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Are You the Man in My Jacket?

Posted by on January 21, 2009

So picture this.  You’re in a cafe and in walks a man (or woman) that you just feel you have this special connection with.  You guys don’t talk much but you just feel this gravitational pull towards them.  The man (or woman) exits the cafe but leaves their jacket behind.  You kick yourself for not getting their phone number or at least more information about them.  What do you do?  What WOULD you do?  How about turn to social media?  Well that’s exactly what Heidi did.

Before I go any further, let me ask you this, what did you think of the video?  Genuine, authentic?  Did it make you believe?  Did you want to help her?

Now watch this video:

Yes, the whole thing was a hoax.  In fact “Heidi” is a fashion model for a company called Witchery, and the whole video was designed to get people to buy more Witchery clothing.  We don’t know if the video has sold any jackets (yet), but we do know that within a 1 week time period the video has already received over 160,000 views with over 1,000 comments on the video (and hundreds of emails sent to the actress).

The video campaign may not directly sell any clothing but the brand visibility has gone way up.  “Heidi” was featured on national television and she received so many visitors to her site that it crashed.  Is it safe to say that the video became viral?  I think so.  Is it safe to say that the video succeeded in it’s goal of selling more clothing?  Well, not necessarily (we don’t have any numbers yet).

In fact, a lot of the comments on the video and emails to the actress have been negative.  Seems that people were able to taste her “fakeness.”  The model is featured on the Witchery homepage so it was quite easy for people to figure out what was going on.  The idea behind the video is interesting but I think a lot of people have a problem with being lied to.  Taking someone’s trust for granted is not always the best thing to do.

As I said it’s a bit early to tell whether or not the video has been able to generate more revenue for the clothing store.  The video has definitely received a lot of attention; both negative and positive.

What’s your take?  Does the video make you want to visit the site and buy some Witchery clothing or are you just pissed off now that you know you were lied to?

thanks for reading!

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  • MHB

    hmm well i think that people are often OK with being 'lied to' for the sake of transmedia entertainment. But the story needs to be well told. The fact that she never gives the time, date or location of the cafe is an oversight that kills any hope of this being construed as real. A narrative shortcoming by both client and agency. So much more can be done with this concept…

  • tomglenn

    I think it's a very very clever marketing tactic.

    There has been so much success spawned from video sharing sites like YouTube for new, young and talented actors/ actresses / comedians, etc.. Why shouldn't companies be able to benefit from it as well?

    I could sense it was fake, but it was brilliantly done and a great idea.

  • Designer Jackets

    good video

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  • KarlPMartim

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