Viral? Not So Much

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Nowadays, transparency may be an agency's worst enemy. Or so learned, which this week saw its attempt at viralizing a video of its pitch process with Subway get fresh toasted by vituperative bloggers and Internet pundits. The clip is rife with fodder for mockery, and subsequent remixes and Net treatments have thoroughly lampooned the group's most earnest efforts, which included a staged call-to-arms rallying the group to the corner office, and a shot that follows an an agency employee past a cabinet full of awards tarrying for a moment to show the hardware. Unfortunately these are in the first minute of the nine-minute video.

Biz dev guy Lance, who had his worries ("seeding a viral video before the client sees it, I'm wondering how that will be percieved") deserves an award for his prescience, but then delivers a puzzling moment seconds later when he finishes his Subway drink, throws the cup away, pauses, takes the cup out of the trash, contemplates it and wipes it off. And these moments keep coming, the best collected in a soundboard (a fate that we thought saw its weekly nadir earlier when a JWT-produced parody of CCO Ty Montague (sadly, now defunct) made its debut).

Still in pitch mode, wouldn't comment past a canned statement from creative director Tom Ajello, whose video highlights included the utterance of the now-famous shibboleth (already immortalized on T-shirts) "If we roll, we roll big." Some credit is due; has been quick to spin the backlash into steam for the claim that the video is viral by dint of its fostering precisely this kind of discussion. So it remains to be seen whether the public display will prove effective and will have the last laugh. But unfortunately, for now it looks most like the kid who gets into his mother's puff paints and makes a purple sweatshirt with a unicorn, knowing his mom would love it, but then wears it to school and has his eagerness ridiculed.
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