The Onion - America's Finest News Source
Behold, America: The Onion is now in television.
OK - so it's just the Web, but as far as I'm concerned the net IS television 2.0. Nonetheless, I was psyched as ever after watching (and continually re-watching) the Onion News Network promo, but it's first few clips leave me disappointed.
Perhaps I'm tainted. I've been an avid supporter and fan of Comedy Central's The Daily Show since the days Craig Kilborn was actually somewhat funny. I love satire and parody and value its role in society, so sometimes I tend to be a tough critic.
ONN's segments lack any serious punch to them. While the videos continue The Onion's tradition of lampooning the way Americans report, the best lines are still throw-aways (See: Immigration story, "But these words were written thousands of years ago.")
Still, if the Onion's crew of comedic reporters can figure out the right tint of funny, I see a very successful product on the way.
They're letting users embed these babies on their site.
At least some news/entertainment organization appreciates the value of viral internet marketing ...
I thought the videos were pretty funny.
I think the real lesson though, is from the sponsor. Dewars could have done what it seems every other advertiser is doing on the web these days and just run a plug-and-play pre-roll ad that has little consideration for the context and no consideration of the viewer.
Instead Dewars chose to create a hyper-relevant Onionesque tongue-in-cheek sponsor message.
Media buyers, planners and creatives take note.