Make More Penguin Movies (or Why Ted Should Have Stayed in Accounting)

march of the penguinsI can’t remember where I heard it, but shortly after March of the Penguins came out, someone joked about the difference between what moviegoers said and what Hollywood heard.  As the joke goes, moviegoers said that thoughtfully made, more subtle movies (read: without explosions or scantily clad coeds) can be incredibly entertaining and successful.

What Hollywood heard, on the other hand, was to simply make more penguin movies.

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about the Old Spice Guy, a quirky marketing campaign that became an overnight sensation on the internet.  And so it should come as no surprise that the first wave of copycats is hitting the ‘net and, also unsurprisingly, falling flat on their faces.

Witness Cisco’s “Ted From Accounting” campaign.  In an effort to replicate the Old Spice Guy Response Campaign (the rapid-fire video posts of a few weeks back), Cisco tried to rush what should have been a subtle, weeks-long process into a few hours.

What Cisco forgot, of course, was the cardinal rule of social media: its all about the credibility.  Not only did they blatantly rip off the idea (the original blog post admits as much), but they also skipped the groundwork necessary to be believable.  And without credibility, it doesn’t matter who you think you are, what you’re trying to do, or who else has done it before you, the internet is going to make the “epic-ness of your fail” painfully clear.

[Photo via Sidereal on flickr]


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  1. #1 by Kris Kaneta on July 29, 2010 - 1:54 pm

    Interesting – I had no idea this campaign even went on. Reading through the Mashable blog it looks like it had about 4000 views. Not exactly turning any heads. Your point about credibility is right on.

    As I discussed a couple weeks ago re OSG ( what made that campaign work was the ground work they laid in the months prior, building awareness via more traditional channels as well as SM. People already new who Isaac was.

    Nobody new who the heck Ted was… which is unfortunate since the parody had the potential to be VERY funny.

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