This may just be 2011’s best example of a brand recognising a pop-cult figure, devising a digital marketing strategy and creating the perfect viral campaign.
In my opinion what makes a viral work is if it’s witty or interesting but still manages to communicate the brand’s message. This is why Dermablend’s campaign using Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy from Lady Gaga’s ‘Born this Way’ video, is quite simply, genius.
Renowned for tattooing his entire body to look like, well, a zombie, Rick Genest is seen in the video without his tatts, almost as nature intended, with the addition of a couple of piercings. Then, Rick starts to cleanse, washing DermaBlend off and revealing his body art. I wonder what Dermablend could be trying to get across here – what could their key messages possibly be!
However, I’m not entirely sure that the brand has recognised the video’s full viral potential. Rather than allowing it to be shared by media and across social media channels, everywhere I look at the moment the advert has been pulled, replaced by a copyright infringement notice. Sure, they’re allowing the three minute behind-the-scenes video be shared, but not the advert. It’s a no-brainer to me. Just look at the number of people who have watched this on You Tube already!
If they ease up and actually let this do what it has the potential to do – be embraced by pop culture, be shared, viewed and commented on widely – this has the potential to be, quite frankly, the best digital campaign of the year.
It would be good to have a campaign to fill the void left by Meerkats (becoming rather tiresome), cats with thumbs (what was the brand?) and numerous others that tried to capture the public’s imagination but failed.