Monday, October 6, 2008

How To Whip Up A Viral Marketing Smoothie

What happens when you blend one part Mr. Wizard with one part Spike TV and one part iPhone? Millions of viewers tune in to watch.

Utah-based Blendtec spent around $50 to launch a series of videos in which the company CEO, Tom Dickson, does a simple product demonstration of the Blendtec brand home and commercial blenders. He uses their blenders to grind everyday household objects including golf balls, soft drink cans, a Hannah Montana doll and an iPhone.

Within 5 days, over 6 million visitors had landed on the company's website.

"Lately, I've been feeling a need to get back to my manly roots," Dickson says in the opening of one of the videos at the micro-site for Blendtec. "So I decided to build myself a man cave to relax and unwind," he adds.

Next, Dickson takes a collection of objects that just don't fit in a man cave and tosses them into the 1500 watt blender. Moments later, he has blended a mixture of a lava lamp, a Hannah Montana doll, a raspberry wine cooler bottle and a serving of quiche.

Can a Blendtec blender make an iPhone smoothie?

It's a stunt that would make Ron Popeil jealous and Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor proud.

The short, quirky videos are entertaining and fun. And also a powerful demonstration of the product. In fact, since the campaign launched in 2006, the videos have contributed to a 6x increase in sales as of August 2008, thanks mostly to millions of viewings at YouTube.

In addition to gaining pop-culture celebrity status over the Internet, Dickson has even appeared as a guest on The Today Showand The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

It is apparent from these videos that these are heavy duty blenders. In other words, if a Blendtec blender can't blend it, you'd don't need to drink it. And even if it can blend it, maybe you still shouldn't drink it.

--Kevin McIntosh

Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market.
His work can be seen at