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Sling Baby – Best Video Ever! But does it matter?

January 15th, 2012 · 10 Comments · Random Stuff

Every now and then I’ll see a great video and post it here. This is one of those times, and one of those posts. But in addition to posting the video, I’m raising a question… not about the video, but about marketing. As for the video, it’s called Sling Baby, and it is one of the five finalists for a contest to make a commercial for Doritos, with the winning video to be shown during the Super Bowl. As for the video, Sling Baby, it is the Best. Video. Ever. Or at least, the best video I’ve seen in a while. Of course I’m a sucker for cute babies and kids, but this video is great in so many ways. I ask you to take 30 seconds of your time and watch it, and then if you want, you can even vote for Sling Baby (and see the other four finalists videos), and we’ll see if Sling Baby wins! So without further ado…
here’s the video… but after you watch Sling Baby, please keep reading, as I ask what I think is an important marketing question…

The marketing question I ask is, “Does it matter?” I don’t mean any offense to Sling Baby, and I’m not asking if it matters for the video or the creators of Sling Baby. As I said, it is an awesome, hilarious video, and I am extremely impressed that the video is what I would call national-television-quality. The creators did an amazing job, and could end up winning $1,000,000 and the fame of having had a Super Bowl commercial (if I correctly understand the contest)! But as a marketing method for Doritos to sell more chips, does the video matter? Does it work?

Don’t get me wrong… as I written here before, I love the fact that beer companies (and soda pop, potato chip, and car companies) spend billions on funny TV commercials that entertain me. I love to watch the Super Bowl to see the latest Budweiser commercial (but I drink Sierra Nevada Pale Ale instead of Bud) or to see how over-the-top GoDaddy’s latest commercial will be (but I use 1and1 instead of GoDaddy for domain registration). When it comes to marketing (and trade show marketing), does producing a funny but product-irrelevant ad, commercial, or marketing campaign really result in selling any more product at all, and is it really the best way to spend a marketing budget?

After last year’s Superbowl (when the Green Bay Packers triumphed!) I think I wrote about a funny car commercial that I really liked, but I couldn’t remember what car it was for. Just this month, I’ve seen another TV car commercial (not so funny though) about a guy asking a woman to marry her, and then she thinks about all the things in life she wants to do before she gets married… At the end, I notice they mention the car, and I suppose the car is supposed to help her accomplish these things, but I don’t buy that premise, and in the end the commercial says nothing about why I should pick that particular car instead of a different car.

Back to Sling Baby… Again, it’s a fantastic video, and I appreciate that Doritoes was responsible for it. And I happen to like to eat Doritos. I prefer to eat corn chips instead of potato chips, and if I’m not having salsa, then I like Doritos with their tasty orange coating (whatever it is). So I would buy Doritos if I wanted some, but NOT BECAUSE OF THE COMMERCIAL! I don’t care for Pringles or Ruffles, and if Sling Baby was backed by either of those chip companies, even though I liked the video, I still wouldn’t buy either of those chips.

So in the end, is it good marketing (and a good use of limited marketing dollars) to make an entertaining, funny, or cool commercial that people like, but doesn’t say ANYTHING about why you should actually buy a product or what the benefits of said product are? Personally, I think it has very limited potential that is almost impossible to qualify, and one is better off for marketing and for trade show marketing in specific to focus on your product and why it is a good product, and how it can help or benefit your prospect. I.E. if you’re a car company, focus on gas mileage, safety, towing capacity, or utility, but don’t talk to me about some woman’s pre-marriage bucket list. That said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what the industry calls “brand recognition” and whether you agree or disagree with me and why…

But again, back to Sling Baby (oh, what a cute baby and clever idea for a funny video). Let me know what you think…
1. Did you like Sling Baby?
2. Do you like Doritos?
3. And, most importantly, are you ANY MORE LIKELY to buy Doritoes the next time you need chips BECAUSE you saw Sling Baby?

Finally, don’t forget to vote for Sling Baby (if you liked it), and remember the video is called Sling Baby, and not baby sling, baby slings, or Grandma Slings A Baby.

update: I wrote this post before the Green Bay Packers played the New York Giants. Well, the game is history now and it didn’t turn out the way I expected or hoped for. Bummer. Major Bummer. I guess the “glass is half full” way of looking at it is that now that Green Bay has been upset and is out of the play offs, I will be able to focus more attention on the commercials (including, I hope, Sling Baby) during the Super Bowl. Oh well, there’s always next year for the Packers.

