Monday, March 7, 2016

The Case-Study Video.

One of the great deceptions of our age is something called “the case-study video.”

It seems that every day about a million 90-240 second blathers of stock footage are produced by American ad agencies. According to those videos, every business in America is growing exponentially and gaining new customers like sorority girls gain cold sores.

Everybody is getting everybody else to tweet, taste, dance, share, laugh and kvell about products and services that in real life elicit no such responses. I’ve seen videos where people go apeshit over a bank made with gingerbread, or who crochet entire billboards in Times’ Square.

Also these videos involve a lot of throwing paint and jumping in the air and doing a backflip. Also, spontaneous dancing, usually while wearing a fedora.

In short, according to these videos, America—and the world—exists in a sort of interactive Elysium where people can’t wait to get their hands on your product and fricken tweet about it.

In fact, I suppose with a nod to David Letterman and also Reality TV, the whole of the world—according to the case-study video—seems to be engaged in some version of “Stupid Human Tricks.” People replace their teeth with bottle-openers, cook sausages on the back of a flatbed truck while racing down a highway, or upload pictures of themselves to salutary effect.

Years ago a client of mine was positively gushing. We had run a single ad and, according to him, sales were up 400%. I pushed him about his data—data that would have made a great case study. The single ad had upped sales from one unit to four.

Here’s a sample script—what these videos usually sound like:

VO:                Breakfast is changing.
People are fast-moving, hard-charging.
They no longer have time for a sit-down meal to start the day.

So our client “The House of Toast” was suffering.
Same store sales of toast had decreased by 3% a year for six years running.
Toast sales were plummeting.
White toast was down an aggregate 26%.
The situation was even worse for pumpernickel.

House of Toast came to us for answers.
We came up with a multi-channel campaign
designed to make toast a destination again.
A series of “twoasts,” targeted tweets to lapsed toast eaters.
A targeted campaign of stickers on toasters urging people to “toast toast!”
And wild postings that put toast on everyone’s lips.
And it worked!
Toast sales did more than just pop up.
They soared.
Rye up 19%
Whole wheat up 31%.
And sourdough up a staggering 49%.
But our toast renaissance didn’t stop there.
Knowing our market had changed,
that both moms and kids wanted a faster toast alternative,
we brainstormed “Tube Toast.”
Toast on the go for today’s on the go consumer.
Tube Toast became the fastest growing entry in the Fast Moving Toasted Goods (FMTG) category.
Redefining breakfast.
Redefining toast.
Redefining delicious.
So let’s do what all of America is doing once again.

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