Babes On Skates: Evian's TV Ad Campaign Minus The Television

During a week in which Michael Jackson‘s death dominated not just the news, but also online video viewing, ‘s deliberate attempt at creating a viral video has succeeded to the tune of 3.8 million views.

Their clip depicting babies break dancing on roller skates includes, as Mashable points out, two successful elements: Babies and odd situations:

While I am typically skeptical when someone sets out to create a video with the intent of it “going viral,” this one clearly works. It’s cute. It’s compelling. It’s entertaining.

But I don’t know how closely it ties the experience to the product. The message is that Evian is for those who want to live young: “live young” is the campaign tagline. But do dancing babies really cement that message in viewers’ minds and will it compel them to drink Evian water? I’m skeptical. The message is more explicitly that Evian water is for babies.

I think the message would be clearer, yet far less cute, if the video featured kids or teens being athletic or doing unbelievable athletic stunts.

Nevertheless, they’ve succeeded in getting the Evian brand exposed to a few million people without paying for expensive television ad inventory and earning free media as well; I found out about it during a segment on MSNBC.

Among the Related Videos at Evian’s YouTube channel for the campaign is a “making of” piece that missed an opportunity for a lot of product placement. The clip is a montage of “behind the scenes” images accompanied by music.

But when people see a video like the popular Evain Roller Babies clip, they are wowed and want to know how it was created and that’s the implicit promise of “making of” videos. This one doesn’t deliver:

My guess is Evian would have got a lot more views for this video if they’d actually done a “making of” piece. Interview the people who conceived the idea explaining their rationale, who they wanted to reach and why they thought this clip would do that; explain what they were looking for when they searched for the babies that would be featured in the clip; interview the special effects team to explain how they achieved the remarkable visuals they created. Throughout the piece, everyone would be mentioning and drinking Evian water.

The song in the video, by the way, is Rapper’s Delight, a hit from 1979 by .

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