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The Viral Strategy

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Viral Video Strategy: A summary

  • What is viral marketing
  • Viral Video best practice
  • Our viral video activities
  • How to launch a viral (with help from Dan Ackerman Greenberg)
  • The golden rules of viral video
  • Challenges for us

What is viral marketing? (According to Wikipedia)

Viral marketing …[ed]…refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.[1] Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages.

Viral Video Best Practice (aka what makes a good viral video)

  • Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; longer formats can work but the shorter the better, break down long stories into bite-sized clips.
  • Don’t make an outright ad or a promo: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing.
  • Have a great thumbnail: This is your number 1 selling point, this is your poster, this alone will get you views. Particularly in YouTube.
  • Have a compelling title: This is your number 2 selling point. Make the viewer say, “Holy shit, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”
  • Make the viewer question the content from the title: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: David Stratton attacks ABC colleague

Trends in viral video content

What is real? What’s not? (too real to be true)

Humour & Odd

Tests, games & puzzles

Fake News reports

VFX driven videos

BBC Penguins could also fit under this category

Leaks, exclusives & behind the scenes

  • Underbelly2 – ‘unofficially’ leaked clip pulled down prior to early reviews
  • The Lenovo Tapes – Lenovo laptops branding exercise

Banned promos (where they really?)

How does one spread a viral in YouTube?

In November of 2007, Dan Ackerman Greenberg, the co-founder of a clandestine video marketing company, was the subject of a guest interview in Techcrunch. His article, entitled The Secret Strategies behind many “Viral” videos, received a barrage of criticism. Mostly due to the perceived dubious techniques he claimed to employ in order to rack up views for his clients. In his defence, Dan responded with another article in which he attempts to clarify some of the points he made. I have summarised all of his points and added a few of my own…

Getting onto the “Most Viewed” page in YouTube

The core concept of video marketing on YouTube is to harness the power of the site’s traffic. …something like 80 million videos are watched each day on YouTube, and a significant number of those views come from people clicking the “Videos” tab at the top. The goal is to get a video on that Videos page, which lists the Daily Most Viewed videos.

Firstly, Viral Video key points (based on Dan Ackerman Greenberg’s article)

  • Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; longer formats can work but the shorter the better, break down long stories into bite-sized clips
  • Optimise your Thumbnail: YouTube gives you 3 thumbnail choices. Use the most provocative image you can – or embed a specific thumbnail into the timeline using the YouTube thumbnail caculator or read more about the ratio rule at Techcrunch.
  • Optimise your Title: Titles can be changed a limitless number of times, so we sometimes have a catchy (and somewhat misleading) title for the first few days, then later switch to something more relevant to the brand.
  • If uploading ONE video – optimise your Tags for ‘Related Videos’. Find the most relevant and popular videos in YouTube, analyse it’s Keywords and align yourself with this video by using as many of the relevant tags you can.
  • If uploading MULTIPLE videos: See Strategic Tagging below…
  • Design for remixing/responding: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed or responded to over and over again. Ex: “Dramatic Hamster” , “Star Wars Kid”
  • Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing. Ex: Sony Bravia
  • Make Comments: Encourage others to comment, generally the more controversial the comments the better. If you have mulitple logins, login and make your own comments.
  • Make the video a Favourite: Encourage viewers to add it to their favourite videos list.
  • Rate the video: Encourage viewers to rate your video.
  • Make YouTube Annotations in your videos: These can be notes or URLs to other sites or other videos.
  • Add Captions and subtitles: Allow people to enjoy your video in other languages.
  • Add Video Responses: Or encourage others to Respond to your video with one of their own.
  • Get Subscribers: Encourage your audience to subscribe to your videos.
  • Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: “UFO Haiti”
  • Use fake headlines: make the viewer say, “Holy shit, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”
  • Appeal to sex: if all else fails, hire the most attractive women available to be in the video. Ex: “Yoga 4 Dudes”

Upload all videos at once…then Rinse and Repeat

When our first video [ has reached the Most Viewed page], we delete our second video then re-upload it and using Strategic Tagging (see below) we have another 48-hour window to push it and our other videos to the Most Viewed page. Rinse and repeat. Using this strategy, we give our most interested viewers the chance to fully engage with a campaign without compromising the opportunity to individually release and market each consecutive video.

