Jeff Goldblum Helps GE Sell Light Bulbs

To promote its new LINK LED light bulbs and home lighting suite, GE released a new spot featuring Jeff Goldblum as the fictional character Terry Quattro–a self-obsessed “famous person” who aims to teach everyday folks what life can be like with LINK.

The ad is willfully bizarre, and was the brain-child of BBDO New York and directed by so-called “discomfort comedy” duo “Tim and Eric” (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim).

The ad is something that just needs to be watched:

Why It’s Hot:

Jeff Goldblum!

BBDO and GE recognized that in order to get people excited about something so standard as light bulbs, there needed to be a [big] twist. By enlisting Tim and Eric for this spot, the LINK team was destined to break through the clutter and go viral, given their odd-ball aesthetic.  In a single day, the video has racked up over 300K views on YouTube.

Hyundai’s “Empty Car Convoy”

Hyundai’s “Empty Car Convoy” video release is finally beginning to gain traction on the Internet, after more than a month since it was first posted to the company’s YouTube channel.  Aided by PR efforts through blogs like PSFK, the company has helped push “Empty Car Convoy” to viral status, with over 8 million views to-date.

“Empy Car Convoy” depicts stunt driver Buddy Joe driving blindfolded to showcase a set of new safety features in its 2015 Genesis vehicle. The video does a great job of integrating the features within the window, while not taking away from the stunt’s action.

Why It’s Hot

2014 seems to have been the year of the viral marketing stunt video for automakers. Though it was first released in June, Hyundai’s “Empty Car Convoy” joins the ranks of other makers like BMW and Volvo in a broader trend of leveraging online video to shock and entertain audiences around clear brand objectives.

Viral videos are certainly good for reinforcing brand goals and showcasing products in a new light, but does the “slowness of infection” around “Empty Car Convoy” suggest that the category of stunt videos is becoming seen as “ordinary” among many consumers?  Or, does it just mean that to marketers may need to think supplementary promotional strategies involving PR and outreach to help their videos gain the views needed to go viral?

Drones Deliver Coke to Workers Building Singapore Skyscrapers

A few weeks back, drones buzzed up to high-rises under construction in Singapore and dropped off cans of Coke to the migrant workers building the towers. Tucked into the care packages were 2,734 messages from Singaporeans thanking the tradesmen for their hard work.  The idea was to link two communities that don’t often come into contact – Singaporean nationals and the migrant workers who travel far from their countries to build the city-state’s apartment buildings, offices and schools.  Ogilvy & Mather Singapore and a non-profit, the Singapore Kindness Movement, worked with Coca-Cola on the project, dubbed “Happiness From the Skies.”

Coke drone

Coca-Cola photo

It’s part of Coke’s international campaign called “Where Will Happiness Strike Next?”, bringing the brand theme of happiness to places that could use some cheer. (Another Singaporean example from the campaign was a vending machine set up for stressed-out college students during exams — it dispensed Cokes if you hugged it.)

Ogilvy homed in on the idea of using drones to reach migrant workers at building sites. Coming from places including India, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, guest workers make up about a third of the workforce in Singapore, known for its rapid development and high standard of living. The influx of foreign low-wage workers has brought societal tensions and divisions.

Some of Coke’s most memorable viral videos in recent years have come from Asia: The brand sent overseas Filipino migrant workers home to their families for Christmas (a real tear-jerker), and it used a cross-border game involving vending machines to connect people in India and Pakistan

Why it is hot:

Coke is increasingly looking at what cultural role our brands can play, rather than what communication message Coke can deliver.  Initiatives like this increase the social relevance of Coca Cola in service of bringing happiness to the world.