Monday, February 16, 2009

How TV ads are taking the net by storm

Companies such as Cadburys are increasingly using TV spots to launch their ad campaigns online.

As a piece of entertainment, it runs the gamut from highbrow to lowbrow. The latest TV commercial from Cadbury, in which two schoolchildren's eyebrows "dance" along to a funky soundtrack, has been hailed as proof that - for advertisers - the internet, not television, is now king.

The one-minute film opens with a boy and girl sitting in a photographer's studio waiting to have their portrait taken. But the photographer leaves the shot when the boy starts an electro tune, "Don't Stop the Rock" by Freestyle, on his digital watch and the children break into a choreographed eyebrow dance in time to the music. The little girl - wearing a dress in trademark Cadbury purple - produces a balloon, which she uses as an unusual sound accompaniment.

The ad had its premiere during the final of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4 and has frequently been on TV since. But it is online that "Eyebrows" has gone "viral" and picked up unstoppable momentum. American rapper and producer Kanye West posted a link to the video on his blog, while celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton featured it with the comment: "The UK definitely seems to be doing them better! Click here to check out a super-cool new commercial." Actor and writer Stephen Fry gave it a further boost via his posts on the microblogging site Twitter.

Cadbury now estimates that the video has been watched more than four million times on YouTube and other sites - more than double the number racked up at the same stage by an earlier Cadbury cult hit, featuring a gorilla playing drums to Phil Collins's In the Air Tonight.

The company has struck a deal with Orange to give away the latest ad's soundtrack as a mobile phone ringtone, which was downloaded 125,000 times in the first 11 days.

"Eyebrows", created by the agency Fallon in a £3.7m campaign, has also spawned numerous parodies, from imitation eyebrow dancers including Lily Allen and Alan Carr, whose rendition on Channel 4's The Sunday Night Project has become a YouTube hit in its own right. Cadbury's website invites visitors to enter an eyebrow dancing competition called "Jivebrow 09", promising an audience of millions.

Lee Rolston, director of marketing for Cadbury Dairy Milk, said: "TV and online are morphing almost daily. We tend to put our first ads in big things such as the Big Brother final or the X Factor, then it's immediately online, which becomes a very fluid, organic process. People tend to interact with the films and make their own versions and their own music. We just let it go and see what people think of it.

"It's down to the quality of the film, and how it makes you feel, to how successful it is as a piece of online film. It should surprise and delight you so you want to pass it on, and the best medium for that is online."

From Media Guardian


Marie said...

The ad is brilliant. Dairy Milk remains revolting.

Karen Cinnamon said...

Yes the quality of the ad much more matches divine Lindt...