The latest in noteworthy online marketing campaigns was featured yesterday on AdAge.com. It's called Boredom Busters, a program designed by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Federated Media for Cheetos. They are sponsoring six popular blogs, which are in turn designing their own Cheetosified content driven by the concept that everyone ought to take a break or two. The blogs will post new "Boredom Busters" (video and/or text) every Wednesday for the next six weeks. There were very few strings attached - apparently Cheetos gave the blogs almost complete creative control. Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin said, "It was pretty much: Don't be mean (don't do anything involving Cheetos that would make someone cry, particularly with kittens), and avoid anything having to do with sex, violence and drugs." Each blog has had their own take on the assignment so far.
BarelyPolitical.com took the opportunity to tie Cheetos into Obama's comment on Jessica Simpson's weight gain in this video spoof.
Another blog, IndyMogul.com, briefly mentioned Cheetos along with the logo, and then posted an interesting game that allows the user to create their own short film. They called the game "This Week's Boredom Buster."
Finally - in my opinion the most fascinating content created so far (which thoroughly busted my boredom) is the following video from BoingBoing.net:
I actually like the idea of this campaign, and I love the fact that Cheetos is giving the blogs complete creative control. If nothing else, it's certainly generating buzz. The only problem I foresee is the inevitable negative buzz. It's going to be a challenge for these blogs to retain their integrity with Cheetos plastered all over the place, despite having creative control over the posts themselves. I'll be interested to find out about the effectiveness of this campaign and how the readers react as the weeks go on. So far, the comments on BoingBoing.net have been mixed. Here are a few of my favorites:
"The joys of content undiluted
are by Chester now polluted."
posted by workergnome , February 4, 2009 2:38 PM'
"Having your cool, creative friend try to sell you Amway would be no less annoying than if his gel-haired brother did it.
Probably more so."
posted by Droogy , February 4, 2009 2:54 PM
"The ice cream is free. If you don't like it, don't eat it."
posted by Antinous / Moderator , February 4, 2009 9:28 PM
"I like Soviet-Unterzögersdorf (YES! UMLAUTE!) and I like Cheetos... Although it's hard to get them here in Berlin.
Can't wait to see how the docu-soap about the mysterious box unfolds!"
posted by posted by tartar , February 4, 2009 1:28 PM
"I wonder if Cheetoz people could have guessed we'd spend so much time analyzing their ad. Don't you think that's part of the idea?"
posted by avidd , February 4, 2009 3:03 PM
I would suggest visiting BoingBoing.net to read more of the discussion. It is truly fascinating.