Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral with ‘Smart’ Sex Tape

What do you get when you throw a gorgeous actress into a room with adorable puppies, a cute lip-synching kid, dancing babies and double rainbows and then give it a title that makes people stop in their tracks and do a double-take? A viral video that’s the talk of the Internet this week, with 4.7 million views and counting on YouTube, that’s what.

SmartWater hit a home run with spokeswoman Jennifer Aniston’s cleverly-titled “sex tape” spoof, a nearly three-minute ad that showcases the key elements that make viral videos spread like wildfire. The premise goes something like this: Aniston, coached by a team of “three lovely Internet boys” attempts to make an advertisement for the bottled water go viral – or, as she says, “apparently, um, turns into a virus.”

Dancing babies seem like a good option, until they start grinding on one another, prompting Aniston to ask, “Where’s the mommy?” She then apologizes to one fan, an unsuspecting victim of her crotch kick, explaining, “Apparently, that’s worth about 100,000 hits.” The former Friends star even pokes fun at herself with a parrot, which instead of saying “I love SmartWater” squawks, “Rachel, I love your hair.”

The video ends with Aniston asking, “Is it hot in here?” and shocking her Internet gurus by tossing her hair in slow motion before sexily sipping SmartWater, even letting a few droplets fall onto her chest. When asked what she thinks of the “sex tape” title, she says, “I love it!”

And apparently we all do, as the explosive number of views indicates, bringing the video to official viral video distinction.

But beyond gimmicks and clichés, what really makes a video become an Internet sensation? Here’s why we think SmartWater struck (liquid) gold with this one:

  • They took a chance: As we all know, you can’t make something go viral. If it’s good enough it just happens. But you never know until you try.
  • They thought outside the “bottle:” Ever thought there would be a viral video about water? The folks at SmartWater knew they’d have to step it up and think creatively to get people talking.
  • They lightened up: By teaming up with current viral stars and even poking some fun at herself and her own brand, both Aniston and SmartWater come across as refreshing (pun intended) in the video.
  • They kept a few key things in mind: It’s what every ad should be – simple, fun, memorable and appealing to the eyes. And the call to action? After watching Aniton’s slow-motion hair-tossing sequence, I’m betting more than a few folks will be reaching for that water to cool off.

What do you think – do you like the video? Is it worthy of its viral video status?

Brand Haiku for You

I was invited by my industry colleague and friend, Aaron Strout of Powered Inc., to participate in a fun experiment this morning. He asked me and a handful of other amazing marketing folks to share a brand haiku based on a recent experience we’ve had – good or bad. (Remember, a haiku is: 5 syllables, 7 syllables 5 syllables.)

Well, if you follow me on Twitter and were on this weekend, you likely heard about my recent experience with Toyota and specifically, McGee Toyota in Hanover, MA. It wasn’t pretty. So here’s my haiku for you based on my weekend – if you’d like the full story, read my blog post about the experience – and why it’s crucial for your sales team to understand that customer relationships are way more valuable than customer deals.

Toyota was wrong
Happy customers tell friends
Angry ones tell all

Now that the negative one is out of the way, here are two positive ones – because happy customers should share loudly, too.

Jet Blue I love you
Thanks for TVs and smiles
You get customers

Ideeli is cool
They sell lovely things to me
And they engage me

Follow the brand haiku to Bryan Person and his tribute to Nike, and see more haikus from those amazing marketers by watching Twitter for the hashtag #brandhaiku.

Thanks for the fun, creative and great idea – and invitation – Aaron! Readers, if you have a brand haiku, please play along in the comment section and on Twitter.

 

The “R” in Marketing – Marketers (and Politicians) Still Missing the Point of MRM

I’ve been thinking a lot about the “R” in marketing lately – the relationship factor, if you will. That word has always been in CRM but what about MRM? Marketing Relationship Management? I’ve been thinking about how the best marketers today really get this – they aren’t just about pushing content or messaging, but about building the right relationships in order to be heard. Marketers have not traditionally been “relationship” focused. They have been “megaphone management” focused.

