Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Your customers are not stupid

"Walk on water viral campaign"
The brand: Hi-Tech Infinity. Product: waterproof shoes
When I saw the video on YouTube “Walk on water”, it seemed to me pretty amazing and a super cool way to promote water resistant shoes.  
Watch the video:

Guys are talking about inspiration and if you believe in your dreams you can do everything. They are engaging the audience in a very emotional level by  touching values and saying that "people want you to think in a different way and this sport allows you to push yourself". It gives inspiration! They speak about the product as well, but it seems very natural thing to do after the words: “Me, my boots and I”. They are giving the tips how to do it and the most important tip they mention is believe in yourself.
After seeing this video, I thought  it’s a very creative viral video.  The engaging part is also cool. They developed the site where you can play a game, get the highest score and win a pair of Hi-Tech shoes.
And then I started to read comments below the video and I found out more negative than positive replies. Thousand of comments like “Busted”, “I’m skeptical”, “guys, this is legit!”, “Fake so fake”, “fuck you guys i broke my leg trying to do this”. People didn’t believe in it. I still couldn’t decide my position when I found „Behind the scenes” video which was made 2 weeks after the buzz campaign was launched.  


I was so disappointed! The brand lied and afterwards they laughed about the customers.  They easily admited that the only purpose was to make their brand famous. In the video they  laughted about the values they spoke in first video and that’s a big, big mistake from a brand positioning point of view. First it  made me belief in something, but afterwards laughing. They said that it was just for fun and they wanted that the people think about Hi-tech in a different way.  Well, now they for sure I think in a different way, if before didn’t think anything about this brand, now I think negative. I don’t believe it really helped the brand.
It forgot a very simple and true rule: „Your customers are not stupid!”
Special thanks to my amazing teacher Filippo Selden for sharing this video!


  1. So did you actually believe it was true? Off course there are stupid and non true comments as well. But every single person should understand that it not possible to run on water haha. Off course it is just a funny thing to get some attention. If there where, which I never ever can imagine, people who actually tried this (to run on water and therefore broke a leg) deserve to get his ass laugh of ten thousands time. : )

  2. well, you can lie, you can show funny things etc, but when it comes to brand values, I think it's a mistake. You can't in one message say that the brand believes is one thing, and after 2 weeks laugh about it. The mistake was that the second video was made in a very sarcastic way. Even if they admit that the "walk on water" thing is not true, they had to keep the values they talked before, that still they believe that everything is posssible, you just need to trust etc. Unfortunately they just laught about it. Imagine if the the Walt Disney Company would come up with a message that "there is no magic!" after all these years. The message would not be consistency.

  3. to segerjohansson - check out the video break dance, jamakasi, skateboard, snowboard. 20 years ago none could imagine taht some of the triks people are doing today are possible. so i saw this video long time ago and just decide " fuck- somebody have nothing to do, but ok. I believed that it is possible to run on water, because i believe that we can not even imagine what else is possible.

    to zaiga - "hi tech " are good shoes. this problem is important for those who broke the leg and for thouse who are in adwertising bussines :)

  4. There are physical laws making it impossible to run on water, it is just simple as that. But this is a good way to make boring shoes talk-able by presenting it in an overly dramatic manner.

    In advertising this is called to "over-dramatising" and is used for thousands of products. Often with the aims to explain and dramatising an specific product features. E.g: How wolksvagen illustrated that they’ve got a lot of space in their cars by putting an Elephant in it. Of course it was not true either. Or like this ad

    (No don’t try to drive your car out there even if it is an awesome off-road car)

    After all, there is a difference between imagination and stupidity.

    And when it comes to the differences in this cases, it is just the medium. Digital has made it possible to go viral by over-dramatising product features, with exactly the same basic method as before.

  5. Dear Zaiga,

    I would like to ask you kindly to remove my image from this blog, because I believe it does not have anything to do with the post, nor is it created as a stock image.
    As proof here you can find the original image.

    I hope you understand.
    Thank you very much

    Ksenia K.