Viral product placement — do you think it drives sales?

One of the newer trends in marketing is the development of videos (think Mentos & Diet Coke) with specific products playing a primary role.  On YouTube alone, the Mentos video was viewed over 2.2 million times.  And imagine what that number balloons to when you consider all the places the video was shared.

A more recent viral video coined "Catch" features a guy catching a pair of Ray-Ban glasses on his face.  Despite some pretty hard to believe scenarios.

That video, on YouTube alone, has been watched almost 2.5 million times.  But…does it makes you want to buy Ray-Bans?  Or does it even make you more aware of the brand?

Josh Warner, President of the Feed Company who produced the video sure hopes so.  He was the subject of an interesting Q&A on the topic.  Their home page says "200,000 videos are uploaded to YouTube and the web every day.  You might be an agency or entertainment company that’s great at making ’em but getting web videos ranked, forwarded, and featured is an art in itself.   Let us feed the monster – we know what it’s hungry for."

What do  you think? 

  • Does it sell product?
  • Does it raise brand awareness?
  • When the viewers realize its been produced as an "ad" does that change/diminish its effect?
  • Would the technique play better if it occurred naturally or doesn’t it matter?


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