In the words of an unnamed fictional racecar driver, “if you ain’t first, you’re last.” But exactly how bad is it to be last?
I’m sure we can all think of things that are so bad, that somehow they’re good (I’m looking at you, Taco Bell.) We have a fascination with things that are bad. This is in part thanks to the Internet, which makes it super easy to make fun of things that fail.
Because of this, brands are taking notice of the “so bad it’s good” phenomenon and capitalizing on it, even sometimes intentionally “failing”, just to make a point.
A fairly recent example of this is Drake's music video for the song “Hotline Bling.” His unchoreographed, awkward-on-purpose dance moves in the video rival those of your weird uncle having just a little bit too much fun at a wedding. Almost immediately after its release, the Internet went crazy with memes and parody videos, which have since been followed with companies taking their own spin on the viral clip. Among them are the Philadelphia Police Department with a PSA about saving parking spots, Comedy Central India promoting reruns of the TV show Friends, and even a Super Bowl spot from T-Mobile, which Drake himself participated in.
So how should these artists feel about this? Should companies feel like big bullies for making fun of something that is so obviously bad?
I think not! In the end, what’s the difference between getting entertainment from a bad music video and getting entertainment from a good one? If you’ve been made into a meme, I’d say you’re probably going to be alright.