Unofficial Unauthorized Desperation Unmasked

Curious article over on AdAge (registration req’d) about some striptease video for the iPod which makes use of the Burger King icon (that’d be “The King”). Now while the video may be officially “unauthorized”, it sure sounds like the people at BK got just what they wanted. From the article:

Burger King’s iPod sponsorship on has spawned a wildly popular online parody of Miramax’s once infamous “The Crying Game.� A viral video of a striptease ends in a twist that leaves viewers staring in disbelief at Burger King’s The King mask.

The video was submitted by a user after the site handed out King masks to a handful of its fans. WPP Group interactive agency VML, which is the interactive agency of record for Burger King, had bought media for the video iPod campaign. It gave the masks because “they are our media partner,� said Nick Centofante, VML media director. A Burger King spokeswoman said its brand is part of the popular culture, and that the chain had no control over the video’s content.

More interesting still is this from Heavy’s co-CEO, Simon Assaad:

When users create content with their cultural icons, it’s not always in line with the strategy of the advertiser, but it’s really important because sometimes the consumers are more in touch with how to propagate a brand than the marketer is.

Now the real reason I’m posting this is because of my earlier post on Massive considering player-generated ads inside “The Matrix Online” videogame in which I said, “I wonder if Massive and their clients are thinking they might learn a thing or two from the players themselves.” Given this pathetic effort, maybe I’m expecting too much. I guess this is what happens to companies when desperation sets in; something we may see more frequently as the mediascape continues to evolve. Oh joy.