July 15, 2007



guest post by Al Shaw

One of the post popular pieces of viral marketing on YouTube comes from the “Will it Blend” series. The newest installment from a podunk Utah blender company features an annihilated iPhone which eventually turns into “iSmoke.”

What’s most interesting about it is the pain and shock the visual experience elicits from most bloggers and commenters.  David Pogue, Apple’s number one fanboy recoils from the fact that someone would dare to drop the “JesusPhone” in a blender. Some commenters loved the piece, a vast majority found it almost sacrilegious, but the common theme is the visceral reaction it inspires.  One of Pogue’s comments, for example, reads, “I got sick in my mouth…”

The non-stop media coverage of this device has raised it to a new standard, even compared to the typical zealotry Mac users have for Apple products.  A Google search for “iPhone unboxing” yields almost 2 million hits–all related to the visual indulgence of the “product opening ritual.”

Given people’s love/hate relationship with technology, it is tempting to compare this video with the famous scene from the movie Office Space where three disgruntled office workers take their anger out on a printer.  I’m guessing most people watching this clip would be rooting them on, not recoiling in horror.

For a product that has become the ultimate possession, the “Will It Blend” stunt has become the most sadistic act of destruction.  In comparison, people can watch scenes of destruction and trauma in Iraq and almost never bat an eye.

“Will It Blend” video here.  (LINK CORRECTED.)

(screen shot: Blendtec via YouTube)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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