Thief stealing LG Ultraslim TV: a viral analysis

LG came up with a clever viral ad to spread the word around its product. But does it possess real viral qualities?

I recently came across a nice viral video and I thought it definitely worth sharing and eventually opening a discussion board about it in the hereunder comments section.

The video shows a security camera capturing a thief who is stealing the ”World’s Slimmest TV” powered by LG. The video was released on YouTube on December 28, 2011 and has gotten more than 4 million hits so far. Although it is pretty evident the video is just an advertisement, it easily gets a smile, which is key to make it worth spreading.

Take a minute and have a look:

IFRAME Embed for Youtube

Thoughts jumping in my mind while watching it:

1)FUNNY – Making people smile is key to be memorable and so encourage buzz and word of mouth. Why should I want to share something which is not funny? It doesn’t matter if we are talking about serious or easy stuff: don’t take it too seriously, let people enjoy and you will increase your chances to be sharable and, therefore, successful.

2) SUSPENCE – Do not unveil the trick too early, but fuel the curiosity instead. Make the audience aware something is coming up, but do not give any insight about what, or you will lose the ”surprise effect”. If you make clear what is going on at the very beginning, your audience will lose a bit of interest and you don’t want to lose the pick of attention at the end of the video when your target decides if sharing it or not.

3) VIRAL? – Well, if viral stands for something which spreads and infiltrates, this may be considered a viral. But to me a pure viral doesn’t reveal the brand, at least not openly and clearly. The video could be easily commute to a classic advertising, due to the evident brand recall at the end of the video. If you add a brand pay off, then you can broadcast it, not a doubt. To be a real viral instead, the brand is supposed to appear in a more ”sneaky” way, almost randomly. The brand doesn’t have to be the hero, but has to be softly connected to the scene.

4) EXECUTION – Execution is always key, even though we can forgive little faults because of the intrinsic rough nature of the viral (while we do not have any tolerance for TV advertising which are a bit less than flawless). The LG video execution discloses rooms of improvement:

  • Ok, the camera doesn’t catch the thief making off the TV, but how is possible nobody else sees him? He walks right in front of the cashier!
  • It is weird that the camera always switches to catch the thief. Is it a viral or is it movie?
  • They have to generate the right perspective and make the TV invisible, but it is impossible the actor carries the TV with one hand at the edge: it would definitely flip over!

Overall I would say this viral is a nice one. It is surprising and ironic, which are two factors can actually make the difference between a mediocre one and a good one. But to be outstanding, it has to be something more!