iPad Head Girl - The Next Step in Viral Marketing

IT Management

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When the video was viewed for the first time, my initial thought was is this one of Clive Barker's new Cenobites? Is this who he's selected to succeed the timeless Pinhead for a new generation of Hellraiser movies, or is something else going on here?

As it turns out, iPad Head Girl isn't the next step in horror movie special effects. Instead, she represents a pretty slick viral marketing campaign; one that promotes a new men's magazine that will only be available on the iPad environment. The magazine in question -- is a tablet-only publication really a magazine? -- is called Cosmo for Guys, and it comes from the Hearst media empire. Hearst is also responsible for magazines like Oprah's O, and of course, the traditional Cosmopolitan.

According to The Next Web, the iPad Head Girl viral campaign was created by the Thinkmodo marketing team, and the design of the iPad helmet was pretty ingenious:

The video features a girl wearing headgear made out of 4 iPads shaped into a cube projecting video playback of each side of her head.

Apparently, the model wearing the iPad helmet couldn't see without the use of a video camera in her purse. The camera relayed images of the surrounding environment to a pair of video glasses, which, in turn, allowed her to navigate the streets of New York City.

Of course, putting someone on the streets with iPads covering their face is not the only ingredients necessary for a viral marketing campaign. The product being pushed -- Cosmo for Guys -- needs to be featured in some aspect as well; and that's where the genius of the design comes in. Next Web's article contains a quote from the campaign's director, which details the approach quite nicely:

"The concept and analogy here is to show a guy 'getting inside a girl’s head' and sort of 'reading her mind' by flipping through the magazine pages on the iPad. The reason for that is: it is the first magazine for men that is written by women, so for the first time women are letting guys in on what they think," says the viral’s Creative Director Michael Krivicka.

That could be one of the largest digital publications in history of man, especially if the women writing the magazine start discussing things like quality time and meaningful conversation. If the subject of how men can entertain themselves while escorting their significant other on a shopping spree comes up, we'll know that the goal of Cosmo for Guys isn't education.

Try subjugation instead.

Facetiousness aside, Thinkmodo's viral creation is certainly effective -- could you ignore someone walking the streets with an iPad cube on their head? -- although, it's hard to say if the curiosity would lead to guys wanting to download a men's magazine that's only available on Apple's touchable device. Maybe if there's some fantasy football information available. Or beer commercials.

Apparently, guys who love being guys with their guy friends love beer commercials.