Just took a little stroll over to the Brawny Academy...it's certainly not BMWFilms, nor is it Survivor, however it is something...
I watched the entire first episode and actually look forward to the second.
Hat tip to David who sent this to me, and also Bob Garfield's rather negative review of the campaign, which he claims is lost in the woods and although pioneering...is idiotic.
Whereas the Chevy Tahoe campaign deserved the negative reviews, however pioneering it might have been thought to be, I'm not sure this one even remotely deserves to be given criticism, except perhaps some constructive advice.
On the New Marketing side, props for your RSS feed (although copy is a little lame, "Thanks for subscribing to the Brawny Academy RSS feed. Isn't RSS great?") and a gentle man-slap for not doing more with your e-mail update sign-up (hint: try after the episode) A slightly harder slap for not making the episodes downloadable.
I would have liked a context setting video...how did this come about? how did these guys happen to audition? Perhaps this is why Garfield comments that the contestants aren't likeable enough.
My position on judging these long form efforts is very simple and very consistent....AT THEIR VERY WORST, THEY'RE NO WORSE THAN 90% OF THE 30-SECOND CRAP ON TV. Garfield feels that no one would lean forward and watch all the episodes. I disagree and I disagree because the goal is not to "reach" tens of millions of potential consumers, but rather to engage with a smaller subset of voluntary hand-raisers in the process.
Sure, they do take the product placement a little too far at times, but at others the gratuitous placement kinda works...in a campy sort of way. I also have to compliment the very accurate personfication of the Brawny Brand through the Brawny Man. This - without question - humanizes a brand I honestly never cared about before.
Garfield's most valid claim is the alleged audience mismatch.
The target here is women -- women so disgusted with their good-for-nothing mates that they take vicarious satisfaction watching other women's good-for-nothing mates humiliated by housework.
Except who has time to watch this, when in real life you're pushing strollers and vacuuming and filling toy boxes and unloading groceries?
Bob, you know I love you like the mentor I never had, but come on: a) have you spoken to women about this? b) do you know which room in the house most stay at home moms "live" in...and how many of these rooms (hint: they have a fridge in them) have computers in them? c) did you factor in working moms? (I'm told there are a few of them left) and d) what about the guys?
I don't know about you...but there's a damn good chance I'll purchase Brawny paper towels the next time I take both kids shopping while my wife gets a pedicure...just as soon as I go and put down that toilet seat.