DQ Burgers: Trying to Be Viral, and Failing

24 Mar
Viral Video

Viral Video

There is much discussion among marketers about what makes videos go viral. No one quite knows how to put lightning in a bottle, but once you see it, you know it. My favorite viral video? Old Spice Guy. Need I say more? He’s handsome, he’s suave- he’s the cologne-wearing man your man wants to be and your woman wants to be with. He’s a bit outrageous, a bit over the top, yet he knows it.

So what do you get when people try to turn the charm of Old Spice Guy and push it through the ad agency assembly line? You get the cringe-inducing new campaign for Dairy Queen Burgers.  A brief synopsis: tall handsome in a dorky way guy attempts to charm the audience while describing the rather stale brand, then ending on a ridiculous line. Except rather than “I’m on a horse”, it’s “The guitar sounds like dolphins”. The ad is not very creative, and it’s so derivative of Old Spice Guy it hurts. Hence the inducing of cringes.

News flash: viral hits like Old Spice Guy only happen once. There is no formula, like add one part handsome guy and add two parts pithy dialogue to make the young kids swarm to your product.  The old currency in advertising was: take what has worked for someone else, take it apart, and remake it for your brand. The new currency is that you do your own thing and know your audience. So that’s teenage boys and Axe Body Spray; that’s young women and Yaz birth control; it’s middle management and Charles Schwab. So chart your own path, Dairy Queen. Minus the guitar that plays dolphins.


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