Viral and out of control

26 Sep

We all love a great viral campaign. Whether it advertises a product or political message if it reaches its target audience and creates buzz it influences perceptions about brands, products and people.

One of the great advantages of viral marketing is that distribution costs are extremely low and that audience reach potential is immense. But the risks of viral marketing is still very high within the significant initial investment in the viral agent and actual seeding. There is absolutely no guarantee that a campaign will go “viral”. There are however some best practice planning and management techniques to ensure the viral word of mouth message does reach its target audience.

Seth Godin does emphasise the importance of starting small by seeding niche audiences that have a high level of connectivity with a larger audience base and using them as advocates to spread the message. Some academics however (Watts & Dodds) disagree and conclude that most social change is largely driven by vast groups of people who are eaily influenced.

In practice any viral campaign requires a clever idea, a game or informative data to create memorable viewing. Seeding should occur on websites and with people who will spread the message effecively and quickly. Finally tracking is a must to assess the return from the investment and potential WOM.

And of course I have some examples of viral campaigns to check out for you. Let me know which one you like best.

Rexona Stunt City

A well known deodorant goes viral and out of control. This was a very successful viral campaign for Rexona Netherlands. Admittedly a rather boring product is turned into a great viral campaign. Actually this is also a good example how to blow your entire marketing budget on one viral ad….

Tippex Viral Campaign

This is an amazing campaign by Tippex providing an interactive element for the audience and a clear link to the product. The audience is invited to continue the bear story and direct the movie to a conclusion. The product connection is established by the product being involved in some of the movie elements.

Nokia – Worlds smallest stop motion animation

This ad has not gone viral yet but may take off in a few days. Currently only 200,000 have seen it. It was shot entirely using a Nokia N8 mobile phone camera and special magnifying technology. It features the smallest stop motion animation character. The entire set was only about a meter long! Visit the Nokia campaign site with more info on how this amazing little movie was made.

8 Bits Movie

This is a very unusual short film advertising a game.


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