Friday, April 13, 2007

Are These Guys Crazy?

Ordinarily, sticking a rake handle into a blender is a definite warranty-voider, but two businessmen have turned it into their bread and butter.

Featured in the latest issue of Direct Magazine, Blendtec's George Wright and Tom Dickson created a series of videos where they throw everything from marbles to cell phones to pickled pigs feet, and yes, even rake handles into their blenders, with profitable results. The videos have appeared on YouTube, and thousands of people have submitted their suggestions for what to throw in next.

Web 2.0 stunts like this are growing increasingly popular. While I am a bit leery of the trend--what is the point of taking time to download and view what is essentially a commercial?--I admire the company's creativity. Also, as is quoted in the article, the blender actually does what they are showing it doing, and aren't relying on the usual television FX trickery that make us believe a car and ride along the ledge of a building or some other outlandish though visually interesting claim. They are building brand identity, while also causing the viewer to think, "Man, if their blenders can grind up a rake handle into powder, just think what it will do to the ingredients of my next smoothie."

So long as young children don't see the videos and try to perform similar stunts on a competitor's blender, without safety equipment. Advertising is fun, until someone loses an eye.

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