Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A history of Hasselhoff online as the Hoff becomes the Meerkat's first interviewee

David Hasselhoff is the self-proclaimed 'King Of The Internet' - and never one to forgo an opportunity to advance 'brand Hoff', he has allowed Aleksandr Orlov, the Compare The Market meerkat, to interview him as the guest of the first Meerkat podcast.

Hasselhoff has a long history of online exploits though.

Originally starring in photoshop mashup email virals like this:

David Hasselhoff saviour Australia Ashes cricket2005 'Saviour' - Australia call for The Hoff to help them save the Ashes series

Microhoff Windows

Beff Stroganhoff

Crazy Frog David Hasselhoff CrazyHoff HasselFrog2005 'Crazy Hoff' - who needs a Frog?

Boyfriend was the Hoff Like Me David Hasselhoff2006 'Don't Cha Wish Your Boyfriend was the Hoff like me' - Pussycat dolls parody

Hasselhoff became arguably the first viral superstar - no topical event or situation escaped the Hoff meme treatment. From the above to appearing in (photoshopped) Katrina flood pictures in Baywatch outfit, it seemed no week went past without a Hoff related email circulating.

ISP Pipex then recruited David Hasselhoff to be the face for their TV ads - with the creative more about him then the internet service itself (!):

In 2005 Hasselhoff was also used in TV ads in Sweden for mobile phone provider DJuice - though rather than having him perform to a script they just overlaid music videos for the Hoff cult hit 'Looking for Freedom' with DJuice messages about their freedom tariff:

(I still like these Hasselhoff DJuice ads and thought being able to download them from the DJuice website was very forward thinking at the time.)

As social evolved, so the Hoff moved with it. Initially running on MySpace, last year David Hasselhoff launched his own social site - 'Hoffspace' ('the official site for all things Hoff') and it now has 20,757 members.

Hoffspace launch David HasselhoffHoffSpace launch page

Hoffspace David Hasselhoff todayHoffSpace today

Hasselhoff has also embraced Twitter @DavidHasselhoff and amassed 34,106 followers, but not content with just being online, David Hasselhoff has last month also launched an iPhone app called 'Ask The Hoff'.

Ask The Hoff David Hasselhoff iPhone AppAsk The Hoff - Hasselhoff iPhone App

In the 'Ask The Hoff' App description Hasselhoff writes:

"Hi I’m the Hoff!

Yes it’s me, star of Knight Rider, Baywatch and America’s Got Talent, living legend David Hasselhoff and this is my very own iPhone App!

Scientists have wrung my fantastic brain dry and poured the knowledge into this app, so I can give you Hoffalicious advice whenever you need it.

Just turn up the volume, ask a question and shake your iPhone, and I’ll give you an answer. It really is that incredible.

Ask The Hoff is an official Hoff iPhone app featuring exclusively recorded auido of me, The Hoff. We’ve even squeezed an entire gospel choir into this thing. That wasn’t easy let me tell you. It’s kinda cosy in here. But it’s a good cosy

Now we find David Hasselhoff is starring in the first Compare The Meerkat podcast and being interviewed by Aleksandr Orlov. Orlov introduces the podcast on the Compare The Meerkat website:

"Good Hoff-ternoon Ladies and Gentle Men, I have record special show with Holly Woods superstar and furry beach sensation Mr David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff. He even give me swim lesson after show. He say I like duck in water, I say it must have been a fury, handsome duck with excellent taste."

Compare The Meerkat Aleksandr Orlov David Hasselhoff podcastCompare The Meerkat podcast - Aleksandr Orlov meets David Hasselhoff

Brand Republic write that the 12-minute podcast features Aleksandr asking The Hoff a series of probing questions on a variety of subjects, including whether he is a member of "Titter" and "advice on how to deal with zee ladies". Brand Republic go on to quote The Hoff as saying "You must say your career is more important than marriage and unfortunately you cannot share your love only one person."

Podcast available here.

Jeff Jarvis posed the question in the title of his book 'What Would Google Do?' but after seeing the Hoff star in viral emails, socialise TV ads, create communities / iPhone apps and now appear on podcasts it might actually be more productive to ask yourself 'What would the Hoff do?' (!)

[Hat tip to Fulham FC football player (and Hoff fanatic / internet genius) Moritz Volz for some of the Hoff images above -]

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