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Well, of course it had to happen. The marketing hordes are descending upon the passalong video...


...without really understanding what they're doing. Check out this stupid Dancing Doughboy. It's sort of like the original dancing baby, but without the panache, the eeriness or the surprising elegance.
What marketers need to understand about most viral videos is that they are like car wrecks. We slow down and shake our heads. We can't believe what we're seeing. Or we are seeing something for the very first time and it's remarkable.
Now, as big brands (like Pillsbury) race the medium to the mainstream, all of that frisson is gone. Sure, some will succeed. Most will just sort of putter along, giving the naysayers at the big brands the chance to say, "see, I told you so," without understanding what went wrong in the first place.
Yes, I get to make my own Doughboy dance. But no, I can't make him do unspeakable things with Betty Crocker.
Chevy is learning this the hard way with their Tahoe campaign... in which the best commercials are the ones that say, "Don't buy me!"
No one invented this medium for marketers. The medium got here before we did.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and, most of all, changing everything. Among his books are Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow.

In addition, Seth founded both Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing "seth" into Google) is one of the most popular in the world.

Recently, Godin once again set the book publishing industry on its ear by launching a series of four books via Kickstarter. The campaign reached its goal after three hours and ended up becoming the most successful book project ever done this way.

His newest book, What To Do When It's Your Turn, is already a bestseller.