Thursday, February 22, 2007

Viral Advertising: It's the Future and it Works

18 Doughty Street's WORLD WITHOUT AMERICA advert seems to have been rather a hit.

* Today it is the second most popular political video on Youtube
* It is the 23rd 13th most viewed video on Youtube today
* It is the 20th 12th top rated video on Youtube
* It has been viewed 30,00077,817 124,876 times on Youtube and 25,000 times on our own website
* It is the sixth most favourited video on Youtube today
* It has 770 1948 comments on Youtube
* It is the most commented on video of the day in the political section
* It is the third most commented on video on the whole of Youtube today
* Fox News (the real one) are featuring it tonight

Viral marketing, eh?


Anonymous said...

Do you not read your comments page (though to be fair you would be justified in not doing so)? Your attack ad's been watched 100s of times - and slated nearly as many.

And don't say you've had positives on YouTube or from Fox News. These are all Americans - your target audience is British.

Anonymous said...

o/t,thought your article in yesterday's Telegraph was spot on.

David Anthony said...

All right, but apart from the freedom, security, wealth, medicine, stability, innovation, movies, music, Marshall Plan and United Nations ... What have the Americans ever done for us?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Well done to everyone involved.

David Anthony said...

forgot to mention a free internet...

Iain Dale said...

Margaret, yes of course I read the Comments, and you're right, sometimes I wish I didn't! The comments on that thread illustrate why an ad with that message needed to be made.

Why do you think our only target audience was British. We are keen to get more American viewers, and this ad has helped us achieve that goal.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

It's mostly been seen by Americans, and most comments give it the bum's rush it so richly deserves.

I respect you Iain, a lot more than you might think, you have integrity, but on this one you are as mad as a box of frogs.

Laurence Boyce said...

There’s a bit near the end of this video where the various contributions made by America down the years ping out against a blue sky background. Here are some of the sillier items:

- Nylon
- Elvis Presley
- The liberation of the Falklands (eh? I thought it was Pinochet we had to thank for that)
- Air conditioning
- Frozen food (like no-one would have ever thought of freezing food)
- The bra
- Denim jeans
- Coca Cola
- Jazz

Methinks a little corrective thinking may be in order. Why not check out this video for an alternative picture of contemporary America?

Anonymous said...

I have a left wing friend and he was always saying "what have the Americans ever done for Us ?"

I took him through W.W.2 and showed him that America and Russia were the main players in defeating Germany and not us.

After that who protected us from Russia for the next 40 years? America!

My left wing blinkered friend admitted he was anti-American and anti- Jew but could not or would not explain why.Blair knows this as well and has often confronted it in his party.

Guido 2.0 said...

Don't be shy, Iain... make with the links.

PS - When the FOX network promotes it for you, it is not viral marketing, it is *advertising*. HTH.

Anonymous said...

Ah,Wrinkled Weasel - typical of the left. Don't debate rationally. Just insult and dismiss.

trinitylaw said...

A pretty impressive effort from the 18 Doughty St boys and girls. It's about time that on both sides of the Atlantic we spoke up a bit more vociferously for the US (I'm overlooking their lack of loyalty over Suez, bygones are bygones). What we take for granted, liberty, free speech - the things that are upheld much more in the US than they are in Blair's Britain - we run the risk of losing if we don't support those who support them most often and at greatest cost. I'm happy to stand and be counted alongside those, like the US, who fight for these fundamental freedoms. (Cato,

Anonymous said...

This needs to be said, day in and day out, year after year.

Unfortunately the left's hatred of the USA, and especially the Republicans, is visceral. They hate the USA because it is the living, breathing, daily proof that capitalism has succeeded where socialism has failed.

Anonymous said...

from Mike Snyder:

Very interesting ad & concept, few quick thoughts:

1. Most Americans (who are not bloggers) will like this ad, including plenty of liberals; it taps into the feeling expressed by the old Randy song: "No one likes us/We don't know why/We may not be perfect/But heaven knows we try"; so it will definitely help 18 Doughty make a splash (literally if the map is correct) in the good old US of A.

2. The map without America (at least without the lower 48; unclear about Alaska & Hawaii) is a “grabber” visual; should have used it at the START, which frankly is a bit dull; actually it is a knock-off of the 1964 LBJ ad, that quoted Barry Goldwater saying he sometimes wished the Eastern Seaboard would float out into the Atlantic, then illustrated this with a map and a saw.

