Archive for the ‘viral’ Tag

Kings, Virgins… Hipsters

Wow. Two campaigns that put a meat cleaver down the middle of it, back to back. Same agency, same brand. Same technique?


Crispin Porter + Bogusky‘s latest work for Burger King is Fire Meets Desire. It flips the truth that burgers make you stink by peddling a seductive new fragrance.

“The Whopper sandwich is America’s favorite burger. Flame by BK captures the essence of that love and gives it to you. Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”


This website takes that truth out for a walk, a spot of dinner and a greasy finger by the fire. Hit the interactive Flame spray and you disperse the sappy clichés of romanticism, obliterating and channel-surfing with one click.

You can buy the fragrance from Ricky’s. Or eBay. Needless to say.


And what hasn’t been said about the previous campaign?

Whopper Virgins took Z-Boy director Stacy Peralta to Thailand, Romania and Greenland in search of “the hamburger illiterate” for a culturally blind test (see YouTube commentary below).


If we are staring into an abyss the good news is it appears to be bottomless.

Ferocious right on-ers have bashed the campaign’s off-ness, fans have whooped, fence-sitters (like this one?) have done what they always do best. The people have spoken. To one another. Just Google Whopper Virgins and take a straw poll.

If Fire Meets Desire takes a bite out of Lynx/ Axe’s global campaigns, then Whopper Virgins has a deep swig of the Pepsi Challenge. In both bursts of advertising cannibalism, the taste is ironic.

But first thing’s first. These campaigns are exceptional – in advertising terms. They’ve taken the bench and given it a mark. No doubt. Why did that bother me?


These Burger King campaigns reminded of something pretty rare: a great article on Adbusters. From Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

“Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties.”


Is this the 2.0 advertising creative par excellence?

Or did the creatives at Crispin Porter + Bogusky get at an uglier brand truth with Whopper Virgins?

“If you don’t have shit, you don’t know one shit from another.”

With that statement, even a hipster could be proud or some shit.

More burger related:

Delete 10 Facebook friends and get a free Whopper

Facebook deletes Burger King application

Nike Air Big Max

Literally A Meme?

When is a meme not a meme? And what is a meme?

I thought an English lit. grad with a penchant for pedantry should take it to task. But I could quickly prove myself wrong. Let’s see.

If you clicked the above link you’ll have read about the Hamster Dance and Rickrolling. That Wiki doesn’t yet include the literal video. So here’s what I’m talking about:

Dustin McLean‘s literal take on A-Ha now has now had over 2m YouTube views. That’s viral, right?

So since he’s done it again, with different videos, does that make it a meme? Here are the next instalments – using Tears For Fears…

… and Red Hot Chilli Peppers:

These are all very funny. Don’t get me wrong. But is this a “catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the internet”?

Well, it’s spread to the extent that it’s been imitated. There’s a literal video for U2 without subtitles. And the Rick Astley version by Joe Sabia cannibalises another meme – check the subtitle on the preview!

Two things I want to flag here: sharing and evolution.

Obviously these videos have been shared – and I’m sharing them now. But is it evolving?

Rickrolling was a form of anarchy that spread beyond the internet. Anyone could do it. It was simply a trap/ device. That’s not the case with the literal video. It has made Dustin McLean (more?) famous but, so far, the concept has been too well-honed to imitate on a mass scale. The layman can’t repeat the act.

Until Joe Regular can repurpose, evolve, mutate the meme… I’m not sure it’s a meme. Then again, I’m sure a scientist could define “meme” better than an English lit. a**hole.

I should take my fat words and go Mcroll myself…

Dial V for Viral

Interesting (half?) thought at the Halfbakery (via).


There was a fully baked version of this idea a couple of years ago.

Virgin Mobile Australia launched a viral campaign using Jason Donovan. Donovan was paparazzo’d in-car with a ‘for sale’ window ad displaying his full phone number.

The pictures got around blogs. 680,000 prank calls and a D&AD Yellow Pencil for interactive viral followed. If I’ve not explained this clearly, the video below should:

Now back to the 555-idea.

It’s different in a few ways, but the difference isn’t insurmountable. Donavon (an actor) was snapped in real life. So people could assume the number was real.

Phone numbers in films are generally assumed to be false – I don’t think that would change overnight, even without the 555 prefix.

You’d need some word-of-mouth that the fictional characters have a life beyond the film/ TV show. Maybe throw in some sham PR.

And that’s been done before, too – with websites, at least.

Arrested Development frequently referenced “fictional” websites that, if the viewer checked, turned out to be real. (Sadly, as far as I can see, they’ve been taken down now.)

So what do you think? Getting warm yet?