Posts Tagged ‘viral marketing’

Five of the best: Viral Videos

August 13, 2010

Welcome back to the Skywrite blog. Are you ready to receive your punishment? Then I’ll begin.

It takes a special kind of video to make the leap from throwaway snippet of content on YouTube to global phenomenon. Nevetheless, every year, a few make the cut and spread around the world faster than Salmonella on a cruise ship.

While marketers worldwide continue to try to lay down the rules of how to create successful viral content, let’s look at some of the videos that have already shown the way…

Leeroy Jenkins (2006)

A clip from World of Warcraft didn’t seem that promising as viral premises go, but it’s the running conversation between the assembled nerds that makes this one unmissable. “Leeeeeeeeeeroy Jeeeeeeeeenkins!” has undoubtedly become the rallying cry for desperate madmen everywhere.

 Keyboard Cat (2009)

Who can resist a cat wearing a T-Shirt, hammering out a catchy tune on a keyboard? Fatso the cat became such an internet success that you can even find a keyboard cat version of a certain annoyingly popular T-Shirt…

Leave Britney Alone! (2007)

When things looked bleak for Britney personally and professionally, Chris Crocker’s tearful plea for mercy attracted almost 2 million views in 24 hours.

David After Dentist (2009)

What happens when you mix a 7 year-old high on anaesthetic with a father whose only concern seems to be capturing the comedy gold on camera?

Grape Lady Falls (2007)

Reminiscent of “You’ve Been Framed”, there’s something timeless about watching this jovial TV presenter completely wipe-out…


Gnome rest for the wicked!

October 22, 2008

Has anybody noticed the suspiciously high amount of gnome activity lately? Last March, this video surfaced showing a gnome quite creepily crossing a road in Argentina:


In August, this Daily Mail story told how a garden gnome was stolen, taken on a round-the-world trip and returned home complete with photo album. Now, the creepy Argentinean gnome is back!

My PR side thinks this could all be part of an elaborate, if extremely patient, viral marketing campaign.  The creepy gnome videos certainly have gone viral but is an organisation behind them? There were rumours that the gnome could have been a Grunt from the Halo game franchise. Perhaps rivals World of Warcraft are behind it, showing off one of the races in its game? I really hope so – it’s great to see good virals done well.

Virals Continued: Is religion the ultimate viral?

September 26, 2008





As a follow up to my previous entry on viral marketing, I have been looking for natural examples of the viral effect in society. It turns out that many of these have already been identified and are called “memes”.


A meme consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a culture just like a viral campaign. The more beneficial a meme is to society the more it spreads, the less beneficial the more quickly it dies out.


Dances, cultural traditions, catch-phrases and even well-known theories are all examples of memes. Some memes were very useful (e.g. wearing animal skins) whilst others served no purpose at all, but were copied anyway (e.g. putting feathers in one’s hair).


But perhaps the most consistently successful type of meme is religion (or perhaps religion itself is just a collection of memes…) Religion can unify your society, it can make your armies fight harder, it may reduce the chance of civil unrest (how many rulers have been ordained by God?), it can lower the chances of spreading disease (e.g. no sex before marriage), it can reduce crime, it can provide a basic code of laws and so on. Little wonder more successful cultures had religion!


So next time you want to make a viral that works, take a look back through history. Viral marketing is as old as we are. For now the tip seems to be “make your viral as beneficial as possible”, but this has also shown me that humans have evolved to copy and pass on information. We have literally evolved to be susceptible to viral marketing!

Susan Blackmore on Memes:


The keys to successful viral marketing

July 25, 2008


One of the first stumbling-blocks that people encounter when talking about viral marketing is a confusion over what differentiates a viral campaign from mainstream marketing. True viral campaigns all share a number of key elements:


● They transmit themselves over existing communications networks


● They are self-replicating – just like a biological or computer virus


● The campaign can grow without your support (or control)


● The recipients pass on the marketing message voluntarily


Confusion also often results from the fact that viral campaigns can operate over a large number of different media: word of mouth, games, videos, eBooks, software, images, e-mail and even text messages.


So what makes a viral campaign become a great viral campaign?


1] You must ensure the viral is compatible with the values and personality of your brand and does not undermine the existing perception of it.


2] The viral must also be intrinsically relevant to the brand so that it cannot ‘shake off’ the brand’s message. An excellent example of this is Hotmail’s viral self-marketing on its own emails – users spread the viral as part and parcel with the free service.


3] Make sure that you have clearly mapped out the viral’s objective. Are you trying to build awareness, increase customer numbers, promote a specific event or do something else?


4] Your central concept for the viral has to stand out – it must be interesting, new and different. Ask yourself, why will people talk about this?


5] The viral must give the recipient something in return for spreading it. For example, a user passing on a funny viral expects to receive recognition and admiration from his friends for making them laugh.


6] It is important that your viral originates from a credible entity – i.e. it cannot blatantly come from an advertising or PR agency.


7] Identify individuals with a high social networking potential (SNP) and target them: for example, targeting prominent bloggers and pushing your product into the hands of leading consumers can be invaluable strategies.


8] Finally, you have ten to twenty seconds. Any longer and you will not be able to grab the audience’s attention. According to Jupiter Research’s latest European consumer survey, only 5% of the internet population has ever forwarded a marketing message.


And remember, it is extremely important to monitor the results of your viral – not least because your clients will want to know where their money went!


Of course, these media viruses can also spring up naturally… like the “dramatic gopher”…


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