Men With Cramps?

by alphamonkey on November 8, 2006 · 3 comments

in Commercials,Uncategorized

I was recently sent a link to a site purporting to detail the hereto unknown crisis of men with cramps (complete with documentaries, testimonials, etc), which in term links to a website that seems to be looking for volunteers for clinical trials on male menstrual cramp treatments.  A wholehearted “WTF?” was my reaction.  This pretty blatantly reeked of viral marketing, and lo and behold!  It’s a viral campaign for ThermaCare Menstrual Patches—which are produced for women with cramps. 

This is one of those viral campaigns where one is forced to ask ‘What the hell were they thinking?’.  As the mystery had readily been solved well before I came across the site, it obviously didn’t take the internet by storm.  I ask you, dear readers: Has any campaign of this nature ever done anything beyond grabbing your attention for roughly 4 minutes? 

  • Reddit
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Posterous
  • Tumblr
  • jay

    I mean, what makes it obviously viral is that it’s really well-done, and the money to make something like this has to come from somewhere. But at the same time, I’m a man, I’m obviously never going to buy the thing they’re selling, and I’m still enjoying the videos on their site (it’s turning out to be pretty extensive).

    I guess my question is, are they actually trying to “fool” people into thinking it’s real, or are they just using a series of funny videos to get people thinking about the thing they’re selling? and where’s the line between those things?

    if brand money can get funny, well-produced videos onto youtube, where so much is amateurish, or not funny, or the daily show/snl stuff that gets taken down by the networks, then it’s a pill I think I can swallow.

  • .alphamonkey.

    While a good number of viral campaigns do indeed attempt to fool the viewer/consumer (indeed, this site had no indication that it was a ThermaCare viral for a couple of weeks until the small ad was placed in the lower left), that’s not all it takes to make a viral.  And yes, I’m all for decent original content (and obviously I’m a fan of ads).  Personally I’d rather see straightforward advertising (ala the Honda commercials, etc) than these little mystery sites.

  • jay

    for me, what viral shit like this throws into sharp relief is that something about the commercial in its traditional form really irks me. it’s that idea that as fun or interesting or hilarious as a commercial can be, it’s still shilling for a product, and that’s its reason for being.

    cause in an strict sense, viral advertising is pretty new. but in another way it almost resembles the way advertising originally was on TV, when a company would sponsor a show by buying time at the beginning and the end and wouldn’t break it up in the middle.

    it seems like there was a sort of different contract between sponsor and viewer there…like instead of saying “we’re using this to persuade you to buy our shit” it was “we want you to associate our product with this show” – and my impression is that viral ads which don’t explicitly mention the product aren’t trying to fool people so much as engage in an older, less agressive type of sale. (i hope, anyway.)

    ok talking about advertising any more is going to make my balls fall off. holla!

Previous post:

Next post: