With viral marketing the idea is to throw something out there and see if it sticks. If it sticks then you move forward with it. If it doesn’t, well, you try something new. But it looks like Juicy Fruit didn’t get the memo. For the past month they’ve been uploading video after video as part of their Serenading Unicorn campaign even though it’s just not taking off.
The campaign began on February 28 with a video of Keenan Cahill and the Serenading Unicorn singing Whip It together. The video has been viewed around 489,000 times on Keenan’s YouTube channel, which is pretty decent. But Keenan gets hundreds of thousands of views on almost all of his videos. On Juicy Fruit’s Serenading Unicorn YouTube channel the video has gotten just over 85,000 views.
Following the launch of the Whip It video, Juicy Fruit released a number of Facebook-themed serenades such as ‘I See You Are Single Again’, ‘Sorry You Lost Your Phone’, and ‘Please Take That Post Down’. The serenades are part of the Serenading Unicorn Facebook application that lets you “sweeten your friend’s day” with a song. Because it’s Wednesday, check out the Serenading Unicorn singing ‘Happy Hump Day’ in the video below.
In theory it’s a cute idea. The problem is that, aside from the fact that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to actually send a serenade to a friend (the app would only let me send via a randomizer that picks a random friend and a random song), the songs just aren’t getting very many views. It’s been over a month and none of the videos have broken 10,000 views. ‘I Heard It’s Your Birthday’ has the most views, at 9,980, and aside from that none of them has been viewed more than 6,000 times.
Now 6,000 views may sound like a lot, and it would be if this campaign was just a random project done by a non-branded YouTuber for fun, putting no effort into promotion whatsoever. But this is Juicy Fruit—a major brand! Smartwater’s viral campaign with Jennifer Aniston, which also starred Keenan Cahill, has gotten over 8.8 million views in the time since the Serenading Unicorn launched, and the Skittles Touch cat video has been viewed over 2 million times in less than a week, without a single famous face. We expect more of big brands than Juicy Fruit has achieved thus far with the Serenading Unicorn campaign.
Over the last couple of weeks Juicy Fruit has started stepping things up. A video of the Serenading Unicorn performing Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, featuring David Koechner and Affion Crockett, hit YouTube. But even that has only been viewed 117,000 times so far. Earlier this week they tried again with an Aerosmith video that features Sarah Silverman in a relationship with the Serenading Unicorn. The video has 28,000 views so far.
I think that one of the biggest issues with the Serenading Unicorn campaign is that the videos aren’t consistent. Let’s take a look at Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’. Isaiah Mustafa’s character is consistently manly, and over-the-top in a ridiculous way. He always looks the same, always sounds the same, always has the same lady killer attitude, and led an incredibly successful campaign.
The Serenading Unicorn, on the other hand, is anything but consistent. In the first video he was lip-syncing with Keenan Cahill; in another he has dreadlocks and is singing reggae-style, in another he’s got a British accent, and in another he’s all gangsta. Sometimes he sings like Barry White, other times he sings more like Justin Bieber and he never talks. Juicy Fruit hasn’t really created a character with the Serenading Unicorn. Rather, they’ve created a puppet that they’ve used in a variety of different ways. It’s hard for audiences to relate to that like they related to the Old Spice campaign.
It’s clear that Juicy Fruit has put a lot of money into the campaign so far—the unicorn puppet, the massive magical sets, the celebrity cameos (unless they were paid in sticks of gum). I just don’t know if I would consider that price worth the 318,295 views amassed so far on the Serenading Unicorn YouTube channel. What do you think?
Why do you think the Serenading Unicorn hasn’t taken off like some other big branded campaigns? Do you think Juicy Fruit should put it back on the shelf and try something new?
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.