Then last night I received a long, two-sided paper letter from a local politician’s party, telling me his long tales of woe and determination and why I should vote for him. And I thought, “Wow, this is so lame. How about trying to build a relationship with me all along, not just days or weeks before a vote?” (Note – this has nothing to do with my respect or thoughts on this candidate so please don’t go there – it’s about their tactics, not my political opinions.)

Marketers (and politicians, essentially your lobbying for votes is marketing) – let’s get smarter about the R in marketing. What does the “R” stand for today and how are you implementing it in your campaigns – or, are you? If you’re in marketing, you need to be thinking about the “R factor”:

  • Obviously, the biggest marketing R is RELATIONSHIP. Just look at that word and really think about it. What does it take to build a relationship – and sustain a positive one – with someone? It takes time, effort, consistency, attention. Repeat.
  • RECOGNITION – show me that you know who I am, you care about what I like and that you recognize my purchasing (or voting) power.
  • And that you RESPECT it. Answer me if I ask a question. Ask questions of me. Make an effort to find me and communicate with me where I am – don’t expect me to come to you anymore. Even if you never do anything with my answers other than acknowledge them, I’m likely to feel a special affinity towards you because you listened and cared enough to ask my opinion or feedback.
  • REWARD – marketers are generally used to “rewarding” loyal customers and potential prospects through recognition or special deals. This hasn’t changed. But what has changed is that your rewards – or lack thereof – will be publicly talked about, blogged about, tweeted about. Make ‘em good, make ‘em real and make ‘em consistently – your reward for doing so will be tenfold through positive, public word-of-mouth. (Another topic here big enough for its own blog post is cross-channel recognition and communications with loyal customers – a new CRM challenge.)
  • RELEVANCY – so you’re on Facebook or Twitter. Congratulations. Who are you following? Who are you enticing to follow your brand or politician? Who are you conversing with? What are you talking about? Make sure it’s relevant to me or your time is being wasted. Show me you “know” me – show me you want to talk about things already on my mind. Don’t come at me with your marketing messages but engage me in a dialogue relevant to what I have already made very clear I care about. Then, I will listen to you and your marketing messages – and maybe even try your product or service (or vote for you) – because you made an effort to relate to me as a customer, voter, prospect…but mostly, a person.

None of this may seem new or earth shattering, but I continue to see marketers every day who don’t get it. They keep pushing their news stream or blog posts or special offers without any dialogue or focus. They talk about Twitter numbers but then hesitantly say, “Oh, um, not really” when we ask if they have a strategy around building fans and followers – the relevant and right fans and followers. They don’t answer questions on Twitter unless it’s a customer service issue – which they immediately try to take “offline” – or they post content on Facebook and then don’t engage with fans who comment. This isn’t so much about the use of social media as it is recognizing the power of building stronger relationships – and how social media opens up such a huge opportunity to do so.

And, as I’ve been bantering about on my personal Facebook page this morning, I see a lot of politicians missing an opportunity to put some “Love” in their “Lobbying.” That is, to connect with a younger demographic through social media – and to use it to connect with me, to talk with me, to not just send me two pages about you, but to show me you care to know a little about me – my needs, desires, hopes and dreams as a voter. I want to get to know you as well – but, only pushing content to me – and especially only around election time – is not productive. Even politicians using social media aren’t doing it right yet. Someone stated this morning that most people wouldn’t be open to it because the assumption is that it would be an aide or a junior executive behind the social media communication. But I’m okay with that – as long as it’s clear – if it means I get to know a candidate in a way that I can relate to, that I get to see their activity, hear from them and ask questions throughout the year – on my timetable, not theirs – and if I feel connected to them. Social media is all about a connection that we’ve never had before – politicians (and marketers!) should be embracing that opportunity to build long-lasting, loyal relationships.

Like traditional marketers, I don’t think political parties are building relationships with the masses. Let me say, I hate your ads. I roll my eyes at your sign-holding-picketers over the highway or in front of the grocery store and your recorded phone messages make me want to rip the phone from the wall. I laugh – in disgust – at the money you are throwing out the window on such irrelevant, surface and old-school campaign “strategies.” I don’t want you to touch my baby, let alone kiss him, and your handshake really means nothing to me if you haven’t taken the time to connect with me, relate to me and talk to me in a day and age when there’s no excuse not to. You’re not a celebrity, so stop acting like one – come “down” and talk to me if you want my vote (or my purchase).

