When companies try to leverage YouTube as part of their internet marketing campaign they generally do an amazing job of it or a completely awful one. There isn’t too much middle ground with web video content. You either have a video that is awesome or one that isn’t. Furthermore the return on investment can be rather limited if your video fails to generate buzz for your company or product. I think good videos deserve to be recognized because they do create the buzz a company needs especially when consumers aren’t familiar with them or their products.
AR Drone is a “flying video game” developed by Parrot S.A. and allows users to fly a plastic ufo-esque toy using an application for the iPhone. Recently the company has launched a barrage of clever and entertaining Youtube videos to generate some interest in their product. Some of the most eye-catching videos are of the renegade band of AR Drone pilots launching “attacks” on various locations in the UK. One can watch these attacks launched on the guards at Buckingham palace, skateboarders at a local skatepark, golfers on a putting green, and even a group of businessmen in a conference room.
The videos have almost an anarchist feel to them and encourage viewers to go out, buy the AR Drone, and film “attacks” on whatever they choose. In my opinion this is the type of thing that can go viral. People love watching other people freak out about something they aren’t familiar with. If you don’t believe me, tell me why America’s Funniest Home Videos is still on the air. An interesting feature of the product is that it does have a fairly high resolution digital camera which allows users to guide the drone and spy on its surroundings. The unfortunate drawback of this feature is that if you combine the mind of a 13 year old boy and the 20 year old college girl next door… Well, you get the idea.
Needless to say I think that Parrot S.A. has done an excellent job of taking advantage of YouTube to push their product. If it weren’t for their YouTube campaign, I probably wouldn’t have heard of them. (I don’t watch too many Saturday morning cartoons on TV anymore.) I will be very interested to see how this product does and what other products, if any, Parrot S.A. releases in the near future.