Juicy Fruit, Sarah Silverman and serenading Unicorn: bizarre new advertising

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I understand that advertising needs to change – keeping pace with the changing tastes of the new consumer. I understand that in developed markets with high media clutter one has to experiment with non-traditional media to appeal to your audience. I understand that product hard-sell in these new age videos is not a cool thing – one has to subtly weave in the product features & benefits.

But what I don’t understand is how some weird, bizarre stuff masquerading as advertising gets lapped up by consumers – going by the view count of these ads on YouTube. Take the Juicy Fruit video featuring Sara Silverman and a serenading Unicorn. Yes, a serenading Unicorn.It sounds funny and it is in parts. But there’s not a single mention of the product save for the first and last frames. The ‘story’ if you can call it that can very well fit in with any other mint. But then hey, by online metrics it is hailed a success.

The video may have 100’s of thousands of page views and a cool Facebook page. Does this help sell gum? Maybe I am too steeped in old-school advertising but after seeing this it makes you ask: ‘what does this have to do with chewing gum?. In general I prefer creative ideas that keep the product idea at the core – be it in a :30 ads or a video meant for online consumption. Sure, entertainment is key and the videos must have a pass along value but do we really have to rely on serenading unicorns and kinky stuff?  Is this the new advertising?Shudder. Definitely not. India is yet to see the likes of this and I am happy for that.


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  1. I have a different view of this 'campaign'. To start with, I love the video. It is quirky and funny. For a product that is ideally mega low involvement and mega low engagement (it's gum, after all and even costs pittance), going by conventional product communication is perhaps not the way anymore. We've tried everything in the book to create empathy for gum – that it'd whiten your teeth, that you'd be cool, that it could increase your confidence and the likes. This is not a highly engaging product that has multiple touch points to start speaking with customers – given that background, I believe this concept works in creating buzz. The buzz directly doesn't help sell gum perhaps, but of the 200,000+, when they face the product at a point of purchase, I'm sure this quirky video would come to their mind and depending on how much they liked it…and eventually help it being selected over other brands that don't have any fancy video for recall!

    • hi Karthik, no arguments with what you say about low involvement category and also about creating buzz. I personally prefer buzz creation that has the product promise or campaign idea at the centre of it – like the Lynx Excite Angel Ambush.

  2. Any ad with a grown man in a furry-animal-costume belting a rock classic will always remind me of the Cadbury's Gorilla. (Which was…fun?)

    This is like the sequel. Only they couldn't get back the original cast.

    BUT this disturbing fetish must be quite popular – apparent from the view count? : )

  3. I'm a huge fan of bizarre work. And in the case of chewing gum nothing else than bizarre will work. You can't have a philosophy for a chewing gum. It'll come back to chew your brains. You just have to make your gum look and sound cool. Be it in India or Indonesia. Bravo! Sarah rocks.

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