3. Some of the specific examples cited are rather odd: Stalin in 1959? (He'd been stuffed & mounted in Red Sq for years by then.) Free Haiti? (Still free to starve as usual.) Others seem tailored to rightwing audience, such as "Democratic Nicaragua" (which incidentally just elected Daniel Ortega); so it looks to be preaching to the converted (though of course there is a highly virulent strain of traditional Tory Anti-Americanism.)

4. Another historical quibble (which doesn’t affect the ads impact) is that, IF there was no America to invent the motor car, the Russians would never have made it to Paris, because Kaiser Bill would have gotten their first, in 1918, then marched east to finish off the Bolsheviks; alternatively, Hitler (had he been a factor at all under this scenario) would have taken tea at Buckingham Palace, then dealt with Stalin at his leisure.

5. IF continental US didn’t exist, then the search for the Northwest Passage would have been GREATLY facilitated, much to the joy of the City, which would have made a bundle AND never had to worry about competition and/or domination by Wall Street; perhaps this thought might make your UK conservative audience rethink the whole question!

Anonymous said...

Trumpeter Lanfried - You are right.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You'll be telling us next that American 'food' is better than French cuisine..

Anonymous said...

"IF there was no America to invent the motor car"

Except of course it was germans who made that particular breakthough even if Iain 'i wish i was american' dale apparently thinks otherwise.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

David Anthony,

A 'free Internet' isn't much use without a World Wide Web ;)

Anonymous said...

This really has shown something interesting. It has brought out the morons from the left. There are some negative comments that are just comic for being so childish and ignorant, plus another category who clearly haven;t understood anything in the video, despite its clear, simple message. It is possible they haven't watched it, but that hardly does them more credit!

It has also brought out the disgusting anti-semitism. It's there right in the open, including a post saying that a world without Jews would be a benefit (yes Jews, not Israel).

Anonymous said...


Why do you make no argument in your comment, just a random assertion? Is it because you are unable to justify it with any argument, and in fact the video makes a very good point but one you simply don't like to admit?

Anonymous said...

Of course Americans are going to like it? Who wouldn't like something that flatters you...!?

Anonymous said...

Like all hit movies, once you've finished it and basked in the adulation, it's time to think about the sequel. And there's plenty of material. Without America, and in particular the unchallangeable might of its Navy:

- Greece and Turkey would have most likely gone to war in the mid-90's;
- Communist China would have swallowed up now-democratic Taiwan;
- piracy would be much more widespread in the world's oceans;
- the Indonesians would be eyeing up Australia much more seriously than they are now;
- the North Koreans would be in Seoul; etc. etc.

Or maybe you could go international and do a World Without France. Imagine doing without:

- the legacy of the French Revolution;
- the Common Agricultural Policy;
- the Rwandan genocide;
- the Rainbow Warrior;
- the pretence that its language is the equal of English;
- cruelty to geese.

Anonymous said...

The whole premise (Eustonites take note) of ‘anti Americanism’ is just plain daft. What about those Americans that hate Bush and were opposed to the Iraq war? They anti American to?

It’s just a debased term to skewer debate along emotive lines about loyalty rather than dissent and critical thought (and action!) about policy.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on France, PJ - although, with the exception of cruelty to geese, they are awfully sweet people. Funny for being so up themselves, but they are very dear.

David Anthony said...

If music companies use 'Music Promos' to publicise a particular song, why don't you call the, unfortunately named, 'Attack Ads' ... 'Political Promos' to publicise a particulr issue / viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

PJ - Yesss! Let's get Bruce Willis to narrate the next one! I'll bet he'd do it for free - and the Americans would be able to understand his accent.

That London accent is almost impenetrable to outsiders, as I have said before. Get someone who speaks standard English or standard American.

Anonymous said...

Being so ignorant about British history shouldn't be a badge of honour.

What an insult to those who served in World War 2.

A real shame you put out this rubbish ian!

Anonymous said...

by Mike Snyder:

Anonymous 10:15 - Yeah, I wondered about the "motor car" also, but it won't surprise you to learn that almost every 'Merican (and apparently plenty of Brits) thinks the automobile was an exclusively US invention (though wasn't some guy named Benz under the hood pretty early?)

pj 12:16 - you're top list makes some sense - except that (depending on when the US ceased to exist) Greece & Turkey would be under the heel of some Gauleiter, Taiwan/Formosa & Korea would still be part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, as would Australia; and who knows about the pirates? Guessing that Roberto Clemente, the great (Pittsburgh) Pirate from Puerto Rico, would have ended up playing cricket.

As for your French list, 'tis a tad negative, n'est pas? I mean, even W (and certainly Iain) wouldn't want to do without such boons to humankind as creme brule, Edith Piaf & the "Freedom" kiss!

