Yeah yeah, I know I should've gotten to this one sooner, but between Airborne, the Pow! Book and Just For Laughs, I've been berry berry busy (beware the blogger with three valid crutches; he will wield them at will!).
So, some sweet vindication comes to roost in Pow!ville as the big winner at Cannes Ad Competition this year was that Burger King hidden-camera campaign called "Whopper Freakout" where customers, well, freak out when told that the big burger had been discontinued.
According to an article called "Punk'd Ads Prove Popular" by T.L. Stanley in Brandweek, this is all part of a trend where "at least a half-dozen major advertisers have dusted off the old 'gotcha' idea and made it the centerpiece of their TV and Web campaigns."
In addition to Burger King, the piece lists Volkswagen's "Talking Beetle," Coke Zero's "Taste Infringement," Carl's Jr. and Hardee's "Fake Restaurant" as other brands shocking their customers for sales' sake. Another fave, more recent, is the "Real Blood Is For Suckers" ad for Tru-Blood energy drink, which leads the curious over to trubeverage.com which ends up being...ahh, why don't I just let you find out for yourselves if you don't already know?
The point here is that just listing a product's virtues, particularly one that's been around a while (the Burger King campaign marked the restaurant's 50th anniversary), seems to be losing its punch. These Punk'd-styled ads shock clients/victims, and are then used to shock a wider swath of potential clients, proving again the power of Surprise not only to grab attention, but to sell products and ideas.
There is indeed sustenance in this nuttiness!