MacFarlane's Calvacade of Unfettered Success
I understand that he’s got more money than God and I think he’s a brilliant creator as well as businessman, but I don’t really enjoy Seth MacFarlane’s brand of humor. Perhaps this is because I am a nearly 40-year-old woman and his target audience is comprised of boys aged 12 to 45 or so.
I would like to enjoy it though, because MacFarlane is pretty much taking over the world, or at least Fox, TBS and YouTube. His latest endeavor, Seth MacFarlane’s Calvacade of Cartoon Comedy, is already receiving tons of buzz. It’s only been up a few days and already it’s one of the most popular videos on YouTube, along with Tina Fey’s pitch-perfect appearance as recent-household-name Sarah Palin on SNL.
MacFarlane — much like Joss Whedon and our friends over at FunnyorDie.com – understands how the Web works. The pieces are short — a minute or two each — and they are sponsored by Burger King. BK’s marketing is notoriously handled by cutting edge agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (sort of the non-fictional Sterling Cooper of our day) and with this move, BK/Crispin shows how much they really get new media. Not only does BK earn huge exposure by being affiliated with this project — targeted right at a key burger-eating demographic — but they get the added bonus of having their brand (the freaky looking Burger King) drawn right into these video shorts. It’s an online marketing grand slam, IMHO.
In addition, the site encourages people to take the videos and send them to friends and embed them in blogs. That’s called viral marketing and it’s how you get successful on the Internet. Note to NBC: Pulling silly stuff like forcing YouTube to take down the SNL video is so 2002. The popular Palin parody was immediately replaced by one from Fox and Friends anyway. Question to NBC: Wouldn’t you rather have your own branding all over YouTube instead of Fox’s? Just asking.
One thing I do really like about Seth’s stuff is how he incorporates all things pop culture into his work, with a particular focus on the 80s, my formative era as well. (Yes, I love Duran Duran and Def Leppard and David-Lee-Roth-era Van Halen and I’m not ashamed of it.) The video short that amused me from the few posted so far features Mario of Mario Bros. fame. (I tried to embed it but I had no luck so just click on over to www.sethcomedy.com to see it.) If you too spent hours and hours trying to save that damn princess by jumping over thousands of barrels, you’ll appreciate it.