Cornetto Cupidity…Oh, so close.

“9:01 running time for a YouTube ad? Cornetto you must be joking!”

Those were my first thoughts when ‘Kismet Diner’ the new advertising short from Cornetto popped up, and no doubt I was not alone. Bare-faced cheek I thought, popping up in the middle of my Tupac playlist (yes, really) and demanding my attention for such an unreasonable length of time. But, I imagine like a lot of other people, something kept me watching.

Was it the soundtrack penned by Indie singer-songwriter, Lotte Mullan, with just the right balance of lullaby-like sentimentality? Her voice is 2 parts vulnerability and 3 parts whimsicality and it has that intangible quality that keeps a YouTube listener hovering over the ‘skip’ button just long enough.  Or the charming, old, New York voice-over who confides in us that, “what the world really loves, is a good love story.” Not forgetting the brilliant casting which makes the whole affair so very watch-able.

I won’t go much into the story as I don’t want to ruin the twist, but it is set in a Brooklyn diner and shows the relationship that develops between one shy waitress and her customer. I can honestly say that, within its theatrical concept, it is one of the best short films I have watched.  It is what I keep wanting to believe the best advertising can be; a commercial opportunity that facilitates the creation of genuine art.

This is all irrelevant really, I’m just one girl behind a screen and it’s only my humble opinion. What is relevant is that the first 10 YouTube comments for the film are all positive. The top post, voted up by 57 people so far, from ‘Adam Mclean’ sums it up with, “one of the very few times I haven’t skipped an advert on Youtube. Makes me happy that I stayed.” Bravo Cornetto, that may well be an internet first. I think they really might be onto something here.

It was certainly brave to release such a long piece online, and I will be very interested to see if other brands start to follow suit. ‘Kismet Diner’ is the first of four shorts made in colloboration with MoFilm and Ridley Scott Associates, to be released as part of the Cupidity campaign and is part of Cornetto’s re-branding efforts in the UK. It is targeted at a mainly teen audience, encouraging them to share their own love stories.

So what’s the catch, where did it all go wrong? Unfortunately, it would seem, right at the very beginning with the choice of campaign name. The intention behind it is clear enough. As the voice-over states, “I’m a cupid, and this is cupidity”. Cupidity is presumably meant to be a term that incorporates all things lovey-dovey, and well, cupid. Except that’s not what the word means:

Greed for money or possessions.
greed – avarice – avidity – rapacity – greediness

Oh hell no! Since when does the naming of something matter so little that people can’t even go to the trouble of checking its meaning? This campaign was so close to brilliant and appeared to be achieving the hardest part of its brief; to keep people watching. Cornetto, I’m very disappointed in you- you can go and sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

For more on the campaign:

VCCP Content review-Buster Stonham

Marketing Week on Unilever’s content push for Cornetto

2 responses to “Cornetto Cupidity…Oh, so close.

  1. Maybe it was meant to be named Cupidity and the meaning of the word had been thought through, and it was just an ironic title, as everybody in the film seems to be struggling in one way or another. Just a theory.

    • Hi Chris. I did consider that and to be fair, I should have added it to my post. The problem I have with that is marketers thinking they can completely ignore an existing definition of a word and come up with another one. Sure, language evolves, but it’s a natural and lengthy process; not something that companies should use to create gimmicks. What do you think?

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