Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Of the videos I've seen this week, our friends over at BlendTec are the winners, hands down.

This week, the CEO (as usual) takes his position next to the blender and whips out his brand new iPhone. He quickly tosses it in the blender, selects "Smoothie," and...

I've been following the Will It Blend? videos for quite some time and they're always entertaining. But beyond the awareness/entertainment factor, every marketer wants to know: how does this translate into sales? According to BlendTec, they've seen a huge spike in sales.

Charlene Li sums up the success factors rather well in a post on her blog, citing authenticity, humor, originality and a connection to the value of the product. I don't know about you, but if I were to go blender shopping before seeing these videos, I'd normally have no clue as to what I'd buy. I'd probably pick some mid-range model and hope for the best.

But now if you say "blender," I automatically picture one of these videos in my mind and picture how the product performs. While I might not be in the market for a $400 blender, it's top of mind when I'm considering a purchase. And that's what any good marketer wants.

The relative low cost of using a social network like YouTube for a marketing campaign is certainly attractive in these days of tight marketing budgets. But as Charlene pointed out, there are a number of reasons this one works. But there is one that I think she missed: aligning your brand with another well-known (and in this case well-loved) brand.

In just two days, the iPhone edition of "Will It Blend?" has garnered over 650,000 views. The front-runner for all 55 videos submitted over the last year is...drum roll, please...an iPod! Nearly 4 million views of the world's foremost mp3 player versus the world's most powerful blender. But what makes the destruction of Jobsian technology so much more interesting than say, hockey pucks or oysters?

People who know and use Apple products are typically enamored with the beauty of the design and how well the software and hardware are integrated. The popularity of these particular videos is, I think, due to something as basic as morbid curiosity - the same emotion that causes NASCAR fans to secretly wish for a crash and a car fire. Plus, the sheer hype of the iPhone over the last few weeks undoubtedly drove this. Perhaps a little phone envy plays into it as well?

Bottom line: sometimes, instead of the typical features & benefits approach that 90% of marketers use, a little creativity and thought can go a long way. When you connect to your audience's emotions and give them a way to share their enthusiasm through social networks, your brand will benefit.

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