Before we continue with this blog post, I want you to watch the following video. It's just a minute and thirty seconds, and that's all I'll say for now....
Ok, so, you've watched it? Cool. Now, what did you think of it? What was your reaction?
I ask these questions, and have framed this post in the way that I have, because I wanted you to have as pure of an experience as possible with this commercial, and to therefore have a genuine reaction to it. The reason for this is because I first stumbled across this while on Facebook. A few of my friends were sharing it as a video link, and had labeled it with a phrase like, 'You'll never believe what this is about!' (or something similar). See... that right there is a set-up. It makes me expect the unexpected, thus (in my opinion) ruining much of the pay-off.
To further complicate matters, the (very visible) comments from other friends that were underneath the video on Facebook were all talking about how it was the "funniest thing ever!" and "OMG! My side hurts from laughing," and "I just peed!" Now, it was almost impossible not see those comments before watching the video. In fact, it kind of leads one to want to click on it, to see what all the fuss is about. What it also does, however, is set-up the viewer for a level of expectation that is terribly hard to meet.
And, of course, it wasn't met upon my viewing of the video.
I really don't know if this Dirt Devil commercial didn't work for me because 1) I had been told that I'd never be able to guess what it was about, thus being informed that all was not as it seemed, or 2) the comments on Facebook made me expect to urinate on myself and be in pain due to the uncontrollable laughter that would ensue, or 3) both. But I highly suspect it was. Regardless, I sat stone-faced throughout the entire minute-and-a-half.
What, then, is a person posting a video onto a social networking site to do? Obviously, there's the need to 'sell' the video, so that folks will want to watch it. But how to do so without giving the game away, or upping the ante to the point that the video --- whatever it may be --- is going to just crash & burn in the eyes of the viewer? I dunno. Basically, I just wanted to complain.