Sunday, October 16, 2011

Get Viral !

Viral Marketing refers to any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to hundreds, thousands, to millions.

Viral marketing has also been referred to as "word-of-mouth," "creating a buzz,". The various media may also include video clips, interactive forums, newsletters, ebooks and images. The goal of a successful viral marketing program is to appeal to those who have high social networking potential i.e. people who are the thought leaders in their circles. They, then spread the message through their channels carrying the added trust of the person who is forwarding it. The basic idea is that when such an ad reaches a susceptible user, the person accepts the idea i.e. he gets infected and shares it with other, thus infecting them. The viral chain is thus formed, and the message spreads exponentially. It is effective as a means of drawing high response rates.

Viral Marketing can impact consumer behaviour by influencing consumer perceptions, attitudes and views, and is inexpensive in comparison to many other forms of advertising and marketing campaigns. With the decline of traditional marketing techniques, Viral marketing can be a useful technique of segmenting customers by the way the behave and feel. 

Viral Marketing in Practice:

Batman - The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight viral campaign was one of the most widespread of its kind. It included everything from websites for Gotham Cab company to a real life campaign for Harvey Dent. The campaign engaged people on a different level. And the results speak. It made ridiculous amounts of money at the box office and on DVD. Of course, there were other factors involved (Heath Ledger’s death, and just how great the film looked,) but the viral campaign succeeded in creating unprecedented amounts of hype.

Smirnoff- Smirnoff’s viral “Tea Partay” video was an instant hit. It features preppy, Ivy League white boys doing a rap about throwing a tea party. The video just begs to be shared with others, making it a viral success.

Vodafone Vodafone’s ad campaign featuring the Zoozoo creatures have become an international sensation. Developed in India, the playful commercials have made their way to the internet and become viral hits. The campaign, “Make the Most of Now,” has become truly global as a result. The videos have collected millions of online views worldwide and firmly positioned the Zoozoo creatures as lovable global icons.


BMW, Dove, Samsung, Levi's the list goes on. Viral marketing has benefited several companies and agencies. However they cannot flood the web with a string of would-be viral campaigns.  They cannot overstay their welcome in a world constantly searching for that next “cool” thing.  Viral content is interesting, provocative, limitless, original, and  groundbreaking. The message conveyed matters and companies must not presume that they can simply create this type of content as they don't have the final say in what becomes the next sensation.  People like us do.

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