Joel, Please Don’t Jump the Shark

An open letter to Joel Moss Levinson:

Dear Joel,

I was looking for examples of entrepreneurial Gen Y’s and I came across an article in the New York Times about you. It’s my all-time favourite social media story. While everyone else was getting their 15 minutes of fame and then moving on with their lives, you figured out how to turn a hobby into cash…by entering viral video contests

Then I saw this video for Murphy Goode. Joel, what gives? What happened to the playful Flight of the Conchord-esque videos. This one was too earnest, you were trying too hard. I know, you didn’t get the Tourism Queensland Best Job Ever and that was very wrong of them. It’s possible they just didn’t want to give it to you because you won so many other contests. When I was in Australia, Americans were seriously underrepresented among the backpacker population and having you as their resident blogger would have gone a long way to getting more US visitors.

Don’t get bitter on me Joel; keep the smiles coming. For the rest of you, here’s my all-time favourite.

For more Joel Moss Levinson check out his blog

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3 comments so far

  1. happyjoel on

    You’re right, the murphy-goode angle was stupid and I will not make that mistake again. Thank you for your honest approach and comments.

    In the meantime, I’m in need of votes in the Quizno’s contest and I think you will find that I have made a video that is along the lines of what I do best and should be doing. It is more “David Byrne/Talking Heads” inspired musically than I have done in the past, and perhaps a little weird, but I put a lot of effort into it and hope you like it.

    http://bit.ly/badns

    It’s open to a daily vote from now until August 31st if you are willing to vote and/or tell your readers to do the same.

    But whatever the case, please forgive my lack in goode judgement. (nice pun, Joel! 2 points!)

  2. Jason Dojc on

    Well happyjoel, I think my readers now know about it and I’ll leave it to them if they want to vote for it.

    I happen to like the Quizno’s video; it’s a clever concept…and (to put my marketing hat on) it’s “on message”. I’d vote for it(though I can’t register as I don’t have a U.S. address).

    As a note to marketers though, there’s way too many of these straight “submit your video” contests. Come up with a creative twist.

  3. happyjoel on

    Thanks for the opportunity to reply.

    For the record, I think the best ever campaign by someone doing one of these video contests was Best Western’s, when the requirement was simply, “Dress your water cooler up like it’s from the 1980’s.” Literally no mention of Best Western or anything else required. It might not build up a bunch of pseudo-commercials, but it builds a lot of love for a fun brand and in the end, I think that’s the greatest value these things have. For a few dollars (or in the case of best western, a bunch of points worth about $4000 total), minimal marketing costs, minimal overhead, they get a bunch of people talking about how fun a company best western is.


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