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Where Viral Marketing is NOT Going - or
Who Really Finds This Funny?

I was at the Microsoft Advertising site,"Inspiration Anyone?" taken there by Dave Young, someone I admire and... I was pretty surprised at the video you see below. Note that Dave was showing an updated version of last year's "The Break Up" viral video, where the clear disconnect between advertiser and consumer was made obvious in a short, but pointed meeting between a man (the advertiser) and a young woman (the consumer).

In that video, she asks to be recognized as a person, and to be treated with respect...but the advertiser drones on about demographics and other stats he feels is important, totally disregarding her input. Kind of like real life, you know?

In the updated version, the advertiser moves on to an agency, and disregards their advice, also.

From there...I clicked in to the Get Inspired Here site and found this disturbing video for the new movie, Tropic Thunder, with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr.  I know sharing it is contributing to it's supposed 'viral' status...but, I'm sharing it not to give it kudos or applause, but to ask...does anyone else out there find this totally uncalled for? I have lost my respect and any affection I had for Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Very sad. And disturbing to the Nth degree. Am I alone???? Is escalating violence really funny???


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I figured you were so offended by the video because it's making fun of exactly what marketers are hailing as the 'next big thing'. Not the violence - which is silly looking and far from disturbing. You should really check out what's floating around the web.

The video is brilliant. They hit the nail on the head. Viral videos, made by advertisers, are going to offend all sorts of people whether they intend to or not - in order to get people talking about it. There's no other way - which is why I wouldn't count on this really being the next best way.

Yvonne DiVita

Looks like the replies are varied and...I'm in the minority, so far. Interesting. One person I showed it to said the ending reminded her of Iraq, and the news videos of what they do to captured prisoners there.

I know it's today's form of slapstick, and up until the end, it was mildly funny to me... Sadly, I can't get into violence for effect - although, I admit that I have found the previews for the movie funny.

This video is just over the top, IMHO.


Must be my age, I don't find it offensive, just boring. Guys beating up on guys to glorify war. I don't watch the military channel, either. I did watch an old Twilight Zone the other night to the end however. In it the astronaunts land on a "cementary asteroid" where people go to be stuffed and live out their happiest dream. In this case, the astronaunts are also killed and stuffed. Why? Because it was a place of "everlasting peace" and as the caretaker said at the end. "With men, there is no peace." Guys, if you don't buy that, then please prove Rod Serling wrong.

Beyond Niche Marketing

Welcome to the land of is "viral" marketing.

It's infinitely easier to offend than to genuinely entertain. The escalating violence is seen as a way to make the video "viral".

I'll say this, the video is a damning commentary on the creativity that went into making the movie. If they can't create a genuinely entertaining 3 minute video without resorting to this, it makes me doubt their ability to create a genuinely entertaining movie of longer length.


I think you take it wrong. Staring friendly stars (The Panda, Downey "Iron Man", and Ben "the best friend" Stiller) to record a sketch full of reference makes me feel real great with them: happy slapping irony, escalating violence on the Internet, cell phone recording (referencing to live "reporters" bloggers) like Ophra, search of the ultimate viral thing. All these things remind us of what web is full of.

It's not as clear as the MSDN Breakup video but still I think it's kind of ironic.

Yvonne DiVita

The exploding head at the end was way over the top. Totally unnecessary. Even though I didn't find the earlier stuff funny, I know that's just me. But, when it got to the exploding head...the people I showed it to agreed...way out of line.

Ellen Degeneres did a similar thing on TV... where she chopped someone's head off (no blood, though) and she received dozens of emails because kids watching actually believed it happened.

They could have found a better way to end that video. If this is where humor is going... I'm worried ... very worried.

Keyser Soze

It makes fun of viral videos. It isn't meant to be taken seriously. The exploding head at the end should have been enough of a clue. Chill out.

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