This video is going at the top because I have a feeling not many people have seen it. Freddy Frees Friday was produced – by Minneapolis-based boutique agency, Fast Horse – and released online last summer to promote Radisson Hotels‘ Free Fridays deal. Clocking in at seven and a half minutes, it may be long for web standards, but trust me, it’s worth the time. Great writing, a cute pint-sized star and a clever product tie-in gave Freddy a running start for what was said to be the first chapter in a series of adventures. For whatever reason, the video campaign ended less than a month later at chapter two. Perhaps Radisson cooled early on the offer, as it is unclear how sales were impacted and how long the promotion’s corresponding website remained up for business.
Fantastic Freddy is Fantastic. Similar to the unrealized potential of great TV series (Freaks and Geeks anyone?), Freddy and his free-wielding powers were prematurely cut short. To draw another showbiz parallel, the original video suffered from a lack of exposure. As this post is being written, the YouTube feed of Freddy (which now only features a silent 12-second version) has less than one thousand views, while on Vimeo the number falls short of three thousand. Hardly a viral sensation. Even as the length of the piece doesn’t lend itself to be quickly shared and consumed, great work still needs to be seen for it to be appreciated. Radisson missed another opportunity by disabling (even moderated) comments on both video sites. The instant feedback provided through this medium can be extremely beneficial for both the brand and its audience.
In the world of advertising, as we know, success is measured in dollars and not entertainment value. Yet, the Freddy campaign was attached to a very intriguing offer. Receive your Friday stay free when you book another night? That would have drawn me in even without a precocious kid indirectly pitching it. So it appears agency and client got both the business and creative side right. Then what is ultimately responsible for the death of this sales kid? Without details from the decision makers themselves, we’re only left with conjecture. Though I imagine somewhere on the web, sometime soon, we’ll be delivered another enticing deal with a captivating story. Compliments of a Freddy-doppelganger.