Jose Palomino

A Hunter Shoots a Bear… Or Does He?

October 25, 2010

Just when we thought we had exhausted our creativity with YouTube, up comes this small brand with a truly and literally “out of the box” idea. Bringing to mind those old “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” books that became a fad among young readers in the 90′s, this recent promotional spot from Tipp-Ex (BIC‘s European brand of correctional fluids and tapes) lets viewers interact with the video to change its outcome.

At first, viewers might not realize that the advertisement is interactive, or even that the video they’re watching is an advertisement at all. It starts off as an apparent home video of a two-man camping trip, but their adventure (and unfortunately, their language as well) turns sour when a bear wanders into the campsite. Much to the viewers’ surprise, they are asked to choose what happens next:

Shoot the bear? Don't shoot the bear?Make your choice above (link opens in new window)

Once the viewer makes their choice, they are redirected to a new “YouTube video” (actually a whole-page flash reproduction) in which the man prepares to make the shot, but then lowers his rifle. Instead, he reaches outside of the “video player” and grabs the Tipp-Ex Pocket Mouse correction tape from the banner ad beside it, and uses it to white-out the verb from the video title.

He then asks the viewer to help him rewrite the story, by typing in what they want to see happen, and a new video plays accordingly. Entering “hugs”, “fights”, “paints”, and even, after all that, “shoots” produce very amusing scenes enacted by the man and the bear. According to BIC’s initial press release, there are over 40 different endings to be discovered.

Though not the first to escape the confines of the video player, or mess with the YouTube interface, and interactive advertising is nothing new, the “Tipp-Experience” draws viewers in, and encourages them to interact. It certainly succeeded as a viral video, but what about as an effective product advertisement? There is some question as to whether viewers will remember the product the ad promotes, but seeing the Tipp-Ex correction tape used to allow the viewer to change the plot was innovative, relevant, and memorable.

Perhaps a more valid criticism is that the ad lacks a “call to action“, not providing any info on the company, the product, or where to buy it. (It might have the only banner ad in history to not connect to a sales page.) Besides that and the unnecessary language in the first segment, it has all the makings of a successful digital campaign. As for sales conversion, we have yet to see any results. The campaign is still relatively new. Who knows, we might see a success akin to that of Old Spice.

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