Are Tim and Eric the New Gods of WTF Content?

For the uninitiated, comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim may come across as preposterous at best and puerile at worst. But their purposefully cheesy, subversive, awkward and downright bizarre brand of humor has built a fanbase of millions, thanks to several successful shows on Adult Swim, a major motion picture and… wait…

Advertising?

Rather surprising for two guys who said “We both despise advertising and marketing. You can’t avoid it, and it’s always so inane,” in an interview with Believer Magazine in 2008. But their trajectory to total content domination started with Zach Galifinakis and Absolut Vodka, who gave the team carte blanche to create a three and a half minute long film. Their only guideline? Mention the brand. Here is what transpired in the first of three videos.

Last month, the team directed GE’s wildly popular and hilariously creepy Jeff Goldblum film selling Link light bulbs.Tim and Eric’s strange star power is alluring enough not only to capture top tier list talent (also including John C Reilly and Paul Rudd in guest spots in their TV series), but also to have captured the attention of consumers. Linda Boff, GE’s Executive Director, Global Brand Marketing, reported at OneSpot’s inagural event, Unify 2014, that Home Depot sold out of Link light bulbs only three days after the video aired online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egIY7ushchU

But now the duo has gone one step further (and weirder) with a long form video for Totino’s Pizza Rolls that premiered last Thursday, creating a number of fictional products that celebrate the lifestyle of the avid cheesy snack lover and garnering more than 400k views in less than a day and 700k views so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAalGQ5LSpA

We all know that trust is key in any partnership between brand and established artist, and the companies that have teamed up with Tim and Eric have undoubtedly reached a younger audience through their collaboration. But one important question remains: what’s the best way for marketers to manage the balancing act between maintaining brand control and turning over the act of storytelling to less-than-predictable voices? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments.

 

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