Strategic Tagging: Leading viewers down the rabbit hole

YouTube allows you to tag your videos with keywords that make your videos show up in relevant searches. For the first week that our video is online, we don’t use keyword tags to optimize the video for searches on YouTube. Instead, we’ve discovered that you can use tags to control the videos that show up in the Related Videos box. So how do we strategically tag? We choose three or four unique tags and use only these tags for all of the videos we post. I’m not talking about obscure tags; I’m talking about unique tags, tags that are not used by any other YouTube videos. Done correctly, this will allow us to have full control over the videos that show up as “Related Videos.” When views start trailing off after a few days to a week, it’s time to add some more generic tags, tags that draw out the long tail of a video as it starts to appear in search results on YouTube and Google.

How to make it onto the Most Viewed Page

  • Blogs: We reach out to individuals who run relevant blogs and actually pay them to post our embedded videos. Sounds a little bit like cheating/PayPerPost, but it’s effective and it’s not against any rules.
  • Forums: We start new threads and embed our videos. Sometimes, this means kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users. Yes, it’s tedious and time-consuming, but if we get enough people working on it, it can have a tremendous effect.
  • MySpace: Plenty of users allow you to embed YouTube videos right in the comments section of their MySpace pages. We take advantage of this.
  • Facebook: Share, share, share. We’ve taken Dave McClure’s advice and built a sizeable presence on Facebook, so sharing a video with our entire friends list can have a real impact. Other ideas include creating an event that announces the video launch and inviting friends, writing a note and tagging friends, or posting the video on Facebook Video with a link back to the original YouTube video.
  • Email lists: Send the video to an email list. Depending on the size of the list (and the recipients’ willingness to receive links to YouTube videos), this can be a very effective strategy.
  • Friends: Make sure everyone we know watches the video and try to get them to email it out to their friends, or at least share it on Facebook.

Each video has a shelf life of 48 hours before it’s moved from the Daily Most Viewed list to the Weekly Most Viewed list, so it’s important that this happens quickly. As I mentioned before, when done right, this is a tremendously successful strategy.

Metrics/Tracking: How we measure effectiveness

The following is how we measure the success of our viral videos. For one, we tweak the links put up on YouTube (whether in a YouTube channel or in a video description) by adding “?video=1” to the end of each URL. This makes it much easier to track inbound links using Google Analytics or another metrics tool. TubeMogul and VidMetrix also track views/comments/ratings on each individual video and draw out nice graphs that can be shared with the team. Additionally, these tools follow the viral spread of a video outside of YouTube and throughout other social media sites and blogs.

The golden rules of viral

1. Don’t patronise your audience – they bite

Viral marketing is a great way of targetting the media savvy 20-35 y.o. market, AKA the ‘entertain me or f@#k off’ generation. This generation don’t mind advertising & clever marketing as long as it’s entertaining. Take a look at some of the comments left by the YouTube audience in response to the video David Stratton attacks ABC colleague that was part of the campaign to promote Review with Myles Barlow. While you’re at it, take a look at Myles’ video response – Myles Barlow attacks David Stratton.

I think it’s cool that David would lend his public persona to promote Review. It says a lot for the show!
He is joking. It is clever promotion.
Very clever marketing? Well, not too clever, because everyone’s realised it’s marketing. Haven’t they??
lol I don’t think the ABC are expecting people to believe that it’s real. It’s fun…ride with it.
As you can see… they were onto us within the first 24 hours – but they liked it…

2. Viral videos are not TV promos

It won’t always work to plonk a TV promo on the interweb and hope that it finds an audience. It’s an entirely different medium and people are less likely to promote your promo if its an obvious promo. There are of course exceptional excetptions to this rule and the Penguins – BBC did manage to pull it off, with the help of Terry Jones, some penguins, some VFX and a rather expensive Advertising Agency.

