Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Strip-Poker and Pelosi’s Challenger

Copywriter Drayton Bird recently talked about the element of surprise. Here are two brilliant ads that harness that principle.

First, Shirley Golub, who is a progressive candidate challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the Democratic Party nomination for Congress. Watch her video here (scroll down about half a screen).

This is an example of how to be extremely effective on basically zero budget. One camera, one talking head, no special effects, I’m guessing a single take–and twisting a metaphor of Pelosi’s in an unforgettable way. And then spreading it through the power of social networks like the People’s Email Network, which put up that page and notified its thousands of activists.

If I were directing the shoot, the only advice I’d give Golub is to not look down so much–put the script somewhere you can see it while appearing to look at the camera.

On to the other ad: a slick, commercially produced, expensive (large cast), quite salacious and extremely funny bit that’s rapidly making its way around the Net.And boy does it ever harness the element of surprise (Yes, I have some issues with the politics of the surprise but to say more would spoil it–suffice it to say I recognize and criticize the issue). Don’t watch this one if you wouldn’t see an R-rated movie.

The surprise is there, all right, and it will get tons of viral exposure–I got the whole huge Youtube video e-mailed to me, and I’m betting it’s making the rounds on MySpace, Facebook, etc. But I wonder how many people will remember the product 24 hours later. In other words, was it a good investment for the manufacturer?

Bet someone does some research on this, eventually.


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