I happened to see the new IDEA commercial, Honey Bunny on the net thanks to teasers on YouTube and links on Twitter. I haven’t heard it on radio or watched it on TV. If you were to go by the comments on Twitter, there are many who hate it.  And then there are YouTube and Facebook commenters who love it.

When I first viewed it, while I found it amusing, I did a double-take when they mentioned ‘nation-wide coverage’. I couldn’t figure out the link between the ad and the message. Also, the brand communication has been pegged on providing new perspectives (Walk and Talk, Festivals, education) on social issues. Wonder what the new ideas was here. Nevertheless the ad and the jingle have clearly become popular. The popular blog, Advertising Ka Kamaal saw a huge spike in traffic thanks to the ad.

Sometimes there’s no rational explanation for what makes content go viral. The most popular Tumblr post of all time was a juvenile, ‘Mitt Romney sucks pass it on’. But I guess it resonated at a gut level with many people. Cat videos, baby’s talking gibberish, babies being cute…all have their reasons for being passed on or liked. Broadly speaking, viral content can be classified as entertainment (funny videos, enjoyable ads), shock value (the Take This Lollipop video comes to mind) and topical (Obama’s tweet after winning the elections this year). As a subset of entertainment, there could be videos in the ‘never seen this before’ category, as with this Ray-Ban videos. I am over simplifying perhaps but the common factor is that such content appeals at various levels. Ditto with brand videos that have gone viral- most offer entertainment or a connect at a very deep level and have little or no branding. The IDEA song is just non-cerebral cuteness – there’s no deep messaging here or an urge for social change. Its just a happy, catchy song. There’s one other aspect about videos that go viral – they have a huge repeat value and low ‘fatigue quotient’. Does Honey Bunny have that aspect?

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