3. Make it interesting, make it engaging, make it debatable…give it TALKABILITY

The authenticity of the video’s content  is one of the biggest issues of debate when it comes to viral videos. The more comments and lively debate your video has, the more it will be promoted by the recommendation engine within YouTube.

Useful References

The top 10 virals of 2008 (according to Campaign / Brand Republic)

The top 5 Chinese language virals of 2008 (according to China)

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Written by shootstreet

January 16, 2009 at 3:36 am

Posted in Viral

Is the viral is now owned by Production companies?

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I think so. It was just a matter of time and some of them deserve to own it and really get the medium – UK’s the Viral Factory comes to mind. Others just move into that space with the same old production methods and just make short films for the web. Some of which are great, some of which are not. Then they all pat themselves on the back and call it a viral success.

Lets have a look at the 8 viral contenders for the Canne Cyber Lion 2009.

Written by shootstreet

June 24, 2009 at 12:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lawrence Leung’s Rubik’s Cube solution

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Lawrence Leung 45 second cube solve

Lawrence Leung may not be the fastest as solving the cube – 45 seconds is nowhere near the world record of 5 seconds held by Lars Petrus. But lawrence has certainly has taken cube solving to another level – in his ABC TV series; Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure he attempts to solve the rubiks cube in a number of dangerous locations and situations as he attempts to set a new world record using the Rubik’s Cube.

Rubik’s Cube tutorial – How to solve the first layer

In this tutorial you will learn how to solve the rubik’s cube using the layer method. There are many other methods you can use. But the layer method is the easiest. In the layer method you begin by solving one layer or face of the rubik’s cube – nine – but the centre piece does not move. You begin by making a white cross, the cross pieces have two colours. Once you have made the cross you now need to solve the corners. The corner pieces have three colours. Here we have the white green and red piece and we want that piece to go up here. We do that by using a sequence of moves. You want to end up with the piece below the actual position you want it in then move it up to the correct position. There’s one more piece to go, there it is, lets take it up to here using three moves. Describe algorithm. There it is the first layer solved.

A basic 8 move Rubik's Cube algorithm

A basic 8 move Rubik's Cube algorithm

Rubik’s Cube tutorial – How to solve the second layer

So it’s time to solve the middle layer. To solve the middle layer there are only four pieces that you need to move. Because the centre pieces don’t move they denote the colour of the face. For example if you wanted to move this piece here, the green and red piece into the green and red piece here I use 8 moves. Describe algorithm. Repeat the same 8 moves to move each piece altering the direction. Describe algorithm. Repeat the same 8 moves to move each piece altering the direction. Describe algorithm. Repeat the same 8 moves to move each piece altering the direction. Describe algorithm. Repeat the same 8 moves to move each piece altering the direction. Describe algorithm. Repeat the same 8 moves to move each piece altering the direction.

A basic 8 move Rubik's Cube algorithm

A basic 8 move Rubik's Cube algorithm

Rubik’s Cube tutorial – How to solve the final layer

The final layer is actually the complex layer to solve. At this stage you should have a yellow cross – as you can see here. I will start by moving the corner pieces into the correct positions. As you can see 1 piece is already in the correct position. But the three remaining pieces are not. So I will shuffle those three pieces around until they end up in the their right positions and to do that I have an algorithm to move those pieces. Describe algorithm. I have shuffled them once but as you can see they still need to move around one more step. There you go now you can see all the pieces are now in the correct positions. All three remaining pieces are now in the correct positions they are just not facing the correct way – which is yellow face up. So in order to shift these pieces around within shifting their positions I do use the following algorithms. Describe final algorithm.

