Cheetos Boredom Busters

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:

Negative comments:

"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

Awesome comeback:

"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

Positive comment:

"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

Insightful comment:

"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

Umm, yes.

I would suggest visiting BoingBoing.net to read more of the discussion. It is truly fascinating.

1 comment:

David said...

This has to be the stupidest ad campaign in the world.

First of all, if you actually run a search for Cheetos Boredom Busters you will see that I have 4 out of the first 10 spots on the first page.

The reason this campaign is bad is because Cheetos forgot one major thing.

Yes, they picked 6 top blogs, but since the blogs don't want to be seen as "sponsoring" Cheetos, the quickly bury the post after the 6pm deadline is over.

So, what essentially happens is that Cheetos buys ad space from 12-6 pm on Wednesdays (which by the way people are working then) and they have no control over their content.

This allows people who actually have a vested interest in messing with this stupid campaign to actually rank higher then the official ad campaign, and with content that does not have anything to do with what the Cheetos brand is.

To see what I am talking about, search for Cheetos Boredom Busters and tell me if you think Cheetos wants to be associated with Obama's Chocolate Nuts, Fat Jewish Guy , or Daily Tush.

True, any press is good press, but if cheetos wanted to control their message they definitely picked the wrong format to do so.

The fact that the blogs that they chose to do this want nothing to do with this campaign, coupled with the fact that these same blogs are catching heat for even doing this campaign, makes it ripe for abuse.