Tic Tac France’s Worst Breath In The World

Because the world is just so sick of flash mobs, right? It’s so 2010. Passing out in unison, on the other hand, is all the rage.

Tic Tac finally found a new spin to this whole “let’s get the whole city involved” guerrilla effort in its 2012 marketing prank that makes people realize just how deadly, quite literally, it is to have a bad breath and why they must always carry a Tic Tac.

The Prank

A stranger approaches an unsuspecting guy/girl to ask for directions. In less than five seconds, everyone in the vicinity collapses. A big monitor shows the stranger that other people from nearby areas are also collapsing. Right around this time, the “victim” should know something must be up. It’s just a matter of knowing what is the pay-off.

Watch the video to know how it went.

The Result

The YouTube video got more than 500,000 views but the more telling result is the amount of free media they got from it. Aside from the shares, likes and tweets, Huffington Post and different magazines featured “Tic Tac Prank”.

Considering it is more like a minor effort, the free media they got made it more than worth it.

The Learnings

It’s funny… not hilarious but funny. If there is anything we learn from other viral efforts is that funny works. I would bet on something funny over a celebrity any given Sunday when it comes to viral videos and guerrilla marketing efforts.

If your don’t need a unique product benefit, then come up with a unique approach. Almost all mints immediately boast about their ability to cover up bad breath. Tic Tac knows this. They decided that dropping it wouldn’t be a good marketing spin but sticking with it would make them look like a “me too” product. So, they came up with a unique way of emphasizing the benefit.

Big doesn’t mean expensive. The effort obviously required some budget. Paying more than a hundred people in a day costs some money but it is still less expensive than getting more than a hundred people to dance in unison because that would mean rehearsal day, choreography and others. Tic Tac’s flash mob version is a clear demonstration on how you can go big without spending big.

The Verdict

It’s not a great “marketing prank” but it’s a good one. For the money they had to spend, the result was good. More importantly, the brand was able to prove that it’s nice to make of your product and your customers every now and then.

Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.


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