It was inevitable.
Blendtec found an early niche in viral marketing by blending all sorts of things, on camera, with their commercial blenders. They’ve blended marbles, rocks, a golf club, Happy Meals, and entire cans of Coca Cola. I guess those of us who have been following them over the last year knew this was coming:
Yes, they’ve just ground up the $500 cost of an iPhone and whatever production costs were involved. But in the three days this video has been on Youtube, over 850,000 people have watched it! Do you suppose 1/2 of 1% of those who watched this video might buy a Blendtec blender sometime during the next few years? That number alone would equal 4250 blenders!
Not a bad return on investment at all. That’s been the power of viral marketing- ideas that capture the viewers’ imaginations are passed on through emails, text messages, and blogs like this one. We are seeing, in video form, using digital means, the ways ideas have always spread through human cultures. A good idea- coverings for the feet, for the example- happened once upon a time, for the first time. Others in that long-ago band of hunters saw the idea and began experimenting with bark, grass, and animal skin concoctions of their own. Gradually, standard forms evolved, were shared and seen by other bands and tribes in other places, were determined to be practical and spread across cultures and time, to this:
Ideas about blenders and shoes, like ideas about everything else, evolve over time. And as long as they continue to fill a function, they thrive. When they stop fulfilling a function, or when the culture they are part of moves past them, they die out. Just like shoes, someone somewhere in time had the idea to put a pot in homes in which to spit. Spittoons were found everywhere for that period of time during which they fulfilled a need. The culture passed them by and the idea of spittoons (hallelujah!) died with better medical understandings of disease control. (not to mention some slight increase in people’s aesthetic tastes!)
No doubt, the people who manufactured spittoons tried to argue against their demise by maintaining the illusion and hope, for as long as they could, that there was a continuing need for them. It’s not hard to read the writing on the wall, but sometimes it’s difficult..
Addendum: Sunday, July 15, 7:10 CT- the bidding for the blended iPhone on eBay is now at almost $1500. Looks like the production costs will be covered easily!