Buzzworthy Wednesday: "The Way We Get By" Documentary

So this is a departure for me. Typically for Buzzworthy Wednesday I am profiling different marketing videos, websites or designs that are really unique and I believe worth a look if you haven’t seen them yet. Sometimes the branding is subtle but this week’s is a complete departure and has absolutely nothing to do with marketing on online branding.

This week I am choosing to profile the documentary “The Way We Get By” about the stories of three senior citizens who are dedicated to greeting the troops being deployed and coming home from Iraq and Afganistan at the Bangor Maine Airport. I felt this was particularly poignant especially since last Wednesday was Veteran’s Day and it is truly a moving piece.

The documentary takes a look into the lives of three senior citizens – Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet who have dedicated their lives to greeting these troops to help them deal with the losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living. Greeting these troops day in and day out has brought a renewed purpose to their lives.

Although this is loosely billed as a documentary about the Iraq War, it stays apolitical. It is more universally a search for purpose as these people confront their own mortality in their waning years. The dynamic between the departing soldiers and the greeters is what makes this film so successful. For the seniors their mortality is something they are confronted with every day as they confront health problems and the passing of loved ones but for the soldiers it’s a more nebulous feeling because as they depart they know that some of the people they are flying out with will not return.

So until December 12, 2009, PBS is making the entire documentary available to view on their website. You can also check their television schedule to see when it will be airing again in your area. Watch it…you’ll be as moved as I was and share your thoughts about it below.


Buzzworthy Wednesday: The Battle for Milkquarious

The Battle for Milkquarious, is a 20-minute online rock opera about a rock icon named White Gold fighting for justice and his girl on the faraway planet of Milkquarious…that description alone is worthy of Buzzworthy Wednesday. This destination website with movie was launched in mid-October by the California Milk Processor Board and agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (the creators of “Got Milk”).

This short film has sort of a Zoolander-ish feel which carefully walks the line between cool and corny. The result is a hilarious piece with frequent and humorous one liner references to milk like “You guys want to sip on my one gallon axe?”.

They’ve also created the “Milkdonkulous Give-a-way” which is a contest to high schools across California to create their own interpretations of scenes from the movie and win $50,000 for your school’s art, music, and drama programs.

The contest is kind of cool, but where they fall short is having the high school kids interpret scenes. Why stop there? Why not have them write new scenes? The winner could have their script used in the further adventures of White Gold. I think expanding upon the intellectual property of Milkquarious rather than just rehashing the material would make far more sense and really let the creativity of these high school students run wild. Then these kids could share their videos on YouTube and Facebook and create a social buzz around Milkquarious. That’s where the payback would be from a marketing perspective.

All in all it’s a pretty funny and great marketing effort, but is this the future of online video advertising? Will more and more online marketing videos be moving to this type of immersive experience? What do you think?


Buzzworthy Wednesday: Martin Williams "Fire the Flu"

This was a really campy fun little video put together by the Martin Williams Ad Agency as a “non-billable, politically acceptable video for the work place”. That’s why it’s the Buzzworthy Wednesday video for this week. It’s basically a tutorial video about the H1N1 and seasonal flu but it’s done in a retro “public service announcement” kind of way.

It only has a few thousand views which I find surprising because it’s so cleverly done with a timely subject matter and so lightly branded at the end that I figured it would have had many more views than it does. Maybe not everyone “gets” the subtle humor in it, judging from the comments I’d say that could be the case. Enjoy and have fun, if you’re not careful you may learn something before it’s done.

(anyone catch the “Fat Albert” with Bill Cosby reference there?)