In weeding through yet another advertising case study on Brand X who is blending a cross-promotional Scavenger Hunt - MobileGame - SkyWriting stunt in a Silly YouTube Kitten Video, I started thinking: Why do we believe kitschy needs to sell?
Now don't misconstrue; silly has a place and is successful in selling things like snack food, personal grooming products, and video games. But do you want a kitschy Vehicle? A kitschy Medical Treatment? A kitschy Electronic Device? For these products, consumers don't want kitschy. They want significant, better, worthwhile. They want smart video advertising. So why do businesses and advertisers want to all jump on the silly train?
The obvious answer is YouTube Videos. YouTube videos that go viral are largely silly. Kitsch gives us a laugh so we share it. I can't tell you how many times we get phone calls from a business who says, "We need a YouTube Viral Video." Viral can change balance sheets overnight. The lottery can make you rich overnight too, but you don't use it as part of your investment strategy.
The point is: know your brand, your audience, and the deficiency or question you can answer with your marketing video. Dollar Shave Club answered a deficiency in the marketplace with this video. Old Spice answered their stale perception questions with their recent videos. But razors cost $6, and deodorant cost $3.
The degree of seriousness in web videos or TV ad campaigns is directly proportional to the price of your product.
In short, if you're selling $3 deodorant or $6 razors, you can afford to be silly, and in fact you may need to be kitschy to grab a consumer's interest in the hundreds of under $20 transactions they make every week
But when your product is $50, or a $100, or $5,000, your brand videos need to take a different tone. Consumers reach a level where they are researching the products more thoroughly. They want quality, they smart technology, they want significant or worthwhile. If your product is B2B, you shouldn't even be considering a viral video.
Know your audience, know your brand, and create a Web Video series or Television Commercial that fits you. Kitschy vs. Smart Video Advertising...which product are you?