Hey Post-It: Why Haven’t You Posted This?

When a video surfaced on YouTube in April featuring Domino’s employees doing some rather disgusting things to customers’ orders, it made all of us not only cringe, but reflect on how we, as communicators, might respond to a similar situation.  Plenty of bright folks have already weighed in with great advice on the lessons learned from that catastrophe.

So how should we respond when a video surfaces on a channel like YouTube that doesn’t intend to damage our brand, but to celebrate it?

Such is the case in this recent video from Bang-yao Liu, a student at the Savannah College of Art who used 3M Post-It Notes and some rather clever stop motion animation techniques to create his senior art project, a stunning video shown here:

The video has racked up more than 3,600 Diggs, is spreading like wildfire on Twitter, and is posted all over the blogosphere.  So far, it seems like just about everyone who watches it feels compelled to somehow share this amazing piece of art.

Everyone, that is, except for 3M.

Sure, just the attention this video has already generated is no doubt a big success for the company and they should be thrilled.  But why not take it a step further by engaging with the video’s creator and the thousands of people who have responded so favorably to it? Why not:

  • Embed the videos somewhere on the Post-It home page?
  • Share the video with the group of 2,000+ Post-It advocates on Facebook?
  • Reach out to Liu and politely request an opportunity to create a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary that illustrates how he created the video? (My first reaction to the video was probably the same as yours: “How the heck did he do that, and how long did that take?!” I’d definitely watch a short documentary. Wouldn’t you?)
  • Launch a contest encouraging other artists to create similar videos? Perhaps the winning video is incorporated into an upcoming ad campaign?

From what I can tell, 3M hasn’t yet taken any of these steps.

I’ll turn it over to you. What am I missing? How else should 3M capitalize on this opportunity?

[Kudos to Zach_ManchesterUK for the photo above]

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9 Responses

  1. Mike – I agree that 3M definitely could have embraced this. Just look what the Mayo Clinic did with the video of an elderly couple playing the piano in the Clinic’s atrium. Mayo contacted the person who posted it to YouTube and asked if they could put it up on the Mayo Clinic blog. This propelled the video to an even greater audience. But instead of stopping, Mayo went and interviewed the couple and did an additional blog post to share their story. They added the video as a favorite on Mayo’s branded YouTube channel. It’s become a huge source of traffic to the Mayo Clinic site and blog.

    It wouldn’t have really taken much for 3M to get some mileage out of this – contact the art student, do an interview with him, post it to their site, maybe even reward the student with some sort of scholarship or something for his creativity. There’s certainly an opportunity here that they’re not embracing.

    @amymengel

  2. Mike, what a great, constructive critique you’ve laid out here! You’re right; seems like there’s endless opportunity for 3M to promote and have fun with this. They should act.

  3. I totally agree and thanks for sharing! I put it on my facebook page and got a good reaction as well.

    This is an amazing project. I hope he got an A and 3M finally sees what is happening!

    I would love to see what inspired him and how he made it! Heck they could turn it into a commercial if they wanted too!

  4. totally. That video rocks! Another point and case: Man tweets about pregnant wife rocking American Apparel….They morph notion into an ad campaign for maternity clothes. Listening…watching = great results

  5. Thanks for sharing this video, Mike. Not only did the artist do amazing things with Post-Its (I would watch that making-of documentary in a heartbeat) but he managed to convey that heavy, underwater feeling of working to meet a deadline. Somehow, he made it look fun.

    I’ve got a cousin who is a longtime employee at 3M. I’m going to ping her and see what folks are saying inside the company.

  6. Okay, first of all, she sent me this link:

    http://www.eepybird.com/stickynote.html

    Another post-it type production, though with a much bigger budget, apparently.

    3M Cousin says:

    “There has been a push to take advantage of u-tube and other web sites for product promotion. I’ve heard of some, but they are much more likely to do this with consumer products for the general population. So much of our stuff is sold to other industries that they tend to market through their web-sites, mags and trade shows. We have sponsored silly contests like designer dresses made entirely from post-it notes. (just don’t sit down or move). In general, we are definitely not at the forefront for advertising
    and marketing campaigns. That’s even more so right now with all of the reduced spending.”

    Mind you, she’s an engineer, not in the comms division. Methinks they just need a nudge. I’d suggest to the new biz folks to look into ’em.

    • Interesting stuff, Heather. Great to get some insight from inside 3M, even if your cousin isn’t part of the communications department.

      And thanks for sharing that link! That’s another great video. It’s amazing how much you can do with a stack of PostIts.

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