'Quirky' is probably one of the most over-used words when it comes to video marketing briefs at the moment with many advertisers and brands clamouring to get a handle on the aesthetic combining 'hipster' pursuits and surrealist comedy elements.
Odd and outrageous humour has been around in advertising forever but it feels like ever since Cadbury went all post-modern with their gorilla and Old Spice began their irony laden assault on the world, that the type of 'knowing', 'Internet' humour present in both these ads has been the go-to style for many brands.
Kudos to them though for being brave and pushing the envelope with a sense of whimsical imagination. We've seen all kinds of pretenders to the kings of the viral video throne, some more derivative than others.
JCVD stormed onto the scene this year starring in three completely different campaigns all utilizing his utterly bizarre d-list celebrity status with massive doses of nostalgia thrown in. The most recent of which for Volvo trucks blew the roof off the previous record breaking viral videos.
Oatmeal Crunch are one of the latest brands to try something a little 'out there' and with a little help from a Toronto agency have put together a series of films about 'The Crunch'. Starring an agitated Scotsman repleate with kilt and bowl o'oats he proceeds to match up the cereal with some of the most utterly surreal scenarios seen in advertising this year.
These consist of: A duck interrupting the wedding party of gingerbread people, a romantic date between two robot arms, a completely unhinged hipster puppet master and a Japanese game-show with a tortoise.
Now whilst the view counts and sharing on these ads have not been phenomenal and most people might not be aware of them outside of Quebec or the self-facilitating world of video advertising websites, we must congratulate General Mills on their bravery to push creativity with their product advertising.
The more and more of these ads that get made, the more they get talked about and eventually the more we will disregard them as derivative of a 'scene' or 'phase' in advertising, but the fact is, that in this industry we'd all prefer the opportunity to work on projects that champion this level of comedic creativity.
With Television advertising still riddled with the mawkish and the idiotic, the Internet is truly where great ideas can roam free. Just make sure you hire JCVD so you can ensure your measurables.