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The Viral Aerostreet x Fake Ariel: A Parody Campaign Marketing That Surpassed the Original

Aerostreet Viral Marketing
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The majority of Indonesian local brand enthusiasts must have been very much aware of Aerostreet, the fashion brand loved by many, especially young people. They are renowned for their frequent collaboration with various brands, not limited to brands in the same fashion category as them.

What makes their recurrent collaboration to be highly anticipated by the audience is the exclusive design that comes with it. Their collaboration ranges from the most unexpected ones such as the ABC battery collaboration, to the fun Shinchan x Tahilalats event.

As expected, the brand makes another noise within the Indonesian netizens. On January 2, they released a campaign that features one of Indonesia’s biggest stars, Ariel Noah. However, there is a fun twist to that.

The campaign doesn’t actually feature Ariel Noah, but rather the fake version of him. The Aerostreet x Ariel KW video is deemed ‘an ad that’s unskip worthy’ by the viewers due to the unexpectedly serious comedy it brings.

The success of this ad brings attention to similar campaigns by other fashion brands that feature the same artist. Some even dare to pit the campaigns against each other, finding Aerostreet’s to be more effortlessly entertaining. We’ll look deeper into the notion of doing a parody campaign, and why so many brands are eager to do Key Opinion Leader (KOL) marketing or influencer marketing strategy.


Influencer Marketing in A Nutshell

Collaborating with influencers is (almost) always on a marketer’s to-do list for their social media marketing strategy. If one were to run out of campaign marketing ideas, they could turn to influencers for an instant boost of brand growth. 

In a sense, influencer marketing is a brand strategy that relies on popular social media users to promote their product/service. The bigger their audience, the more exposure a brand gets, which basically means more followers or even sales for the brand.

Influencer marketing may or may not feature the artists themselves. Some collaboration doesn’t necessarily need direct content creation with the artist, but rather license-buying to ‘borrow’ the name of an artist for a special edition product. 

Aside from building up hype for the brand, influencer marketing also works as leverage to build credibility and connection for a wider audience that the brand itself can’t reach. The majority of people tend to believe testimonies and claims from ‘outsiders’, in this case, influencers, rather than official statements from the brand, as it’s labeled inorganic and self-proclaimed. 


Ariel, Greenlight, Geoff Max, and Aerostreet

Now let’s talk about the actual content. Why Ariel, and what happened with Indonesian (especially fashion) local brands? First of all, it’s because almost guaranteed that all Indonesian people know of Ariel Noah, either from his great music or simply his charisma.

Ariel Noah

Ariel Noah

As a first-rate public figure in Indonesia, it’s natural that brands are willing to pay hefty checks to collaborate with him. As of January 2024, Ariel Noah has ongoing collaboration projects with the go international fashion brand, Greenlight, and the nation’s beloved skater shoes brand, Geoff Max.

Aerostreet, the King of Limited-Edition Collaboration in Indonesia, followed their steps soon after, with their own twist to the mix. Rather than inviting the actual Ariel Noah to the brand, Aerostreet decided to make a funny campaign parody with an Ariel lookalike.

Aerostreet Content with 'Fake' Ariel

Aerostreet Content with ‘Fake’ Ariel

If observed closely, the message behind the parody aligns with the brand’s message. “Don’t buy fake goods, buy local ones instead”, with the ‘Fake’ being the key point of the campaign by featuring a ‘fake’ guest star. Combined with their tagline ‘#lokaltakgentar’, It’s aimed to encourage people to appreciate more of the local Indonesian brands.

However, the heartfelt message is overshadowed by the funny skit and brilliant content idea. Many people find the content to be counterproductive to the message, being ironic instead of intentional satire. 

Despite the unfortunate message delivery, the ad has gone undeniably viral, earning 3.5 M views as of now with more than 7k comments and 100k+ likes. Aside from the huge numbers, it also gained more talks from the netizens, even more than the two brands that have proper campaigns.

The ad by Aerostreet, aside from being labeled as ‘the only ad they willingly watch’, is also said to be more iconic than the other two. It is also worth noting that sometimes, a parody that seems ‘just’ fun and insignificant can have more impact than the actual campaigns.


Does this Parody Campaign Marketing Actually Work and Is It Offensive?

In terms of numbers and sentiment (regardless of the nuance), a parody campaign works as well as normal campaign marketing, if not slightly better with the viral scalability. People react better to funny scenarios rather than the usual proper production, and it is easier to share comedy than, sadly, ordinary campaigns.

Now, let’s talk about the legality and appropriateness of the parody, as it has enough risk to offend other brands that have the original idea. The straightforward answer is, it depends on the execution and the brands’ relationship.

McDonald’s Belgium Promo Ad Pokes Fun at Burger King. Source: Adweek

One of the most famous funny rivalries between brands is the McDonald’s vs. Burger King campaigns, with the prime example being this Belgium McDonald’s billboard. It clearly pokes fun at Burger King, with explicit yet subtle jokes that refer to the brand name itself. In some cases, this kind of ad could end up in a lawsuit for defamation. Yet, the rivalry only continues.

With the amazingly chill PR team from the two brands, both McDonald’s and Burger King can explore more of their ads. Different from this explicit rivalry, Aerostreet social media content doesn’t make fun of either Greenlight or Geoff Max. Rather than roasting their competitors, Aerostreet adopted the ‘inspired by’ path instead, which resulted in neither heated scandal nor bad PR reps.


In Short, Do It Gently to Avoid Legal Problems

To put it plainly, parody campaign marketing is fun, fresh, and ‘effortlessly’ engaging. It also needs a certain finesse to be able to pull off this clever campaign for it to be scandal-free. For the brands that might worry about an incoming lawsuit that follows this specific strategy, it’s best to consult with a marketing expert. Or better yet, let them come up with the concept altogether. As an expert in both social media strategy and design, Avond Studio will make the utmost creative campaign for your brand.

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