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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DBA and the Age of Anxiety

Given all the Holiday gear newly acquired in all our households, it's now time we prepare for that electrifying malady known as DBA. What's DBA, you ask? With DBA we're talking the latest viral video ploy: Dead Battery Anxiety, as created by a Charleston, South Carolina firm Slant Media for Philips Electronics.

Yes, it's a little stupid, which is what makes it funny. And yes, it conjures all those TV ads touting the drug of the day. So there's that familiar strain about it. And it's a little self-conscious too, which seems to play fine on the Web. And there's that "hey, we're in on the goof, cause we're as cool as you" hipster attitude. If you strike the right tone, it works well with the genre. And I think this one has appeal.

The ads are simply shot and edited (good for the Web). Fun punch lines. My favorite is "Plug Hawk Tazed at Airport" because it just relies on physical action and that funky consumer camera look. You can watch them all at the DBA website.

The NYT wrote about the campaign in Stuart Elliot's advertising column. We learn that consumers "worry about power" constantly, since smart phones are kinda dumb about how much power they use. And the campaign was designed for the online world, because Philips and Slant think their consumers have pulled the plug on TV and print.
So there you have it. If you want to follow their rules for a viral campaign, hang on to a style everyone already knows, add some humor, keep it simple, make your point and get out of the way, and don't try to be too slick. That's my take away.

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