MacKenzie trying to explain herself in "I'm not a Spoiled Brat"
|First appearance||"My Sister Freaks Out"|
|Last appearance||"And the Winner is ..."|
|Created by||Domino's Pizza|
|Family||Brother Brian; parents|
MacKenzieHeartsu is the YouTube username for a fictional character created by Domino's Pizza for a viral marketing campaign. The character is a teenage girl whose brother, "Brian", uploaded a video to the site in late 2006. In it, she was apparently presented with a red Saab convertible as a birthday gift ... and reacted by complaining vigorously that she wanted a blue car. As a result she was widely referred to as the Spoiled Rich Girl.
The video became extremely popular in the next month, linked to from all over the Internet. It was the lead-in to a series of four followups recorded by MacKenzie herself, in which viewers saw her move from trying to defend herself to getting the blue car and finally selling the red one. The fourth in the series ended with a link to a Domino's Pizza site, at which point it was revealed that it was a viral marketing campaign to promote the chain's Anything Goes Deal. The identities of the actors playing MacKenzie and the other characters in the series have not been revealed.
"My Sister Freaks Out"
The first video, called "My Sister Freaks Out", was filmed and supposedly uploaded on 17 December, 2006, by MacKenzie's younger brother, "Brian". The two-minute clip begins with a closeup of the children's father talking to Brian, saying "I need you on my side for this one". Brian seems to be reluctant but complies.
The camera pulls back and shows a sporty red car in front of an impressive house that appears to be in an affluent American suburban neighborhood. Three people walk out and the camera comes in a little closer. The two on the side are holding their hands over the one in the middle. A few steps down from the door, they take their hands away and shout "Happy Birthday!"
The young woman in the middle, apparently the intended recipient of the car, at first shouts "No way!" as if she can't believe she's got this. But almost immediately it becomes clear that she had been expecting a blue car, and whines to her father that she told him repeatedly that she wanted that color. Several times during her tirade, she and her father ask Brian to turn off the camera. He points it down, tells them it's off but then resumes filming shortly afterward. He tells MacKenzie it's not bad and she can just have it repainted, but she won't listen. Her father inveigles her to take at least a test drive, but she's too upset to do even that and whines even harder. Finally, after noticing the camera on one more time, she confronts Brian and the video ends.
It appears on MacKenzie's page as "My Birthday Diaster". You guys will believe anything!
"I'm not a Spoiled Brat"
This is the first video supposedly produced and uploaded by "MacKenzie" herself. She sits before her webcam, bemoaning her brother having made her look really spoiled for the whole world, and tries to explain herself. Blue, she says, is her color, as she has blue eyes, thus blue clothing, a blue cameraphone and nothing red but many YouTube users have noticed some red items in the background of what is supposedly her room. She doesn't know what she's going to do with the car.
"MacKenzie Gets What MacKenzie Wants"
In the shortest video of the entire series (24 seconds), MacKenzie's attitude has improved considerably. Before another webcam, smiling and sparkly, she informs viewers that her father has finally got her a blue car, and thanks him.
"MacKenzie sells her car for $9.99"
Slightly longer than its predecessor, here MacKenzie shows us the red car and the blue one (also a Saab) and announces she's selling the red one on eBay for $9.99. This video ended with the URL anythinggoesdeal.com superimposed on the screen, and viewers who went to it found a page promoting a Domino's Pizza campaign selling all pizzas for that same price, regardless of topping.
"And the Winner Is ..."
The final video in the series showed MacKenzie presenting a woman named Susan with the keys to the red Saab. She believes she has got the better deal ... a pizza.
Quietly uploaded before the Christmas holidays, the videos didn't make an impression on the Internet community until after 2007 started.
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Many viewers were amused by the first video, most incredulous at how spoiled MacKenzie was. Commenters at YouTube suggested she should be sent to Iraq, or that her father should get her a very old used blue car, so she could appreciate nice gifts better. Some others wondered what kind of person Brian was to embarrass his sister like this.
The second video brought even harsher reactions to MacKenzie. No one accepted her rationale, and many became even more hostile to her and sympathetic to Brian. After the third, many viewers were dismayed to find that her "father" had indeed bought her the blue car, and expressed wishes that she die horribly.
The fourth finally revealed Domino's' involvement, and many viewers finally realized that MacKenzie and her family were not real people. Still, much of the invective against her continued as not every viewer seemed to have got to the end of the video. By the conclusion of the series, viewers either congratulated or condemned Domino's for leading them on so effectively.
Domino's reveals itself
In a 25 January 2007 news release Domino's admitted its involvement. New York advertising agency JWT had created the campaign. "The purpose of the viral videos was to engage and entertain consumers with the storylines and get them talking about the characters, the contest and most importantly, Domino's Pizza", said Ken Calwell, Domino's chief marketing officer.
The campaign included several other videos which led up to a giveaway of $250,000 in merchandise for $9.99. Another series of spots, less popular, centered around a man bragging that he was so rich he could afford to give away a high-definition television set for $9.99. The anythinggoesdeal website led viewers to an eBay page where they could enter contests to win the items, which remained open until 5 February.
It was noted by some industry observers that the first video in the series seemed very similar to a recent CarMax advertisement in which a young woman excoriates her father for buying a car of the wrong color. JWT and Domino's said they had begun work on the YouTube campaign before that advertisement was broadcast and any relationship was purely coincidental.
- "Bride Has Massive Hair Wig Out", a later viral video revealed to have been staged as part of a marketing campaign.
- PRNewswire (25 January, 2007). Domino's Revealed as Creator of Popular Internet Videos. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
- Hall, Steve; 25 January 2007; Domino's Rips Off CarMax Campaign With YouTube Video Series; adrants.com; retrieved 11 February, 2007.