Recent online discussions over the video produced for Scottish travel agents Thorne Travel got me thinking. Not about which travel agent to use, but what really constitutes a spoof video? It was fascinating to see people react in three different ways...
There were three types of reaction to this kind of thing:
1. The Sniggerers. Some people – London media types especially – reacted to this by sniggering at its cringeiness and sharing it with others, who would share their opinion. OMG. Are these people serious? How cheesy can you get. Typical small company. How embarrassing.
2. The Face Valuers. But then there were others who simply found it a good bit of fun. Nothing on the irony register. Suspect much of the local interest may be on this level. Look at them girls! Oh look that's Bill there. Ooh, dancing too. He he.
3. The Marketers. This third category is those who bore the rest of us about how "it's acutally a really smart marketing move". This is no doubt true – and evidenced by its 'viral status' and mentions from everyone from Huffington Post to the Telegraph.
I shouldn't be too harsh on any of these groups. At some point or another I'm sure I have been all of them.
But the interesting question is which one did Thorne Travel intend? A spokesperson said it was a spoof of the Virgin Airlines ad. But did they do it deliberately badly? Or did they do it as well and as earnestly as possible? Were the various effects chosen because they communicated key benefits of using Thorne Travel for your next holiday? Or because they were having a laugh at their own expense and wanted to go for maximum cheesiness?
Either way, these things are fascinating because they get clicks from all three groups. Which proves that the third group were right. As they all were.