Post-SuperBowl-2012 UPDATE: Congratulations to Sling Baby! They won, and won big! Not only were they judged to be the best of the five finalists for the best Doritos commercial, according to all the consumers that voted at the USA Today / FaceBook Super Bowl Ad Meter, Sling Baby was the BEST commercial played during the entire Super Bowl, which means it won the $1,000,000 Doritos contest prize. They could buy a LOT of Doritos with that cool million bucks! Way to go Sling Baby!

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 WildFlower // Jan 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Hi! I like what you had to say about the marketing purpose of the commercials. I agree most of the time I can’t remember or in some cases even tell what they are selling. But what I have found in this Sling Baby commercial is the phrase that the brat boy uses “Want some? Sorry” has caught on. It is possible that the viewer would relate that to the Doritos brand. It’s far to early to tell. We will have to wait and see. Most of the commercials at the Super Bowl are more entertaining than selling.. so, if Sling Baby can pull off the memory association between the brat taunting with the Doritos Brand and the cute underdog winning in the end then I say it would be a huge success. I would agree with you that most adults are set in their purchasing ways… KIDS how ever are not! This commercial is extremely attractive to kids which can influence the purchase of household products! That kid will one day be an adult. I LOVE Sling Baby and think it’s one of the best commercials I’ve seen in a long time. I want to see Sling Baby go all the way and even win the best commercial out of all the Super Bowl Commercials!

  • 2 The Trade Show Guru // Jan 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    WildFlower,
    Thanks for your great comment. You are right that marketing to kids can be different than marketing to adults (or at least, most adults), and that kids may be more easily influenced, and they in turn can influence the adults in the household. That’s a very good point. And I have heard the argument for winning the hearts and minds of kids in childhood so they’ll buy your product when they are older… though I’m not sure about that. The idea of a Barbie doll having a VISA credit card just seems wrong to me. I guess that just crosses my moral rubicon, but who knows, maybe it works… more food for thought.
    Thanks again for commenting. Steve

  • 3 Will // Jan 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Yes I liked the video!
    No I don’t eat things like Doritos.
    And no I really am not influenced at all by advertising like this.

    Then again, I am a bit of an odd example. This stuff must be proven to work or the money would not be spent on it.

  • 4 Jim Warner // Feb 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I feel the same way as you do TTSG, except that I might ad that if I had never tasted a Pringles, Ruffles, or Doritos then seeing the ad would probably prompt me to choose Doritos to try before the others. I attend the church where the person responsible for the ad goes and so I certainly voted for it and agree it is very clever and certainly cute!

  • 5 Rudy // Mar 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I don’t know about these Doritos commercials from the Superbowl. They’re all over the place, from the cute to the raunchy.

    Doesn’t matter anyway, since I don’t eat junk food anymore. :-)

  • 6 The Trade Show Guru // Mar 8, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Rudy, Thanks for stopping by. You have more willpower than I do. I should stop eating junk food entirely, but a little still gets by. :) Steve

  • 7 christian jadue // Mar 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Guru,

    No comments on this side, but I would like to know the 10 most remarkable trade show worldwide, theme doesn`t matter…

    Thanks in advance
    CJ

  • 8 Kate // Mar 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I have the uncanny knack to be able to tune out commercials completely. As soon as the show ends, my mind automatically defaults to think about things that are productive, so at the end of a commercial someone can ask me about it and I have no idea what it was. However, if one is as catchy as this one is, it will grab my attention for entertainment value. I rarely remember the product. I suspect I would for this one, because the product is so intricately woven into the story line, but most of them I just can’t even remember what they tried to sell me. And for any advertisers that read this, I am never swayed to by by entertainment. I want facts that truly can stand up to the test. Prove to me that the product will benefit me over and above competitors and I will listen and buy. Commercials don’t do that though. They are geared to grab attention and hope repetition and product familiarity wiill bring up sales. It must work, or they’d quit doing it. But it does not work for me.

  • 9 Keith // Aug 3, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Do you know if Doritos sales have gone up since they ran this campaign? It would be interesting to see if it had an effect, and how much.

  • 10 Bob Stoxx // Sep 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

    1. Did you like Sling Baby? yes, it was awesome!

    2. Do you like Doritos? yes, and I am biased because i used to work for Frito-Lay…

    3. And, most importantly, are you ANY MORE LIKELY to buy Doritos the next time you need chips BECAUSE you saw Sling Baby? Not because I saw Sling Baby, but the commercial would definitely always put Doritos in my mind just by association. I think that is the key and main reason for ads like this. It is highly memorable, thus the brand will always be memorable. Also, what do you think of every time you see a bag of Doritos? I’ll bet it’s Sling Baby, and that gives you a good feeling (subliminal) about the product.

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