Inappropriate, politically incorrect and client approved – Pop! Camera! Action!
When it comes to their characters, brands can be very protective. Typically there are very strict rules about what a character can or cannot say, the way they pose, and what they can be associated with. After all, they are a spokesperson/dog/clown/doughboy of the brand. So when Pop Secret Popcorn approved our idea to let consumers make mini-movies starring their Kernel characters and allow consumers to control what the Kernels say, we were thrilled. And frankly, a little surprised.
Pop Secret had tasked us with creating an engaging digital promotion that incorporated their Kernels and reinforced Pop Secret’s association with movies. So in cooperation with PrizeLogic, a digital promotions company, we created Pop! Camera! Action!, an interactive sweepstakes and instant win game. For the game users would create their own mini movie starring the Kernels.
Users could choose from the following three settings designed to inspire dialogue. Writing the three-part script was completely up to them.
Through a third-party text-to-speech program the lines the user typed in were translated into speech and played back along with sound design and animation. In other words, we could play around and make the kernels say funny and/or inappropriate things. Which we did. A lot. When the site was first up and running internally we all spent time making and sending obnoxious movies to each other to just make the other person laugh. After all, we had to “test” it to make sure it worked. Even people not working on it started to send each other movies. And it just so happened that during this time someone badly burned some popcorn in the microwave. Naturally we had to make fun of that person with a movie and send it to everyone.
We discovered that making the Kernels complain and rant seemed to work well in the quick back and forth exchange. Or maybe we just liked using them as an excuse to let our own complaints and rants out. One of the best work meetings I have ever had was the day we all met in the conference room to play our movies for each other to determine what we would show the client because it was pretty much just us laughing for an hour straight. It’s amazing what you can learn about someone when they have permission to say whatever they want.
I wrote a script around the idea that all women want is a ton of babies since I often get asked if I want kids.
Tim wrote a few that may have given us a glimpse into his marriage. (Hell, I think we all wrote a few of those.)
And Greg wrote one that was just one long poop joke. Not what I expected from someone who usually has more of a dry wit.
Just for fun, here are a couple more favorites from that meeting.
After we stopped laughing our asses off, we whittled the list down to the videos we wanted to show the client. Several of the above actually made the list—not the kind of stuff you usually show in a client meeting! When we presented the site and the videos, we had to do so over the phone; which meant we couldn’t see our clients’ responses. We waited with anticipation as they played the first video. As soon as we heard laughter we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Not only did the client think making the Kernels say obnoxious things was funny (thank god) but we knew we had created something that would be amusing to more people than just us.
Apparently this site made lots of people laugh. Due to its social nature, and the way we marketed it on blogs and Twitter, Pop! Camera! Action! was awarded “Best Use of Social Marketing in a Promotion Campaign” in Promo’s 2011 Pro Awards. And while we’re proud of that, perhaps the biggest rewards was that in the end over 84,000 videos were created. I just wonder how many of those were ours?
Want to make a video of your own? Go to www.popcameraaction.com