A basic 8 move Rubik's Cube algorithm

A basic 8 move Rubik's Cube algorithm

Written by shootstreet

March 5, 2009 at 12:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

From Marketing Sherpa – Snowglobe boy

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Snowglobe Boy

http://www.awardshowsubmissions.com/snowglobeboy.html

MarketingSherpa Summary:
Sometimes elaborate tactics aren’t required to stimulate a viral response; all it takes is one great idea. Ad agency McKinney’s idea was to take holiday ecards to a new level by putting an employee inside a giant inflatable snow globe for four days and broadcasting it on a microsite 24 hours a day. Visitors could receive “season’s greetings” from Snowglobe Boy and chat with him. In a week, a small seed of a Facebook page, a YouTube video and about 1,000 emails to McKinney’s friends attracted about 50,000 unique visitors, network press coverage and lots of search traffic.

Agency: None
Client/company: McKinney
Brand campaign was conducted for: Snowglobe Boy
Launch date of campaign: Dec. 11, 2007
Target audience/demographic: Clients, media, vendors and the world

Campaign Goal:
Do something different, something innovative and something that would save paper typically used by McKinney to send out a holiday card to their friends in the business. The solution was an interactive online holiday greeting – one like nothing experienced before.

Creative:
Out of this goal the concept of Snowglobe Boy was born. Snowglobe Boy was simply a guy living inside an inflatable snow globe sending holiday cheer to everyone around the world. A microsite was developed. Users could watch him 24 hours a day through three mounted webcams. The microsite also featured a chat function, so that users could cheer him on and ask questions.

Outside of the microsite, a blog was created so Snowglobe Boy could keep a diary of his daily events and happenings. A Facebook page was created so people could communicate with him within the social network.

Seed Strategy:
Sometimes, viral success is simply about the power of an idea – or, in this case, an interaction with a boy in a snow globe. Seeding was limited to make it an entirely grassroots viral phenomenon. Seeds that led to the most success included a story on the local Raleigh newspaper website; a Facebook profile; a YouTube video; 1,000 emails sent out to McKinney’s friends.

Buzz Generated:
The buzz was astounding. The campaign generated 105 million PR impressions across all mediums. Links to press coverage: http://www.awardshowsubmissions.com/snowglobeboy.html

Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
The campaign was a great success for McKinney:

  • 50,000 unique visitors in one week
  • 28,500 views on YouTube
  • 105 million PR impressions
  • 11th-ranked item searched on Google, Dec 14, 2007
  • 2nd most searched item on MSN.com, Dec 14, 2007

Results showed up as soon as the emails went out to the friends of McKinney. From there, Snowglobe Boy mentions started appearing on blogs and message boards. It then snowballed onto the national media scene. After the boy exited the snow globe, visits steadily declined over a matter of a week.

Biggest Lesson:
The biggest surprise was how fast Snowglobe Boy caught on. It took only four days for the national media to show interest in Snowglobe Boy. And after four days of phenomenal success, Snowglobe Boy was allowed to leave the globe and enjoy the McKinney holiday party.

Written by shootstreet

February 3, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

From Marketing Sherpa – Sporting Portugal needs you

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Sporting Portugal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ42Kf_SFkE

MarketingSherpa Summary:
Sporting Portugal created a website that let users submit their name and telephone number to become part of an interactive ad. A video showing a well-known soccer coach stressing out in a locker room ended with a phone call to the submitted number with the coach encouraging the visitor to come to the stadium because “the team needs you.” The idea attracted plenty of blog coverage and more than 610,000 people to the site in two weeks. The all-time record for season ticket sales was shattered on the first day of the season.

Agency: Draftfcb and eStara
Client/company: Sporting Portugal
Brand campaign was conducted for: Sporting Portugal
Launch date of campaign: Aug. 7, 2007
Target audience/demographic: Team supporters and fans

Campaign Goal:
To create a memorable, interactive Web ad that would promote the Sporting Portugal team and brand, encourage game attendance and drive season ticket sales.

