Will Annoying Orange Annoy Consumers?

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Keyboard cat. Star Wars Kid. And now, meet Annoying Orange.

The feckless fruit with a mean streak is a tremendously popular YouTube series about, well, an annoying orange. The series was created by an impossibly young kid from North Dakota and has, to date, reaped more than 100 million views.

The bizarre fruit drama has even attracted the attention of The Wall Street Journal, which, in profiling the show and its creator, observes, “the orange sits on his countertop lamenting how bored he is, rolling his tongue around and making gurgling noises.”

More interestingly, while the show is certifiably a viral hit, does an orange oaf with a mean streak have a potential future as a pitchman? Don’t discount its (ahem!) appeal.[more]

For starters, Orange is wildly popular with children. And with food as its central theme, the show is (must … resist … puns) ripe for use as part of a product’s or message’s branding campaign.

A produce brand or a supermarket might make a great (last pun, promise!) pairing for the fruit. Also, it’s not hard to envision a health food brand seeing potential value in an Annoying Orange pitchman, especially since the series’ other characters are almost all fruits and vegetables. 

Then again, Annoying Orange may be so irritating as to turn off marketers and consumers alike.

Can a brand successfully take as its representative a seemingly unappealing spokesperson? History says yes.

American readers might remember Joe Isuzu. The automaker’s popular spokesman in the late 1980s was also an annoying pathological liar. To this day, he is a much loved advertising icon.

And our British readers will no doubt recoil at the memory of Crazy Frog, which popped up in an ad for Jamster! before becoming a global viral phenomenon.

Walking such a line can be a challenge, of course, but the payoff can be immense.

Tell us what you think: should some brand snap up Annoying Orange and capitalize on the fruit before it rots? And which one would you nominate?

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