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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Whip It Into Shape

Dan Bailes: Horray for Blendtec blenders. Who knew product demo videos could be so much fun? In case you don't know Blendtec, they're the ones who created the wacky "Will It Blend?" series of videos now playing on their website, Youtube and elsewhere.
So what's the deal here? Well, what can be more mundane than a blender, right? We're talking whipped potatoes, purees, smoothies, maybe even carrot or spinach juice. Ah, then again, maybe not. But blenders: they chop stuff up. End of story. So if you were head of marketing for Blendtec, what would you do to whip up some enthusiasm for your product?

Here's their cool solution: instead of breathlessly showing us how to concoct the latest pineapple, pear and passion fruit frappe, they whipped up something weirdly goofy but effective. Their recipe? Take one boring product, mix in some mundane objects and blend it all together with a dash of some Dave Letterman style humor. And voila, a stroke-of-genius web video series is born, branded
with one silly but wonderful question, "Will it blend?"

The answer is a video series that's flamboyant, foolish and lots of fun. And what a great product demo! It shows so simply and elegantly what they're all about: chopping stuff up.

I've just skimmed the surface looking at some of their videos. But one favorite is their latest video feature on the iphone. There is something positively delicious watching what happens when the much-touted technological marvel, the iphone, meets another great piece of technology, the Blendtec Total Blender. A total mashup. You can check it out their site and the iphone video at http://www.willitblend.com/

Another favorite is their recipe for creating a debt-free lifestyle, which you can find at http://willitblend.com/videos.aspx?type=safe&video=creditcards

What makes a great communications idea "great" is not just what you have to say but also how you go about saying it. And what makes Blendtec's approach so appealing and memorable is that instead of taking themselves and their product so seriously (hey, it's a blender) they're willing to let everyone in on the joke. The corny music and semi-serious presentation make it even funnier. And they open the door for viewers too, by inviting them to suggest other things to blend. So viewers become part of the process--which makes them more willing to buy into the message. A truly inspired campaign: it's clear, direct and elegantly simple.

Oh yeah, and according to their marketing director, they've had record sales for every month since the launch of their Will It Blend? video campaign.

Which should tell you there's a lot of sense in all this silliness.

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