Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Comedy Critique: Jennifer Anniston's Internet Viral Marketing Foray

Not 100% sure this is a comedy piece that should be reviewed; after all it is an advertisement designed to sell things. But Smart Water is trying to be funny, so let's take a look...

Knee Jerk reaction: D

I like Jennifer Anniston; I think she is talented (with the right material), and I think she is more genuine than 90% of the stars in Hollywood. It's possible I'm naive and she has crafted this persona, but hey if so - bravo. It speaks to her talent.

And in the above piece, I think she is trying very hard to make it work. Unfortunately, I think the writing lets her down. Passing through silly viral memes from yesteryear is exactly what the internet ISN'T about. The viral community is always pressing ever forward. The stuff in the rearview mirror is done.

The "internet boys" represent such a cliched stereotype it has gone beyond tired and is now bordering on angering. Seriously, we get it - guys on the Internet are nerds. Brilliant.

The CGI is bad. I realize the budget for something like this isn't on the scale of Green Lantern, but if you're going to use a pure white, THX-1138 set, you have to work around your CGI budget. The puppies segment is beyond poor.

And that's the main problem. Viral marketing videos (either fake or genuine) are a tricky game. They have to offer something that is outside the usual. It has to be something people haven't seen before, something crazy. And this Smart Water video is not that. This video, with a celebrity works...

...because it stars a celebrity doing something you wouldn't expect her to. Our voyeuristic society wants to see it of course, and even though it's just a funny skit, it still resonates with us because it's unexpected.

The Smart Water video shows nothing unexpected.

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