“Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape”: A Marketing Success Story or A Colossal Disaster?

Reading through Forbes Magazine, I stumbled across an article titled: “Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape Draws 7.5 million views”. Actually, the video drew 7.5 million, but as it happens, it wasn’t even a sex tape, let alone a Jenifer Aniston sex tape. It was simply a “creative” campaign by a bottled water company that was aimed at boosting the brand’s market presence.
Was this a brilliant marketing strategy or was it an epic display of lack of ideas? Let’s get one thing straight, the video did actually go viral. People are also talking about it and this in the end landed the brand, SmartWater, some free advertising from Forbes. The question however is whether this strategy actually worked to the advantage of the brand or to its detriment.
First of all, let’s have a look at how much of viral marketing the video actually did for the bottled water company. It is easy to figure out how much of potential customers the video actually got the water company. This can be done by asking yourself how you react when you find a YouTube video delivering something which is far less than what you anticipated.
It is simple: if they wanted to get more visitors to their website, this was a colossal disaster. This is so simply because rather than clicking to find out more about the bottled water company, most of the 7.5 million viewers simply went away disgusted without even thinking twice about the bottled water. This is not so much about righteous indignation but more about being totally disappointed and more so falling into marketing “trick traps”.
However, there is something that the bottled water company got. They got free publicity and some notoriety. First of all, there is Forbes Magazine, then there are the viewers who took their time to express their dissatisfaction and there are people like me who are writing about it. This is publicity that one way or the other will go some way in at least plating some seeds in people’s mind about SmartWater.
Is “Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape” a marketing success story or a colossal disaster? I guess time, and how the company uses the gained attention, will tell.

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