wasn't ever pulling out - she was just being a little vague and coy, which is her way.

    Colin's guy was such a douche. Man, turning a hipster into a guy who hates hipsters is beyond genius. It seems so obvious now, but I didn't see it coming.

    These scores were crazy. I almost gave yours a 5, too, which would have made it a total sweep of fives for the submitting UJ-ers.