Online merchant Vat 19 bills itself as “Purveyors of Curiously Awesome Products.” If you happen to be partial to things like Magnetic Putty or The World’s Largest Gummy Worm, they can set you up nicely.
Budgets being what they are for retail, Vat 19 will never advertise on network television, but they invest heavily in online filmed content, producing over 300 ads so far, most of which you can find on their YouTube channel.
These are not subtle pieces. They do not feature sophisticated lighting or exotic visual effects or celebrity endorsements. In fact, they come straight out of a light industry section of St. Louis, MO, looking like the output of one long afternoon of goofing around.
What they do possess is an uncanny awareness for web-centric sensibilities. They are silly. They are obvious. They are designed to be not just cheesy, but cheesy on an order of magnitude far beyond even Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which has long billed itself rather obliviously as ‘the cheesiest.’ Vat 19 videos wallow in stupid because Vat 19 is in the stupid product business and their clientele has a keen appreciation for stupid. Yes, these videos inform, but that aspect is almost secondary to their primary intent to encourage pass along. After all, if you appreciate the stupid, chances are you’ll only pass a Vat 19 clip along to someone else who appreciates the stupid. And so a community blossoms around this oasis of asininity: sharing, spreading and ultimately, selling. Vat 19 boasts their own 20,000 square foot production facility to produce these gems, a descendant of the long-defunct production company Innerscope, that many advertising veterans remember from their mid-80’s heyday.
Anyway, here is their latest. It is spectacularly stupid. And I’m pretty sure that’s the point.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79