Is Kanye West’s New Viral Campaign Too Viral for Its Own Good?

Photo: Joe DeLessio

We've already seen Kanye's spoof commercial for Be Kanye tablets, which, the ad claims, transform you into Kanye West if taken. (We can only assume this means they greatly improve your blogging skills while instilling a fascination with spaceships.) The ads are for Absolut Vodka, and even though the company’s name is only briefly mentioned at the end, it’s probably assumed that when bloggers link to the video, they’ll also mention the brand’s name. (Hey, it worked!)

But then we saw the above ad for Be Kanye tablets on the 1 train yesterday, which also only mentions Absolut’s name in passing (we didn’t even see it at first), and we got to thinking: Kanye West is a genius. He’s gotten a liquor company to pay for ads promoting not an album, or a tour, but simply how awesome he is. Most 1 train riders will never even know who’s behind the ads, since that would require either reading the ad's copy carefully and making a connection to what an “Absolut World” might mean or going to the advertised Website or calling the number — which, let’s be honest, your average straphanger won’t bother to do. (Especially because, thank God, cell phones still don't work in subway tunnels.) And unlike most viral ads, which pique your curiosity for what exactly is being advertised, you could safely assume this was just an ad for West. It would seem that this is a pretty bad strategy for Absolut, but then again, we just mentioned their name four times, so maybe it’s not so dumb after all. —Joe DeLessio