Wendy Davis writes a good Just an Online Minute today for Mediapost. She describes the online effort of the ONDCP in placing a bunch of old commercials on YouTube in an attempt to make them 'go viral.' Missing the point was Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer:
The unpopularity of the PSAs shouldn't be surprising. Earlier this week, Ian Schafer, CEO of the agency Deep Focus, told OnlineMediaDaily that the spots weren't edgy enough to get far with YouTube users. "They're not especially jarring, since they're designed for television, so they're not the kind of things that work as viral video," he said. "They're very professionally produced, and there's nothing subversive about the descriptions, which give away exactly what the clips are."
Leave it to the agency folks to tell us that the problem is that things weren't "edgy" enough. How about the fact that they're commercials, simply dumped there to talk at YouTube users instead of engaging them? The problem is that advertisers still view the Internet as a broadcast medium, and they cluelessly scratch their heads over and over when people ignore their shouting in a medium that was designed for two-way communication. Edginess has nothing to do with it.