“Winnebago Man” is a famous viral video of all the profanity-dripping outtakes of an old-school salesman trying to make a Winnebago promo, and failing. Now, the feature documentary of the same name about trying to track down the reclusive and unwitting star is available to watch online for free until August 25.
You’ve probably seen the incredible video on YouTube called “Winnebago Man,” which is the outtakes of a Winnebago salesman trying and failing hilariously to make a marketing video. Every time he stumbles over his lines there’s another incredible foul-mouthed tirade. But who was this man? And what happened on that day 20 years ago that got him so fired up? To find out, Documentary filmmakers tracked down the man, Jack Rebney, now old and crotchety as ever, living in his mountain house, and the result is Winnebago Man and it looks awesome. Here’s the gloriously profanity-laced NSFW trailer:
Who is BNE? Why are cities of the world covered in stickers bearing the graffiti artist’s initials? And why is McDonald’s his biggest rival?
I’ve long thought that Ikea would serve as an ideal backdrop for a drama of marital discord and corporate intrigue and, now, finally, it is. David Seger and Paul Bartunek created “Ikea Heights,” a short film shot entirely in a Ikea store in Burbank, California. It’s worth noting that this is MUCH funnier than Ikea’s own Ikea comedy.
The Wall Street Journal looks at how an unfortunately named marketing agency called the Intelligence Group tried to promote recent bomb “I Love You, Beth Cooper” with a viral video on YouTube. (Can we just once and for all ban anyone who works in advertising from accessing YouTube?) They paid the valedictorian of a Los Angeles high school $1,800 to “spontaneously” blurt out a secret crush during her speech, and they hired someone to film the speech in a faux-homemade style to post online.
We’re warning you now, so that you won’t bother to fall for the “you-gotta-see-this!” absurdity of an 85-year-old former talk show announcer and sweepstakes pitchman reduced to self-mockery in order to make some money. We don’t begrudge McMahon his career, but as you know we deeply begrudge “free”creditreport.com for its misleading name, commercials, promises—well, pretty much everything.
There is probably nothing more pathetic in the world of marketing than watching a big corporation try to do something “viral”—usually they end up looking like Elaine dancing. But sometimes, they’re so cynical and soulless about it that they don’t just come across as incompetent, but as exploitative cheapskates as well. In 3M’s case, they wouldn’t pay $2,000 to license a well-known photo with its own viral history, and instead recreated a fake version of it to save a grand. We guess they’re just hoping none of the sites and communities that made the photo popular in the first place will notice. Oh wait, this is supposed to be viral or something…
Reunion.com dupes new members into signing up by sending them an email that pretends to be from an acquaintance who’s been looking for them (on Reunion.com, naturally). After signing up, the site sucks in your contacts and immediately begins spamming them to join by sending out a similar email. If one of those people then signs up at Reunion.com, their contact list is scooped up and the cycle starts all over again, like a social engineering version of a virus or parasitic infestation. Maybe this is why Reunion.com can claim to register about 1 million new members every month.
Are you ever sitting around, internetting with your fellow internetters, when all of a sudden you wish you had a corporate-approved “viral” way to challenge said “fellow internetters” to a competitive eating contest?
Trent Reznor leaks songs from his new album via USB drives hidden in bathrooms. Fans share the songs. Websites post the songs. Websites receive cease and desist letters from the RIAA. From Billboard:
Another Web posting alleged that all this activity resulted in entertainment blog Idolator and other sites receiving e-mail from the Recording Industry Association of America, demanding that they remove the MP3s from their sites. An RIAA representative confirms this, a move that boggles the minds of many. “These f*cking idiots are going after a campaign that the label signed off on,” the source says.
Good job, guys. —MEGHANN MARCO
Take that, Time magazine! Ad Age has dubbed the “Consumer” the Ad Agency of the Year. Why? Viral video, of course. Its popular, it sells products and marketers are ripping it off. Consequently, we’ve had to sit through this horrific crap allllllll football season.
“I’ve got my finger on the pulse of all the coolest internet trends. Even my kids are jealous of all the hits my video is getting.”
This has been going around “the blogosphere” lately (like “the Information Super Highway,” I expect that this term will become increasingly embarrassing to most of us as we get older and Al Gore claims to have created it) and it’s not quite what it appears, but it’s worth a post: coming out of Grand Central Station, Mihow from the eponymous Mihow.com encountered a raucous crowd of what appeared to be anti-Wal-Mart protesters. They handed him some literature, which then turned out to actually be pamphlets from Wal-Mart Watch.
Morgellons Disease certainly sounds sci-fi: unexplained lesions that never heal open up on the skin, out of which spring strange black fibers and mysterious protuberances. This has caused sites like Adrants to speculate that it’s all a viral movie campaign for the upcoming film adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, since the characters in that film are convinced their bodies have been possessed by aphids. Right, and AIDS was a viral campaign for Philadelphia.
We’re not as hip as our editor, Ben Whatsisface [ed: Popken!]. How could we be? We live in Dublin, for Chrissakes. We don’t have a crewcut, we don’t have glasses. By extension, we probably don’t have his panache with the ladies, nor his disestablishmentarianist fervor.