The next time you’re sick, skip dragging your miserable, bleary-eyed body out of bed and get on your computer instead. No, we aren’t advocating neglecting your health or procrastinating online (even though those seem to be the hallmarks of our generation), we’re just getting you up to speed on the best cure there is: PUPPIES!
Boston-based online healthcare provider American Well released a video to launch a brand new feature on its platform called PuppyConnect. This innovative new development allows users to connect and video-chat with an array of Puppy professionals that are licensed in cuteness and guaranteed to cure everything from a case of the blues to terminal stress.
Now that you’re beaming with excitement, we should probably tell you that the feature was just an April Fools’ joke. Yup, it broke our hearts too. But the video is real! Check it out here, but let us warn you, this saccharine sweet puppy-fest is going to make you melt… and then scream, “WHY DOESN’T THIS EXIST YET? STEP IT UP WORLD!”
Why we love this:
1. Because… PUPPIES
Let’s be honest, little button noses and “kisses that fog up the camera” could probably convince a Bedouin to buy a sack of sand. But American Well doesn’t just bank on Gumbo, Sparkles and Riley to work wonders with their endless well of cuteness. The tongue-in-cheek video features “interviews” with American Well executives, who discuss problems like “P.U.E (puppy user error) and refuse to hire puppies that don’t meet the minimum cuteness quotient. It gives viewers a glimpse into the brand and the people behind it.
2. Seasonal Relevance
Whether it’s April Fools’ Day, the Super Bowl, Valentines Day or Christmas – rest assured, your favorite brands will chime in with temporally and contextually relevant campaigns. But seasonal advertising isn’t just for the big boys. American Well’s spot gained a significant amount of digital traction by entering the dialogue at the right time.
3. Prankvertising Works
If your video can make your audience laugh, or “trick” them while still maintaining the essence of your brand, you have yourself a winner.
Plus videos like these are a means to highlight your brands creative ideas without having to contend with actually making them a reality. For instance, Hulu released a slew of trailers for fake spin-off series like Hola Senor Chang (featuring Senor Chang of Community fame) and That’s My Fitz (featuring Scandal’s power couple Mellie and Fitz Grant). Read more about it here.
4. Beyond the Video
American Well’s video is a great way to augment its visibility in the market, but the company took its ruse a step further by creating a page where viewers can “beta test” PuppyConnect by providing their name and email address. Not only is this a good way for the brand to glean important market data, but its also a means to increase viewer engagement. Try it here!
Nothing makes people want something more than being told they can’t have it. Your reaction to this feature being a joke was probably earth-shattering disappointment. If it wasn’t, you might want to speak to one of American Well’s online medical professionals about a missing cardiac organ. But jokes aside, aside from bringing the brand into focus, videos like these are a great way to build anticipation. Animals are often touted as a source of healing and comfort for children, the elderly and sickly. If American Well wanted to roll this feature out, there might be a good number of takers in the market. That being said, it’s highly unlikely that this feature will actually become a reality, but we can always hope!