Marketers, social media has changed the R in marketing. It’s about relationships – that is, relating between two entities – and yes, those take time to build, cultivate and keep. But like our personal lives, the rewards are well worth it.

What do you think? Are marketers doing a good job building relationships in today’s social business world?

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A Week of (Soggy) Marketing & Social Media Learning in Boston – Join us online or at IMS at 1 today!

If you’re in or around the Boston area this week, you already know that it’s a big week for new marketing, social media and business professionals. A flurry of events are taking place as IMS 2010 and FutureM are in full swing. If you can’t join live, be sure to watch the numerous sessions on livestream via The Pulse Network, catch the chatter on Twitter (hashtags: #futureM and #IMS10) or the many blog posts being written by attendees.

Today, you can catch PerkettPR’s Claire Russell presenting “The Power of Reel” at 1 p.m. EST at IMS. She’ll be partnering with Bettina Hein, Founder & CEO of Pixability, to showcase how easy and powerful video is – and how it can help you to not only tell your story but create stronger relationships and impact in your social marketing efforts. Case studies will include work and campaigns from businesses such as Old Spice, Livestrong, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and more.

Not in Boston at IMS today? Then considering joining me at 1 p.m., along with the American Marketing Association, Conduit (a PerkettPR client), John Jantsch, Author of Duct Tape Marketing and Sally Falkow, as we present “5 Must Dos for Social Media Holiday Marketing.” Focused mainly on how SMBs can use social media to successfully – and easily – expand their holiday marketing efforts. Not convinced social marketing is for you? Check out these facts from the press release:

  • More than 50% of the 500 million Facebook users log on to Facebook every day.  In total, they spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the service.
  • People are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube; every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to the service.
  • Users spend 22.7% of their time online on social networking sites.

I hope we’ll see you either at IMS, FutureM or on the webinar today. Looking forward to sharing insights, learning from others and continuing to merge our online and offline relationships.

Happy marketing!

 

I Know You, I Know You

At last week’s PRSA T3PR conference, one of the audience questions to me was whether or not today’s “marketing celebs” overshadow their clients. The question was asked with the comment, “I know a lot of the marketing ‘Twilebrities,’ for example, but I don’t know any of their clients.”

My reply was that I didn’t think it was an issue – that maybe you are not the client’s core audience and therefore the marketer hasn’t promoted any of his or her client news to you. You may know the marketer because he or she talks about marketing, business, PR, social media – all things you would want to be paying attention to as a fellow marketer. But, if their client sells widgets and you don’t buy widgets, it makes sense that you wouldn’t know the client. In fact, dare I say the marketer might be doing a bad job – over-promoting his or her own work to the wrong audience – if you did know all of his or her clients. Wouldn’t it get annoying if they talked so much about their own work – instead of promoting to you what you find valuable, such as shared insights, experiences and – when the time or circumstance is right – client news, products or services?

Here’s an example. A year ago I had a conversation with Jason Keath, founder of SoFresh, a social media conference for marketers. At the time, he was consulting for several companies on marketing and social media. I paid attention to Jason because he’s a fellow marketer and I was interested in his posts about marketing. I learned about some of his client work as well – but to this day the only client of his I remember is one that I was personally interested in (because it involved shoes). Likewise, I follow other industry colleagues and competitors because I’m interested in their marketing and PR insights, not necessarily because I’m interested in their clients’ products and services. I remember the ones that do apply to me – something I would buy or use – but I pay attention to the marketers because I think they have smart things to say about marketing, PR and social media opportunities and challenges.

Some, like Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution, I learned about and began listening to because she’s a PR veteran and I am interested in learning from her. Now, as a lover of fashion, I also happen to pay attention to her client work. But even if I weren’t a fashion fiend, I’d follow what Kelly does because I value her stories and experiences in PR.

What do you think? Are today’s influential marketers overshadowing their clients?

PS – Just for fun, my headline’s a nod to an SNL skit. Who knows which one?

Photo Credit: Michael Halsband