Thursday, May 29, 2008

Condom marketing is flaccid

From a safe sex campaign by the  Australian GovernmentUpdated Monday June 9

If you were a big company like Lifestyles which had decided to make fun viral videos about safe sex, you'd place lots and lots of links to the videos in your press release, right?

If a company is game enough to produce videos about condoms, with two young men talking s**t and mocking foreign accents, why not go the whole hog? Why release a flaccid press release that seems to hide the very thing it's trying to promote?

But no, Lifestyles Condoms sent me a press release with only one hyperlink to the videos, and that was in the personalized preface to me.

There were a few other links to the corporate site in the preface. I've looked and looked, but there wasn't one hyperlink in the actual press release to the videos. It wasn't even written out. The only link was the one to the corporate site (where the videos are prominent).

But isn't the idea of a viral video to get journalists and prospects clicking, watching and laughing?

Here's a before and after treatment:

Before, without link love:

NEW YORK, NY (May 22, 2008) — LifeStyles Condoms, one of the nation’s leading condom brands, has released a series of online videos entitled “Noah and Baron Talk Real Man Sh*t,” on LifeStyles.com featuring young stand up comedians Noah Starr and Baron Vaughn. The webisodes follow the duo’s sexually themed antics as they road trip through Europe while delivering a message of safe sex and open communications.

After, with lots of link love:

NEW YORK, NY (May 22, 2008) — LifeStyles Condoms, one of the nation’s leading condom brands, has released a series of online videos entitled “Noah and Baron Talk Real Man Sh*t,” at www.lifestyles.com/videos.php featuring young stand up comedians Noah Starr and Baron Vaughn. The webisodes follow the duo’s sexually themed antics as they road trip through Europe while delivering a message of safe sex and open communications.

Aha! I've worked it out.

LifeStyles is practising safe Internet marketing by removing any risk that anyone will inadvertently click on a raunchy video by mistake.

Maybe it should add a warning:

"Please wear a condom on your head before watching these videos. Our condoms are guaranteed to protect you from 99.9% of jokes and 89% of unwanted innuendos while reducing your impulse to pass on this viral video by 79%. "

Don't be shame, be game, as Condoman (the super safe sex hero in the image above) says. He was the star of a gutsy safe sex campaign by the Australian Government in 1991.

By the way, I overdid the links above to make my point. This guide suggests one hyperlink for every 100 words.

Update Monday June 9: Don't forget to check out Hubspot's new press release grader. It can help avoid bloopers like the ones we've mentioned here.

And while you're visiting the blog, help us choose a headline for the next issue of our print publication. It will take you about 3 seconds only. Thank you.


Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power on Thursday 29 May at 8 a.m.


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3 comments:

Lynn from organicmania.com said...

This company should have issued a social media release, instead of a conventional press release. This announcement would have been a perfect fit.

Whenever I see something that is a bit odd - like halfway done - I think that it is a sign that Management had doubts about the campaign. That was certainly my experience when I was in corporate marketing - a lot of the most innovative campaigns scared upper management. This campaign certainly would fall into that category, because it's gutsy.

Pardon the pun, but they should have gone all the way with this promotion instead of pulling back on the links in the press release.

As usual, great catch, Julie!

Anonymous said...

One thing to keep in mind, when issuing over the major commercial newswires, is that all press releases have to meet certain editorial standards... A lot of the racier stuff won't get by the gatekeepers....

IMR editor said...

Thanks. I hadn't really thought about the censorship issue. But my comments about this press release weren't to suggest it wasn't racy enough. But that it wasn't optimized enough for online marketing.
Thanks for commenting,
Julie Power
editor
www.eIMR.blogpost.com