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Taking a risk with video and Hot Pockets

Thursday - June 21st, 2012

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Taking a risk with video and Hot Pockets

One of the best types of advertising is word of mouth. People listen to their families and friends. But how do you get people talking about your product? You do something different. You take a risk. That’s what it is all about. When you go for a risky campaign, you have to go in headfirst. It can be a total flop, but it can also be a huge success, just like the recent Hot Pockets campaign (video available below).

With the help of rising Youtube star Toby Turner, Hot Pockets released a web-only mock infomercial full of quotable catch phrases, “Blow on it, Wanda!” and wacky non sequiturs. The video is fast-paced, and full of over-the-top humor. It also happens to be perfect for Hot Pockets’ usual audience: young people with a penchant for frozen food. This audience doesn’t have time to cook an elegant meal while they browse the internet; they pop a Pocket in the microwave while waiting for the next Youtube video to load. These are also the same people that decide what makes or breaks a web sensation. Every time they hit “Like,” a few more people become aware of a person, product, or brand.

When a brand takes a risk like this, it needs to keep its audience in mind. A company needs to be very specific about who it is targeting. If the new campaign approach is not suitable for the audience, it could be a waste of money and negatively affect the brand reputation.

Taking a leap of faith with a new campaign can be risky, especially for very new business owners without a strong brand reputation to fall back on. However, it could be just what you need to break ground. Keeping it safe and only working with campaigns that resemble your competitors will get you some business, but you need to give customers a reason to prefer you to the competition.

Not every business can pull this off. But most businesses can benefit from a strong web presence. Even if you own something as like a rug-cleaning service, you can still add a little more personality to stand out from your competitors. The same people who became fans of Hot Pockets’ webmercial would be highly unlikely to hire a professional carpet steam cleaning service. But with social networking and creative web content, you can still take the same approach.

Take a look at how internet celebrities make their name on their web. They don’t use paid advertising. If you can learn from the way other people make a buzz with their videos and webpages, you can take some of the same techniques and turn them into a profit. Your audience may not be the college students who love microwaveable snacks and Youtube. But you can use a different style of humor that your customers would enjoy.

Remember that one of the most important things you can do is get people talking – on the web, on social networks and in person. Once you have a great product or service to stand behind, make it known by bringing your audience together. Take that risk. You’ll be glad you did.

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