Viral Marketing

Social Media Turns on Letterman

letterman-palinAs is so often the case with David Letterman, it all started with a stupid joke. While on air, Letterman made some comments regarding former vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin and her daughter attending a New York Yankees baseball game. Palin and her 14-year-old daughter had attended the game, after which Letterman joked that Palin’s daughter was “knocked up” by baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez during the seventh inning stretch. Letterman was obviously referring to Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, who recently gave birth to a son.

But the joke was widely misinterpreted. As such, people thought that Letterman was referring to Palin’s younger daughter, and the backlash was swift. Many people were disappointed, outraged, or otherwise disgusted by Letterman’s joke. Michael Patrick Leahy was particularly upset, prompting him to tell FOXNews, “It is highly inappropriate for a 62-year-old man to make sexual insults about a 14-year-old girl.”

Utilizing the venues available to him, Leahy became a co-founder of FireDavidLetterman.com. The site provided a platform for similarly outraged viewers to connect and organize. In particular, they organized a rally calling for the termination of Letterman due to his “disgraceful statements.”

The site also offers a place to add your name and email address in order to let CBS know that you will not purchase any CBS sponsored product until Letterman gets the ax.
(more…)

Sometimes, All It Takes is a Little Insight

weezerFormed in 1992, Weezer is an instantly recognizable name in American pop rock. They’ve won Grammys, they’ve released six full length studio albums, and they’ve enjoyed the sale of eight million of those records in the US alone.

So why would an established band like Weezer turn to viral marketing? Because even highly successful and well known entities can benefit from this powerful means of marketing. As such, Weezer premiered the music video for their new single “Pork and Beans” on YouTube.

Aided by their established notoriety and the video’s use of many internet sensations, the music video became one of the most popular submissions on YouTube the week of its debut. The video’s subsequent popularity helped it take home the Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video.

But the YouTube video did more than further their renown. It also helped them better target their demographic. How? The band used YouTube Insight on their highly popular video. Insight is a free analytics tool that allows YouTube users to gather audience age, video views, and more.
(more…)

Offline Marketing for an Online Business

marketingAs more and more businesses search for ways to cut down on costs, the business model of owning a brick and mortar store with a leased space and employees is beginning to dwindle. Rather, people are turning their efforts and concentration to the online market. But even with a strictly online business, it doesn’t mean that marketing has to be confined to the online arena. Instead, companies should combine online and offline marketing tactics to drive business to their online store.

Utilizing these two channels simply makes good sense. After all, interest in your site is always a positive no matter how that traffic was generated. So whether you’re getting an influx of visitors because of a print ad or because of a viral video, increased traffic means the increased likelihood of sales. So why not double the potential traffic by releasing a viral video and a print ad?

For your offline efforts, consider some of the following tactics and techniques.
(more…)

Online Competition Results in Real Life Concert

instrumentFor everyone who has ever dismissed YouTube solely as the breeding ground of juvenile videos and amateur home footage, the recently realized YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YTSO) has done its part to dispel that judgment. Several months in the making, the online competition called for musicians of all ages, nationalities, and instruments to submit video auditions displaying their talents. The prize for winning participants? Winning a seat in the YTSO meant the chance to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall for a special one-night performance.

Word spread quickly, and turnout for the competition was impressive. About 3,000 hopeful musicians, both amateurs and professionals, submitted viral audition videos to YouTube. And in true YouTube fashion, they ranged from the creative to the extraordinary to the downright strange.
(more…)

I Love You Less Than Beef

It is becoming an increasing trend for established businesses to utilize social networking sites in order to promote themselves, but Burger King has taken that trend and put a slightly different spin on it. Rather than promoting positive discussion on forums like MySpace or Facebook, Burger King has officially launched the “Whopper Sacrifice.”

This new campaign has Whopper-crazed Facebookers install the Whopper Sacrifice application to their Facebook profiles. Then all you have to do is de-friend 10 people, enter your email address, and a coupon for a free Whopper will be sent your way. The campaign was initially launched in order to promote BK’s latest beef concoction, the “Angry Whopper.”
(more…)

Motrin Causes More Pain than it Cures

It kind of seems like a no-brainer, but viral marketing needs to be just as researched, focus grouped, and thought out as print advertising. While most people would respond to this with a hearty, “duh,” this is apparently a lesson that still needs to be learned by the ad agency that worked on the most recent viral campaign for the pain reliever Motrin.

Their latest marketing efforts created the following:

While Motrin wanted to convey the idea that they felt mother’s pain, the overly slick video only seemed to anger mothers and non-mothers alike. It’s painfully obvious now to Motrin (and most people who saw the ad) that this viral marketing effort was not created by or run by any real life mothers.
(more…)

Comedy Central Presents…Jokes.com

For everyone that thrives on a daily fix of humor, there’s good news in the world of online funniness. Comedy Central has officially announced the reopening of Jokes.com, a website dedicated to all things stand-up.

The site currently offers upwards of 5,000 clips of stand-up comedians, and this archive includes many of the popular comedians that have been previously featured on Comedy Central.

Other site features will include a database of 12,000 text-based jokes as well as a search feature so that users can easily find any of the comedians within Jokes.com. The site currently has over one thousand stand-up comedians and only looks to grow in the coming months.
(more…)

15 Minutes of Viral Fame

With President-elect Barack Obama’s recent use of the internet to organize and mobilize his campaign, it seems like everyone is discussing the power of having a strong viral presence. And while Obama’s internet popularity earned him a ticket straight to the White House, not every internet sensation has been so fortunate. With that in mind, kick back, raise your wireless mouse in a toast, and recall the faces of viral fame past.
(more…)

Change Moves Viral

Running on a campaign of change, President-elect Barack Obama took the election in an electoral landslide. (Pause for cyber cheers and cyber boos…) And while people are generally used to politicians backtracking on their election platforms, Obama has already made good on his continued promise to enact change. And it came in the form of the newly launched website Change.gov.

The interactive website is just one more way Obama is harnessing the amazing power inherent in the internet. He used it to great success during his campaign, finishing the story of triumph that looked to be Howard Dean’s in 2004. That is, had he not done this.

Enacting a viral campaign, Obama won over the youth vote and organized masses of people in unprecedented numbers. He even hired Chris Hughes, better known as the co-founder of Facebook, to coordinate his social networking campaign. Under his direction, My.BarackObama.com served as the social networking hub where all the supporters could congregate online. This far exceeded any online efforts from the McCain camp.
(more…)

Viral Marketing

Viral MarketingOne of the fundamental components in advertising is utilizing effective word of mouth. People telling other people about your products or services is an excellent way to build a base and introduce new customers to your business. Many industries rely on word of mouth to support their business model, like real estate, where your success can sometimes depend solely on who you know. Of course the quality of your product or service has something to do with the success of this word of mouth, but not always. I’ve known some really successful people in business who were much better at socializing than the actual work. The bottom line is word of mouth advertising is an important practice to understand, especially for the business owner looking to market for minimal dollars.
(more…)