I get it, Puma. You want to be more social. You’re an 87-year-old German corporation known for manufacturing high-end athletic shoes, but looking to become more of a lifestyle brand for the active and attractive kids these days. So you signed Grammy-nominated Keri Hilson to promote your wares, hoping association with a hip R&B singer would make you a touch cooler to the 13 to 35-year-olds. The youngins absolutely love her and she’s sporting Lil Wayne’s seal of approval, so why not?
Maybe it’s worked, too. Maybe the Hilsonheads are showing off their “formstripes” instead of Nike swooshes and whatever you call Adidas’ pyramidy and shamrocky logos. But I’ll tell you what doesn’t really work. This original web series you’re making featuring Hilson’s European promo visit for her upcoming No Boys Allowed album.
It’s not that the videos are bad. It’s that three episode mini-series is evocative of an MTV News special or a GQ photo spread come to moving picture life. Yes, fans of Hilson will get some sort of visually appealing behind-the-scenes or insider look about what the singer’s up to day-to-day when on a promotional tour, but there’s little to learn beyond the shiny celebrity veneer of photo-op appearances, brief charity references, and Puma fashion shoots.
Again, it’s not bad. But I think the medium of online video has developed to a certain point where it’s okay for us to expect something more than the usual fare. Watch Lady Gaga’s autobivlography Transmission Gagavision and then take another look at the Keri Hilson vid above. There’s something more sincere, more real, and a helluva lot more engaging about Gaga’s videotaped exploits.
It could be the absence of a corporate sponsor, but I think it’s that Gaga is filming herself not as part of a promotional series, but as part of her life. It’s a component of her daily activities. It’s what she does. And when you watch you can tell she likes doing it just to do it.
Puma can produce all the pretty promotional vids they want, but if they lack a certain level of sincerity, no one’s going to watch. To prove my point there’s currently less than 3,500 views on YouTube across all three of Hilson’s videos. And that’s including Hilson shouting out the spots to her 4.2+ million Facebook fans (which makes for one view for every .0003 Facebook Fans, which we’ll explore more in another article in the near future).