Hand it to YouTube: its the video service has some of the most creative display advertising. DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 2" is the latest to break the mold, or at least put a new spin on what's become a YouTube tradition. In a new video that debuted Tuesday on major video sites, "Jack Black YouTube Epicness!! You Got To See It To Believe It!!", "Kung Fu" star Jack Black in seen rehearsing lines for the summer sequel, out May 26, with a special surprise to all who click on a "Click For Epicness" button at the clip's end.
The button redirects viewers to a DreamWorks Animation brand page where Mr. Black, now embodied as Po the cartoon panda, instructs viewers to drag a series of behind-the-scenes clips from the film into the video player. Po then karate chops up to three clips before the YouTube page is effectively "destroyed," redirecting the viewer to watch a trailer for "Kung Fu Panda 2."
Executions like this aren't cheap. The homepage starts at $400,000 a day and additional creative pushes that higher. The campaign was developed by DreamWorks and interactive agency The Visionaire Group, the same team behind a similar interactive YouTube campaign for Lionsgate's "The Expendables" that generated over 4 million views. It may also bring to mind a popular viral spot for white-out brand Tipp-Ex, which topped Ad Age 's Viral Video Chart for adopting a choose-your-own-adventure tactic.
Visionaire Group CEO Dimitry Ioffe said DreamWorks wanted to expand on the interactivity that previous campaigns only hinted at. "With 'The Expendables,' once you basically got to YouTube you clicked the link and made the decision of , 'Am I gonna stay or am I gonna go?'" he said. "With 'Kung Fu Panda 2,' we didn't just want people to see the video. We wanted to create some sort of a-ha moment, do a little bit of damage. We didn't want to hang our hooks on those go-to experiences."