It’s slowly becoming its own genre: put a bunch of recognizable YouTube characters in a commercial and sell your brand with them. If you’ve gone to a Regal Cinemas in the last year or so, you’ve probably seen an ad requesting that you silence your cell phone that stars Annoying Orange, Double Dream Hands, and Flea Market Montgomery, among others. The subtext of it is that these YouTube characters and phone apps are a big part of your life, but you have to let them go before the movie starts. Vitamin Water is using the same tack, and the results are almost Old Spice-ian.
The Vitamin Water “Grab It By The Horns” Ad
How many YouTube sensations can you find in this video?
Front and center is Sexy Sax Man, whose impressive drive to play the sax intro to “Careless Whisper” in public places, bare-chested and sporting a mullet, went on to take in 13 million views since last year. But there are also LOLCats, Nyan Cat, the prison dancers, and of course, that buck that comes out of nowhere that we saw smoke a mountain biker.
And what does our main character do with that buck? Well, in this modern world, he of course picks that buck up and decides to ride him off into the sunset. “Iiiiii’m on a buck,” he might as well say.
This is an ad that nods to the potency of online video, and Vitamin Water, which probably saw the success of Red Bull and Mountain Dew and followed suit: Vitamin Water is on board with the skate, surf, and ski scene and branded videos involving extreme sports. This new video is completely different from anything else on their channel, but it embraces the Internet in much the same way.
And of course, it’s smart. This is leveraging on a different kind of scale. You’re not likely to get the hundreds of millions of combined views that these YouTube stars have, but now when people search for these particular videos, the chance becomes greater that the Vitamin Water ad will show up in either the YouTube search or recommended videos. The commercial was added to their channel 5 days ago and has around 20,000 views, but that’s likely to skyrocket once we see this thing everywhere during the NCAA Tournament.