Viral Ad Campaign of the Week: The Chevy Guy Mistake

Chevy Guy mistake video

Not every viral ad campaign is all about sitting down at sales and marketing meetings and planning out how you’re going to be popular. Sometimes it is all about rolling with the punches and moving along with a movement created entirely by the people – and a funny error.

The Chevy Guy viral ad campaign was just such an instence as a mistake lead to a lot of people having fun online. When Chevrolet themselves joined in the fun got real, and really fun.

Viral Ad Campaign of the Week: The Chevy Guy Mistake

As I was hinting towards above, The Chevy Guy was not a planned viral ad campaign. It was suppose to be a simple MLB trophy presentation to the World Series MVP between a Chevrolet rep, as Chevrolet is a sponsor of MLB, and the winner of the honor. Things did not go as planned:

Did you see him dip down into his pocket and pull out a card that he’s trying to read off of? That’s right about where everything went wrong as the speaker, Rikk Wilde, is obviously not a public speaker. He flubs his lines all over, perhaps most famously when he said “technology and stuff.”

So what’s the big deal? A guy messes up his lines on TV, whatever. If those are your thought patterns, you don’t know the Internet at all. Twitter broke out all over with hashtags, #technologyandstuff being the most popular along with #chevyguy.

But again, a bunch of people poking fun at a guy who made a few mistakes, where’s the marketing?

Other aspects of the Chevy Guy mistake video

The moment turned into a case of real time marketing when Chevy decided to join in on the fun with a tweet of their own:

When it comes to social media, it is always best to own up to your mistakes. In a case like this, Chevrolet has clearly shown us all that you can not only smooth over problems when you do this, but you can actually do some fun marketing that people actually pay attention to.

Here are a few more tweets that fans and other businesses (who are giving an example of what our own crowd marketing services are like) made to have some fun, and spread the Chevy name:

A few funny tweets is nice for a few moments, but what can be done to sustain the interest, and build it into the marketing you do outside of Twitter where sales really happen? Check out the Chevrolet trucks website: chevy website chevy guy mistake This is truly real time marketing at its best. They took it off social media and brought it to their other web properties. The connection is made between social media and the website, and people feel more welcome to join in where it matters!

Problems with the Chevy Guy mistake video

It’s really hard to find mistakes made during the Chevy Guy viral ad campaign. It was a mistake from the start! Something that I’m betting a lot of people missed is that the presenter who made the mistake, Rikk Wilde, is a real guy with his own Twitter account!

Even he got it right when he rolled with the punches, retweeted tons of tweets sent his way, and had fun with it himself. When he got home a couple days later he knew he had messed up, and even took a picture of his dog showing how he felt about his owner making a mistake on national TV in front of millions, and millions more on YouTube:

The next day, when it was mostly over, he sent out another tweet that really showed how he felt about the whole incident:

Back to work! This is the attitude that your business needs to have when a mistake happens and social media notices. Roll with it, let it run its course, then get right back to business as usual! Watching the hashtags is easy, not watching how Rikk handled himself would be the real mistake you’d make in all this.

This is because any business, or person, who tries to push social media back is going to wind up with an Amy’s Baking Company situation, instead of a Chevy guy situation! As an example of why you should roll with it, check out who was on The Late Show with David Letterman:

I’ll take that over an Amy’s Baking Company disaster any day of the week!

by Ernest Thompson

Ernest is an online marketing user and abuser with a keen eye for the latest viral trends. His years of experience in the online marketing industry are presented here on Viral Tactics for you to learn from, and to offer you a chance to add your opinions.