Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smart Advertising or Exploitation?

It seems these days-literally the last few days-that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a frequent flyer aboard Facebook’s News Feeds with it’s great awareness building and fundraising tactics for ALS. This frigid challenge has recently surfaced and many have come forward with different opinions about this viral method of fundraising for ALS. 
A “different” kind of video has been posted in an area some might have seen coming. That’s right, the advertising world. Many large companies brought their executives to the scene to take part and raise money for ALS. But no one called out a branded product…until now. 
Samsung has jumped on board the speeding media train and used the Ice Bucket Challenge in a creative way to promote their new Galaxy 5s smart phone with it’s waterproof shell. In the ad, the Galaxy 5s gets the cubed, cold water dumped right on top of it's (head?) and proceeds to "say" how cold it is. The Galaxy 5s then calls upon it's competitors' top selling smart phone devices to take part in the challenge.
This is where things get tricky. Using a charity’s awareness building campaign to spin off your own profit-making ad could be seen as self-serving. From another angle, it shows the fast creativity and real-time marketing like Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet. But when do you cross the line between creative and crass? Siri, what do you think?
Check out Samsung’s spot: