I bet you thought Internet fame means increased sales for your business. Nope. Just ask Chuck Testa. The California taxidermist became an internet phenomenon when he released this comically dry advertisement for his Ojai Valley specialty business. The campy, low-budget Youtube spot monotonously claims that Testa’s stuffed animals look so real, you’ll probably think they’re alive. Within days, the video had gone completely viral, garnering over two million views within 48 hours. Since then, the Ojai Valley commercial has become an Internet classic, inspiring dozens of online mockeries and memes.
But despite his newfound Internet fame, Mr. Testa hasn’t had much business to show for it. This might have something to do with the fact that the man sells exotic dead animals. It’s not much of a consumer product. But outside of a few “Nope” T-shirts, Internet fame hasn’t done much to stymie demand. Since his viral video hit last year, Testa says that his store has done nothing but“business as usual.”
“I’m still broke,” Testa says. The Internet notoriety may have even made the taxidermy business even tougher. After his video became an Internet sensation, someone bought thewww.chucktesta.com domain name and attempted to sell it back to Testa at an extraordinary price. Testa’s voicemail is populated mostly with prank calls instead of new requests. A few months ago, his attire in the video even had some speculating that Testa was a Nazi – and that’s never good for business.
The auto industry in particular spends a lot of time, money, and effort on video content. How many ridiculous “car guy” commercials have you seen? Sometimes we even get a glimpse of how stressful making a viral video really is. How much do your customers value these attempts? Do they visit your dealership more often because of it?
In the 21st century, your consumers will rely on your website and online information more than anything else. Instead of trying to find Internet fame with campy commercials, devote your time to creating customer solutions that will drive potential buyers to you. Rather than thinking up the perfect tagline for your next commercial, focus on creating content to optimize your dealership page and drive more qualified traffic to your site. Don’t worry about funding that viral hit – implement a better user web experience first. Your customers will appreciate it.