Ray Ban’s new viral for Never Hide is out. If you grew up seeped in traditional advertising, your likely response to this will be ‘WTF?’.
As a video meant to shock and be a conversation starter, this works. This is perhaps the third (?) in the series of viral ads created by Ray Ban for Never Hide. They are a master class for brands wanting to go ‘viral’ in India but end up with a 3-minute Bollywood spoof. The branding, if you can call it that, is subliminal yet memorable. This is the kind of stuff that doesn’t shout out, ‘Hey I am an ad!’ – precisely what makes it infectious. It all started off with this viral – one of 2007’s biggest viral hits, 3.95mn views when I checked last. And then this unreal one. The precursor to the cow film was perhaps this.
I frankly did not ‘get’ the baseline Never Hide when I saw it first – visual of someone visibly ‘hiding’ behind huge glasses and saying the opposite. Proof, if it was ever needed, that I am not hip. Chuck McBride, ECD of Cutwater, the agency behind the base line and the virals, explains the concept for uncool guys like me: “It can’t be a fashion brand, but it is fashionable, so what is it? People like them at the comfort level. They’re what they wear when they are most themselves. That’s how we came up with “Never Hide.” These glasses don’t mask who you are, they’re a window to who you are. For the short while, ”Never Hide” is one of the best branding ideas I’ve had. Everyone gets the double entendre; it’s just right strategically for the audience and the client, and it is evoking a truth. And it’s a big idea that a lot of cool executions can live under. We went out to find the biggest truth out in a marketplace that is going label-driven and fashion. It is a nice, disruptive thought.”
It’s remarkable how virals and online media are integrated into brand communication planning. It is no longer an appendage to the main TV commercial and requires as much a strategy. And the production of such virals is getting a lot more sophisticated, yet maintaining that amateur, ‘personal video’ look.