Strategy & Marketing

ExFEARiential: The End of Branding?

Although this promo video from John St. Advertising Agency in Toronto is a parody, it points to the ridiculous extremes we’ve gone to when it comes to branding.   From a religious perspective, when I wrote my original book “Branding Faith” it was a dirty word inside church and ministry circles and the concept was rarely mentioned by pastors, leaders, or church members.

A number of years later when I updated and revised the book to “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media”, I noticed there are plenty of branding agencies focused on church and ministry marketing, thousands of books on branding, and hundreds of websites.  In a word – we’ve gone crazy.  That’s why this parody video is so effective – pointing out just how ridiculously far we’ve come.  Maybe it’s time we re-think the entire concept.  Take a look, and let me know what you think:

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  1. WOW! They certainly get their point across although I don’t think it would be very funny if that was me being hi-jacked in the middle of the night or having my baby stolen. I’m speechless-parody or not. 🙂

  2. I think it’s a sick way to make a point, frankly. There could have been more effective ways of doing it. It’s not really a statement of how far we’ve come in branding, but how low their standards are in order to make a point. The most disturbing part is that 500,000+ people have actually watched it, including me.

      1. Sure, Ben. I just don’t understand why someone would spend their time or energy on creating something like this. But they did, so my question would be, “And now what?” Where are they going with this and what do they want us to do with this. Of course people in marketing want to grow their brand, that’s not bad. Frankly, I don’t think one-time gimmicks ever work. It’s about consistency over and over. Take the Dr. Pepper song many years ago, “I’m a Pepper, You’re a Pepper, He’s a Pepper, She’s a Pepper…” I remember that because it was catchy and frequent. It doesn’t have to be extreme. And frankly, I didn’t really understand this video since it was so far-fetched. It just made me upset since I have young kids and who in the world wants to watch someone’s child being stolen…even if to make a point.

  3. I’m seeing staged recreations of the _Paranormal_ movies, to help those evangelism-resistant neighbors of ours get “scared straight to our church!” Or maybe not…

  4. Vine has lots of 6 second videos of people scaring random people My teenaged daughters think they are funny. I think there is a lack of empathy in our society. Branding means people remember you. Perhaps there are too many things fighting for our attention, because everyone is taught that to be successful, we must be watched.

  5. Fear might be memorable, but I think being associated with a fearful memory is a turn off. I would not buy something that reminded me of something fearful.

  6. OK – guys – too many are missing my point. First – this is a PARODY video. It’s a joke. What it DOES illustrate is that many people have veered WAY off when it comes to getting your brand or message out there in the media and culture. That’s the discussion we should be having. Not whether or not fear is a good tool for marketing. (They’re actually making fun of that… ) 🙂

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