Last week when the mysterious ads for Obay cropped up around Ontario many a blogger speculated what it might really be selling. The Accordion Guy Joey Devilla posted the 15th about the Mysterious Ads for “Obay”
It’s obvious that the product doesn’t actually exist and that it’s some sort of viral marketing campaign. As for what the campaign is meant to promote, most people with whom I’ve spoken to about the ads think that it’s some kind of jab at parents who are following the disturbing trend of medicating their teenage kids out of normal teenage behaviour and into Stepford adolescence.
The comments are full of speculation on who the sender might be, from drug companies to anti-drug companies to churches before someone working for a College in Ontario reveals that they are the ones behind the campaign. So, now that the buzz it built, will people care?
Image from *J-Bl*'s photostream
Today in Canada.com the story Mystery ad gains momentum: whodunit? looks at the risks with a campaign like this. Just because people were curious when the campaign first went up doesn't mean they'll care when the sender is revealed.
In early 2007, an unbranded video of a bridezilla lopping off her hair in a pre-wedding fit drew 12 million views on YouTube but garnered next to nothing in the way of publicity for Sunsilk when, two weeks after the Canadian clip was uploaded, the hair-product company revealed its involvement.
Though Scientology and anti-pharmaceutical lobbyists have been widely named as suspects in the Obay whodunit, detective work by Canadian blogs Accordion Guy and Torontoist have pegged Ontario Colleges as the likeliest source of the ads - which despite being clustered in eastern Canada, have gained national attention online.
Questioned about their involvement with the campaign, Ontario Colleges spokesman Rob Savage was cautiously vague ("at this point, we don't have any information we can give you"), but told Canwest News Service he would follow up before the end of the month about the "long-term marketing stuff" being undertaken by the organization.
Hat tip to Caffienegoddess who's been gossiping about this all week, it's really her post but she, like me, is totally overworked at the office right now. I reckon they should get Caff an assistant copywriter. And me a robot that can do all my layouts for me and fetch me my beer all the while it gives me a backrub. Hells yeah.