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YouTube Brandwatch: Heineken's Pole Dancer

Posted: 01/02/10  |  clip viewed 7547 times

There's a time and place for everything. As this YouTube ad proves, pole dancing at a wedding is a terrible idea.
Stats: Posted to YouTube on Nov. 16, the video has amassed more than 1.2 million viewings and more than 1,400 comments, plus another 15 video responses.
What you see: You've seen this woman before no doubt, hopefully not at your own wedding - trampy red dress, a bit too much to drink, dancing alone, arms flailing. As hyper-repetitive guitar music plays in the background, the woman dances clumsily around a wedding tent, and a cheap handheld video camera follows her every move. It all goes awry when she straddles a support pole, sending the tent crashing down on revelers and leaving the bride with a bloody nose.

Take Out/TakeAway: According to the advertising trade press, the video was made as part of Heineken's ongoing "drink responsibly" public service campaign. But nowhere in the 90-second video do we see a mention of Heineken, so we're left guessing. The poor video quality leads early gullible commenters to speculate this is a real wedding. Later, commenters set them straight. "That was so staged," YouTuber billyschorn grumbles. One copy of the video contains a watermark that says KnowTheSigns.com, which is a Heineken Web site.

Social Media Effect: Attracting 1.2 million viewers in a week's time is no small accomplishment. Then why wouldn't Heineken want to put its name on one of the most talked-about videos out there at the moment? To generate more attention, no doubt. And isn't that what these public service campaigns all about - to raise awareness? But this one comes with a twist. We don't get the sober authority figure wagging a finger at us to drink responsibly. We're on our own to determine whether this is socially acceptable behavior. At least one YouTuber is confused about the message, observing, "*DRUNK CHICKS? RULE!!!!!!!!!"