Strange Talk is an indie pop band out of Melbourne Australia that international advertising agency Leo Burnett tapped to star in one of the most innovative online branded entertainment videos to date.
I imagine the campaign was conceived when some savvy creative on the Cheer laundry detergent account thought, “It costs a not insignificant amount of money to produce a high quality piece of video content,” asked him or herself the question, “I wonder how we can get more people to view a single piece of high quality content multiple times,” and then came up with an easy answer. YouTube annotations.
Content creators have used YouTube annotations since their inception to create Choose Your Own Adventurey (Editor’s Aside: Did you know Choose Your Own Adventure trademarked and owned by Vermont-based Chooseco LLC? You do now.) online video stories, compelling viewers to make binary or ternary decisions, which then impacts the action on screen.
Burnett and Procter & Gamble use YouTube annotations in a much different way in Strange Talk’s Climbing Walls music video. The annotations appear around uncharacteristically colorful items and images on and about Strange Talk’s members and equipment in a not-so-subtle reference to the uncharacteristically colorful clothing one can obtain after washing with the newly redesigned, binary-looking Cheer 2.0.
Burnett and P&G then encourage viewers to click on said annotations by offering up real prizes to those who do (in the form of gift certificates, clothing, gear, and free trips to SXSW). But the truly innovative part is that they get you to watch the video week after week. They change the annotations. New ones appear on and about the same uncharacteristically colorful objects with links and entries to new contests to win new prizes every seven or so days.
Ingenious, right?! I think so, too. That’s why, after the team on the Cheer account at Burnett updates the annotations I’ll be watching Strange Talk’s Climbing Walls for the thir…for the third week in a row.