Generating equity in consumer sympathy is fundamental in creating a great brand. This YouTube video proves that geniuses often hinge on the fringes of madness.
Matthew “Matt” Harding is a young American from Westport, Connecticut, who, after a career in video games, traveled the world recording his own version of a “very special” dance in locales representative of the cities he visited, and posting it on YouTube. The attached video is his fourth rendering of the same idea. Believe it or not, Dancing Matt has been seen time and again over 33 million times—and this is just the beginning.
What’s the connection with branding? Well, Stride Gum vaunted to “last a ridiculously long time” came up with the brilliant idea in 2006 of sponsoring Matt Harding’s travels and dances, in such a subtle way that only a heartfelt thank you at the end of his performance revealed the connection with Stride Gum. What a wonderful worldwide association between the gum that lasts ridiculously long and the man whose dance boasts the same feat. That’s what I call gaining sympathy equity at warp speed by exploiting a simple viral strategy.
Hats off to Stride Gum’s marketing team for that strike of genius! Brand image is built and evolves continuously, and a co-branding tactic is extremely effective when the partners in crime can generate this much consumer equity.