Orbit has made fresh breath even fresher by prioritizing hilarious content above of the same tired corporate messaging. The company has unwrapped a series of videos on DumbDumb.com, a new website for viral commercials from the likes of funny guys Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. While brands creating quality content like this is nothing new, the story behind Orbit and DumbDumb gives us a bit more to chew on…
The actors behind the site are quick to point out that they’re not marketers or ad men—in the words of Bateman, they’re “looking to make cool pieces of entertainment that just arbitrarily make that subject matter to the brand’s message.”
Speaking to the New York Times, Bateman likens the advertising element of their creative project to improv groups that rely on audience input and participation in their sketches. To him, it’s a practice that challenges the actors’ creative abilities because they never know what to expect. And while it’s easy to hear something like that and think of the big dollar signs in their eyes (afterall, if the unique creative challenge is what entices them, why not just make viral content for funnyordie.com instead of schilling for Orbit?), that kind of attitude is actually pretty refreshing. Instead of forcing a message on the audience (the kiss of death for some campaigns), create quality content they’ll opt into, share with friends, and, just as importantly, enjoy. As Gawker points out, the shameless, straightforward, and ironic approach to marketing isn’t exactly new (they astutely reference Wayne’s World) but we always welcome content that puts quality and humor before the product.
Ben Silverman, former co-chair of NBC Entertainment who also helped develop DumbDumb, calls each instillation a “mini-movie,” because they are complete stories from beginning to end. The branding connection itself is funny in its extreme tenuousness: it shows how Orbit “cleans up dirty situations”…like, say, your daughter taking her social studies teacher to prom.
Orbit’s dedication to solid entertainment is definitely promising. But what’s even more promising is seeing talented and funny actors taking the lead to further great content.