Ambra: Killer video, fatally wounded execution

It’s funny how sometimes you can come across the best idea in the world, and it’s ruined by the final 5% of execution.

That’s the situation in the case of Ambra underwear’s dark new film, which we wrote about a little earlier today.

(Spoiler alert: watch the video before you continue reading…)


Was the twist a shock? Not too much if you’d looked at the preview image, I’m guessing, which made it pretty clear that it was a vampire astride her prey.

Which is a shame, because the idea really only works if you don’t already know you’re about to watch a vampire film.

Yet it’s a tiny detail – and YouTube gives the poster three screenshots to choose from, so it’s one that would have been (or still could be) easily fixed.

But if viewers don’t get surprised by the twist, they aren’t going to pass it along to their friends – which will limit its chances of going viral.

Or at least, they won’t pass it on to their friends voluntarily. Which brings me to a second failure of the Ambra web site (well, second, if you don’t count the fact that the press release gets the website address wrong).

And that’s the crude call to action: “For your chance to win 1 of 5 $300 packs worth of Ambra product (legwear, underwear and bodywear) watch the above video!”

And what happens when you’ve watched the video? It gives a link to another page where the message is this: “For your chance to win $300 worth of Ambra product  please fill out your details, and then four friends to enter you into the draw!”

Which is where it all starts feeling vaguely spammy.

Buried away in the Ts&Cs is a condition saying: “By entering the competition, entrants consent to receiving Ambra Corporation communication in the future. Entrants must nominate four (4) friends in order to gain entry to the promotion. Entrants should only nominate friends with whom they have a direct relationship and who consent to receiving information of this type.”

I asked the PR agency what this meant. A spokesman told me: “It’s really a means to get people to forward it on, I guess. When people enter, their four friends are then sent an email and then watch the video.”

Asked whether this might breach the Spam Act, she said: ‘Not that I’m aware of.”

She added: “They’re not doing anything with the friends’ data. It’s not considered spam because they are only passing on friends’ addresses so they can see the video.”

Asked whether the entrants should be told that their friends would be sent an email telling them to watch the video, she said: ‘I’m not sure – perhaps it could say that.”

She added: “I’m really not across this. The person who knows is in Buenos Aires this week.”

Update: After this article was posted, the site was amended to read: “Please fill out your details, and nominate four friends to receive a link to the video, where they can also go into the draw to win!”. The preview image has also been switched to a less revealing one.


Tim Burrowes


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