Making popcorn can be a difficult task. That’s why companies in the 1980s came out with microwave popcorn—which apparently has proven to also be a difficult task itself, as evidenced by the 400 daily tweets about burnt popcorn.
Agency Deutch LA is working with Pop Secret
to put a positive spin on this problem by turning these negative tweets into an auto-tuned song … because evidently people are still autotuning.
Here’s the video, which serves a dual purpose of introducing an app
that is supposed to help you achieve the perfectly popped bag of popcorn:
Clever? Sure. Innovative? Ehhh, OK.
The agency already gotten a ton of buzz around it, and I’m sure Pop Secret will be thrilled with the fact that the app has 80,000 downloads
. But that’s only part of the story.
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I’ve been in meetings where this type of idea comes up. You discuss the “problem,” in this case, people talking about burnt popcorn. And then you brainstorm ways you can address it.
Some clever person had the idea to turn the negative tweets into a song about burnt popcorn. That’s a great idea. Someone else probably said, “Let’s make an app that listens for when your popcorn is done.” Also a decent idea. It’s always in the execution where things start to get a little hairy.
The problem with these types of innovative marketing ideas is that it plays to your lamest (80,000) consumers. Who’s so confusing about how to make a bag of microwave popcorn that they need an app to walk them through it?
It’s one of those apps that will be downloaded, used once or twice, and then forgotten until the brand gets anxious that the numbers are down so they decide to send out a push notification, at which point the app is deleted en masse.
It’s a great idea, and kudos to them for getting so much positive press and solid impressions. But marketing efforts should be sustainable. Too often the default is shiny and new (or shabby and old in the case of using autotune). There’s a lack of effort toward the long game. Agencies feel pressure to get the win in the short term so they’re not fired. They’re unable (or perhaps unwilling) to engage in the long-term strategy.
I’m not saying for sure that’s what happened here, but it seems to me that this will be one of those marketing innovations that gets a heck of a lot of buzz before it’s forgotten.
That is before, sadly, another agency/brand team imitates it.