April 13, 2010
 

Blue Blankie, Brainless BK and Body Art

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Another afternoon happily surfing sites that offer video. I watched a preview for the broadway show Sweet Charity at BroadwayWorld.com (looks wonderful). I watched a pilot made for the WB for a sitcom about sitcoms, called Nobody's Watching (silly in a happy, That 70s Show kind of way) on YouTube. I watched a short called Slap on AtomFilms, which didn't do much for me. And, I watched the three below. I love my job.

Smash Everything

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The Discovery Channel television show Miami Ink takes a look at today's fascination with the ancient art of tattooing. According to the show's website, the viewer becomes involved in a world in which "the line between tattoo artist and psychoanalyst becomes blurred." Sounded interesting, so I checked out a couple of the web-only clips.

This one features Emmy, the VP of Human Resources for a management company, seeking the perfect tattoo. She explores the reasons behind her ultimate decision -- a dragon for her back and two Japanese symbols that mean "smash everything" for her arm -- and chats with her personal tattoo artist about her choice and the reasons behind it.

She begins the procedure by laughing nervously, but after the tattoo has been applied, she takes a long look in the mirror. "Oh yeah, that's awesome," she breathes, her voice deeper than usual. She places her hand on the artist's cheek. "Thank you so much."

She leaves after calling him "my new friend," and acknowledging that she feels different.

I've been interested in catching the show, but have not been able to. Having seen the video clip, I'll be sure to find time to see at least one episode.


Big Huckin' Chicken

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Burger King, of Subservient Chicken fame (remember the guy in a chicken suit that you could command to do certain stunts?) and other viral campaigns, has launched another.

This one, called Big Huckin' Chicken, shows a man dressed as a chicken performing various feats on a motorbike (a tailwhip, a back flip, etc.). The more visitors the site received, the more stunts were available for viewing, and the more dangerous the stunts became.

When the goal -- a million visitors -- was reached, the most difficult stunt of all was revealed: a 180-foot jump, the longest jump ever accomplished by a chicken (and, presumably, by a man in a chicken suit).

The earlier videos (and easier stunts) last only for 15 seconds or so. But the final video lasts a good seven minutes, and at its best is only mildly amusing.

I do understand the humor intrinsic in poking fun at oneself while pretending to be serious. (Mel Brooks is the master of this.) I even chuckled a bit when Trigger, the chicken-suited jumper, talked about landing the jump in a confident and serious tone of voice ("Then I'll just flap my wings, and I'll glide in").

And Burger King -- and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which created Big Huckin' Chicken -- apparently reached their 1 million visitor goal, which means, I suppose, the site was a success.

Still, with most viral videos, the purpose is to entertain. Here, the purpose seems to have been only to generate 1 million visitors. The entertainment was secondary, and came across as such. I'm not, of course, the site's target demo. I'm too old and I'm the wrong gender.

But I guess my problem here is that creating a viral campaign for the sake of being viral seems overly self-serving. From a consumer's point of view, the campaign must be absolutely fabulous to make up for the fact that "going viral" was its obvious goal. Instead, it crashed.


My Blue Blankie

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Mentioning Mel Brooks put me in the mood for a good laugh. I went looking, and found it in the form of this clip from his original movie version of The Producers. In it, Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock and Gene Wilder as Leo Bloom play off each other so beautifully, and with such emotional reality, that the scene would almost be poignant if it weren't so hilarious.

- Forbes Video Network Entertainment News -

Blazing New Trailers

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Movie trailers and promos are a huge hit on the Internet and small screen, says Tim Nett, the CEO of Trailer Park a leading producer of trailers and marketing campaigns for film studios in an interview with Annalisa Burgos, Anchor, Forbes.com Video Network.

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