Social Media & Life in Thailand

A humble blog of a Czech guy working with Social Media and living in Bangkok, Thailand.

Starting my 14th year of delivering the commercial messages of all kinds using Digital Media. I have used Social Media before they were called Social Media, and I wonder every day about the miracle of the real-life human-to-human connections enhance by technology.


Genki Sudo is a Japanese MMA Fighter famous not only for his fighting skills but his dance moves as well.

Source: Wikipedia

Genki is the central point of the new Toyota Ad that is targeted at APAC region only. Concept of the ad is based on a funny wacky dance that features Toyota cars, a gorilla (I guess from the famous Cadbury drumming gorilla on, the perception of admen is that a gorilla makes everything better), several tribe-looking bunches and well, sort of Japanese humor. Genki Sudo is the cherry topping on this set. The ambition of Toyota is clearly to achieve a viral marketing hit in the region, but not only that, they want their "Wakudoki dance" becoming a part of APAC night club scene repertoire. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Genki Sudo's legendary pre-fight entrances (see below) are way more amusing and energetic than this ad.

Genki Sudo legendary PRIDE entrances compilation

The campaign features a competition that you enter by submitting a video of your Wakudoki dance. Hmm. As the 1 % rule applies, I wonder how much media awareness is expected by campaign authors - Genki Sudo is a light-heavyweight celebrity in Japan but not so much know in other important regions such as Malaysia, so Toyota had better prepared decent paid media for the support as well. In order to receive 1 000 submitted user-generated videos) and the target for a pan-APAC campaign could hardly be lower), they need to bring app. 1 000 000 users on the site in my calculation, and I have big doubts about both of these figures. So far, I see 6 000 views on the Wakudoki Dance Tips counter. The ad has scored over 800 000 views in more than 2 weeks.

My feeling of the campaign is awkward - on the surface, everything is strictly according to the book: it contains a full-scale digital circle with a website, Facebook, Twitter, mobile app, ad support, digital PR. If I dig deeper though, I feel that it has been rather built on the old ATL approach "launch on TV with million GRPs until everybody repeats the claim" - and it hardly ever leads into a success in modern digital environment. Viral marketing is matter of great craftsmanship, deep cultural insight, good timing and luck, not muscles. Looking at the numbers, I consider the results a big failure. I have seen so many "submit a video to win" campaigns that failed that I wonder is admen lives would not be easier if they humbly relied more on math and less on egos. As this is announced to be Toyota's first digital-only campaign (and I am personally a fan of Genki Sudo), I am quite sad that it ended up this way...

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