There was a lull in the viral videos marketing segment until 48 hours ago when the video of a ‘Poor Indian Guy’ went viral across social platforms. It might have been shared by at least thirty of the people in my friend list on Facebook in a matter of 4-5 hours on Thursday, August 23! So, what does Cadbury Bournville have to do with a failed and very publicly failed proposal? Read on.
The video shows an Indian guy proposing to a South-East Asian girl (no, I am not racist) with a three-piece band playing along. The setting is that of a shopping mall and the video is shot by a girl of Indian origin (going by the accent, not a racist :P). The guy blurts out a poem for , his lady love and proposes to her, on a bended knee, only to be hit on head by his almost-there-fiance with a ukulele. The guy falls down on the floor in front of the entire crowd that had gathered and that pretty much ends the show for him.
The Cadbury Bournville Factor
Cadbury’s marketing strategy for Bournville has been focused on product placement in the chocolate category, albeit, with a difference. Bournville, according to Cadbury, is not your regular chocolate. It is dark cocoa chocolate. As the category suggests, it is not sweet. And they have made sure they drive home this point through their earlier TVC.
Bournville makes the first appearance in the ‘failed proposal video’ when, during the proposal, a toy train blocks the view between the camera and the poor Indian guy. What’s the branding on the train? Cadbury Bournville. Not So Sweet.
The second appearance is pretty subtle and comes towards the end of the video when the poor Indian guy is hit by the ukulele and falls on the floor. The lady shooting the entire sequence says, “Are you okay? I really thought it was sweet.”
Why it went viral?
There are terabytes that have been written about – How to make viral videos – and I am not going to add to the discourse. I am discounting the role of the content seeding machinery as well. The video is a blend of what catches attention of today’s consumers:
- People love failed proposal videos. They’re funny. Don’t believe me? YouTube them and see the number of views on them.
- It is shot as a candid video. I watched it with a couple of agency friends and the only consensus was that it looks stage-managed. We are agency folks, we kind of sense it. The rest might not, as is evident from the number of times it has been shared.
- People love…love!
- The prospect of watching a daring attempt at proposing at a public place is a tested hook.
- People are bored around lunch at work and they will share anything remotely more interesting than their job-related duties. That encompasses pretty much everything. All you need is a hook and masala.
What gave them away?
It would have been a great ‘undercover’ branding video had these two instances not been there:
- The girl hit the guy and stamped away, instantly. Almost all of the ‘genuine’ failed proposal videos have the girl replying in the negative to the guy, consoling him or giving him the look. The most common response, though, is from the cameraperson. The failed proposer is taken out of the viewing frame, a gasp is let out or the video ends abruptly. None of this happened here.
- The guys just lies on the floor without doing much. He does pull himself together, but it looks too scripted.
Here’s the video. Your comments are welcome.