Anonymous said...

A world without America is a world without BayWatch.

Anonymous said...

I admire the sentiment and the intention but, honestly, who is this video aimed at? I found it a bit patronising. Then again, I'm not Anti-America. Or a Nationalist. It all seemed a bit pointless and stupid to be honest.

Reminds me of those anti-racism videos, you know, the ones that go "look, here's all the black people who play football." I always wonder who exactly finds those videos a compelling enough argument to change deep rooted beliefs.

Maybe I've been wrong about who these videos are supposed to impress. :P

Anonymous said...

Anonimo by Mike Snyder (cool stealth move, Mike!)

Mike also says: "as for your French list, 'tis a tad negative, n'est pas?"

Mike also knows a French phrase! Be still my beating heart!

Anonymous said...

"As for your French list, 'tis a tad negative, n'est pas?"

I admit your point about creme brulee, and would add brie and camembert, but the list was not nearly as negative as I could have made it, leaving out:

- pretentious cafe philosophising
- Jacques Chirac (makes Tony Blair look honest and reliable)
- pretentious unwatchable cinema
- an ugly, unpronounceable language
- the Sangatte refugee camp
- Jean-Marie Le Pen
- Louis XIV
- etc., etc.

See what having a French stepmother does for you, n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

Fastastic news, I hope you report on the American feedback.

Justin said...

"Viral advertising: it's the future"?

In 1998 maybe, Iain.

Here's an idea. Why don't you press the soundtrack of your film onto vinyl so beatniks can listen to it in coffee bars?

kris said...

Iain, sorry but it's still a lame rip-off of Gordon sinclair.

BTW, when has "success" on You Tube been any sort of indication of quality?!

Anonymous said...

Well done, Iain. I'm not in favour of the American tub thumping sentiments, the Americans do more than enough of that for themselves, however have to recognise talent where it's due.

Perhaps you should be David Cameron's Chief Director of Strategy? I bet there'd be far less cock ups made and a less hostile approach to members if you were.

Newmania said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Good ad, & well made, but I suspect that if you put up anything on YouTube that is well made and says "God bless America" then you will get a lot of hits.

Considering that one of the most watched political vids on Youtube at the moment is a month old video blog from a cat, I wouldn't get too elated.

Anonymous said...

I am an American in North Carolina. I have loved England from afar my whole life. I believe my ancestors were horse theives (Ha!) who immigrated here in the 18th century. Actually, their name was Talmadge of Hemingham and Ham. My husband's ancestors were miners who came here from Redruth England in the 1890's. We love America. Our parents and grandparents fought in both world wars. We wish that Europe and the UK weren't so hateful about America. Our daughter will be studying at the Univ of York next year for her junior year. I hope the England she finds is the one I have loved reading about my whole life. I never thought I would second guess our decision to let her study there. But that is exactly what we have done this year. I am sad about this.Because England seems to hate us so much, I am now uncertain this was a correct decision to make. Thank you Iain, for helping us feel better about that decision. I want to always love England. I am glad not everyone in the UK hates America. Dorothy Williams - Greensboro NC, USA

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

I wanted to make sure to let my American friends know that not all in the UK take the BBC-America hatred line. I posted it on www.asmainegoes and on my blog...sent the link to some interesting newsgroups I am on. Its a good piece of video and was quite well done.

Chris K said...

To be viral marketing it has to support your brand values. If 18DS is about "politics for grown ups" then I don't think that video conveys them very well. If on the other hand 18DS is about Tory tubthumping I think the video conveys it perfectly.

Anonymous said...

from Mike Snyder,

To those who (rightly) critique my mangling of the French tongue, my reply is:

To the nice lady from NC, don't know exactly which authors you get your imagined England from (though doubt George Orwell or Anthony Burgess are on the list) but:

1) York is a great city, and am guessing you & your daughter will like it very much.

2) Vast majority of English in particular & Europeans in general like America & Americans - which is a MUCH different thing than agreeing with specific US governments, leaders, policies, idiocies. Remember that when the British were the Lords of Creation a century ago, they were NOT overly obsessed with popularity NOR unduly depressed by criticism.

3) Believe statute of limitations for horse thievery has expired, also old English custom of blood attainder has lapsed. So no worries on that score!

Jherad said...

As has been pointed out, and recognised by sensible people, England isn't anti-America. Simply anti-Bush administration.

Doesn't stop silly right-wing 'lefties hate you but we love you!' propaganda like this from amusing us though!

Mostly Ordinary said...

Viral Marketing or a big advert on Fox News? Kudos to you anyway, I like the US and think they are mostly good.