Office Max Penny Pranks are comedy (and social media) gold

Back2School4Pennies

Have you seen any of Office Max’s new Penny Pranks videos? If you haven’t you really should go and take a look, they’re fun, funny, and well worth the few minutes it takes to watch each one.

If you’ve seen these on tv you might have noticed that instead of sending you to Office Max’s website they tell you to go to their You Tube channel (http://www.youtube.com/PennyPranks) to see more after their quick little outtro about how they’ll take your pennies. When watching them on the You Tube page the videos ask you to visit http://www.OfficeMax.com/Penny which is where it comes full circle to their site where you can find out more about the penny promotions and what’s on sale at Office Max.

In the short time that most of the videos have been on You Tube they have generated a decent amount of views. Collectively they have generated over 3 million views. Even if you take out a decent percentage for people who saw each video you would probably still have well over 2 million voluntary views of these commercials. Unlike television, You Tube viewers are not a mostly captive audience, they have to purposely go there and watch these. So this indicates a desire to watch these commercials.

The Penny Pranks account has some interesting stats if you look in the upper left of their account (or below):
Joined: July 15, 2008
Videos Watched: 104
Subscribers: 7,775
Channel Views: 202,487

One thing you might notice is that all the videos except for 3 have only been on the site for 3 weeks, the other 3 have been there for over a year. This of course required some investigation and after a few minutes on Google I found a press release about the Penny Pranks which shed some light on it:

Hidden-camera videos feature hilarious attempts to purchase goods with ‘nothing but pennies’ to call attention to OfficeMax’s annual Penny Promotions

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX), a leader in office products and services, has released new Penny Pranks videos in support of its “Back To School for Pennies” program, featuring a different assortment of school supplies for the cost of just one penny during each week of the back-to-school season. In 2008, the OfficeMax Penny Pranks viral video campaign attracted more than 3 million views on YouTube. Those videos are now joined by seven new videos for 2009, featuring hilarious hidden-camera scenarios where purchases are attempted using “nothing but pennies.”

I don’t remember them showing last year do you? These seem rather well done in their thought and execution and definitely rate high on the creativity scale. Their combination of creative and memorable marketing mixed with a killer deal (school / office supplies for a penny) make it an irresistible combo. So much so that I went down to the Office Max and picked up some penny (and some not quite a penny) supplies for the old home office.

So what do you think? Do you feel like it’s a success? Do you feel like it’s something new, fun and interesting? The only thing I’d like to see Office Max do is take the campaign one step further and have people submit their own Penny Pranks and then have their peers vote on them and the best video would get a $2,000 shopping spree or something like that. I think it’s a great campaign and hope it continues to do well.

What are your thoughts? Do you like it, do you hate it, is there another social media campaign you really like that’s happening right now? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,
Josh

  • lorraineleckie

    Best PennyPrank of the new campaign is with “Billy”of Billy's Antiques and Props down on the Bowery in N.Y.C. and it is the highest rated.

    • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

      That was a great one indeed :)

  • lorraineleckie

    Best PennyPrank of the new campaign is with “Billy”of Billy's Antiques and Props down on the Bowery in N.Y.C. and it is the highest rated.

  • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

    That was a great one indeed :)

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