Scott Monty over at Ford shared a laugh. A leader at another organization called a lawyer. Which business would you rather brag about?
Our final holiday story revolves around Plaid, a Connecticut brand shop that created a mock video for Christmas in which you can insert anyone’s name into a “news report” that they’re having, ahem, scandalous intimacy with Santa or Mrs. Claus. Completely over the top. And completely safe for work — no nudity, no vulgarity, a few uses of the word “sex” as you’d find on the evening news. When Monty got the link at Ford, he forwarded the humor on to 6,600+ people who follow his thoughts on Twitter.
Unfortunately another organization who got the link, unlike Ford, didn’t get the joke. They sent Darryl Ohrt, principal of Plaid, a nasty note hinting that the online art was defamation. (We look forward to hearing of the alleged material damages to a person’s reputation resulting from a rumor that one slept with Santa Claus.)
The real story is not about appropriateness or monitoring employees’ use of the internet … but about the brand implications on both organizations. Ford comes off like a hip company that has a bit of fun (and we’re sure Ford has plenty of lawyers, too). But this other group, well, feels as grouchy as an HR executive pricked by a physician’s needle.
Is your organization loose enough to share a laugh with employees and customers? Or is your brand heart two sizes too small?
Heaven help us. The agency site Christvertising has been making waves online as advertising experts debate — is this a spoof? Can one really enlist a network of 1 million+ believers to pray for a product? The web site’s videos are so straight, and the message so clear, we wonder if there is a market for God-aided marketing.
We’re a bit speechless, so here’s what others are saying:
Somebody please restore my faith in humanity and reassure me that Christvertising is satire. — PZ Myers, Pharyngula
I don’t know if this is a joke. Which in itself is a problem, showing the Church has been wallowing in secular marketing over the past 25 years or so. — Kevin Powell
When I see these displays of mixed ingeniousness and bad faith that Americans produce, I (something untranslatable). While I think we Italians can do unmentionable things, we will never be able to stoop to this level. — Ted Disbanded, translated from Italian
Leave it to Americans to do anything — even Christvertising, which could be damned serious. Whatever it is, fake, viral campaign, or an actual religious agency, the presentation is perfect and the speeches of the sneaker-clad fake preacher are so incredible that I find myself believing the latter. — Patrick Breitenbach, Werbeblogger, translated from German
As robust business models go, advertising and branding is full of smoke and mirrors, but you’ve got to admire anyone who openly says: “We skip the strategic deliverables. We pass on the matrices, the payoffs and the metrics. We ignore any viral functionality. We focus on the ultimate end-user: God.” — Tony Quinlan, Partum Intelligendo
All I want to know is whether the proprietary Brand Targeted Prayer Approach™ system is, in fact, tax deductible. — Bill Green, Make the logo bigger.
I’m pretty sure our PR team doesn’t even have His contact info. — Thea at Mortarblog