Creative:
An ad was created for the Sporting website. It asked viewers to first supply their name and telephone number to find out more about how to help the football team succeed.

Users who entered their name and number were shown a brief video of the team in the locker room before a game while coach Paulo Bento paces in the hallway. Another coach hands him a list of names, and tells him that someone is missing. The coach looks at the list, sees the viewer’s name on the list and dials his phone. The viewer’s own phone rings, and the coach urges the viewer to get down to the stadium fast because the team needs him/her.

Measurement criteria included the number of calls made via the eStara Click to Call service that powered the interactive capabilities of the ad and the number of new memberships secured.

Seed Strategy:
The ad was placed on the homepage of Sporting Portugal’s website.

Buzz Generated:
The creativeness of the campaign resulted in massive interest from the local and national media in Portugal. The campaign was covered on various marketing blogs. For example:

Vanksen Culturebuzz: Viral marketing for Sporting Portugal:
http://www.culture-buzz.com/blog/Viral-marketing-for-Sporting-Portugal-1437.html

A Source of Inspiration: Sporting draft:
http://www.asourceofinspiration.com/2007/08/08/sporting-draft/

Wikipedia: Cited in definition of “viral marketing”:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing

Technorati: Sporting Portugal campaign:
http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D–jZFUPr49Q

Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
The ad and the Internet call to action had Bento making 200,000 calls in two days! Word of mouth drew 610,000 visits to the Sporting.org website in just two weeks, resulting in 1,500 new memberships. The campaign helped to break the all-time record for season ticket sales on the first day of the season.

Written by shootstreet

February 3, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

From Marketing Sherpa – Liberty Fillmore, the Cart Whisperer

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Liberty Fillmore, the Cart Whisperer

http://www.nomoreabandonedcarts.com

MarketingSherpa Summary:
Ask any eretailer: abandoned shopping carts are a challenge. And nobody cares more about that challenge than Liberty Fillmore, the Cart Whisperer. Internet infrastructure provider VeriSign created a series of fun videos featuring the fictitious Liberty Fillmore, who teaches that website shopping cart abandonment is preventable. The campaign included submissions to YouTube, a MySpace page, a Facebook page and a website for Fillmore’s poetry, videos and contest. The videos delivered a heap of blog coverage and more than three million views on YouTube.

Agency: McCann Erickson
Client/company: VeriSign
Brand campaign was conducted for: Extended Validation SSL (site security for shopping)
Launch date of campaign: Feb. 25, 2008
Target audience/demographic: IT retail

Campaign Goal:
Create awareness of how visible site security can prevent online shopping cart abandonment, essentially rescuing carts. Additionally, we wanted to connect the ubiquitous image of physical abandoned shopping carts to virtual carts.

Creative:
A character, Liberty Fillmore the Cart Whisperer, was created to help tell the unique story of shopping cart abandonment. Through a series of viral videos, traffic was driven to a site that Fillmore created himself (with some help from a tech-savvy cousin). There, users could do the following: watch the videos, browse and submit (UGC) photos to the album, learn about Fillmore, read his poetry, enter a contest by finding a nomadic shopping cart on the site (its whereabouts changed every day), link to his MySpace and Facebook pages and learn about his sponsors who are helping to save online shopping carts.

Seed Strategy:
The campaign launched by seeding the video on YouTube and in media player applications and widgets on Facebook pages and various blogs. Additionally, a teaser video banner ran on sites to drive our core target audience to the campaign.

Buzz Generated:
Thanks to excellent coverage in the blogosphere, site traffic is sustaining itself without new videos, seeding or paid media. An abbreviated list of quality mentions:

Aquila Online: The cart whisperer:
http://www.aquilaonline.co.za/2008/04/the-cart-whisperer/

Spark Effect: Overstock.com and VeriSign try a little subtlety:
http://www.sparkeffect.com/2008/04/overstockcom-and-verisign-try-little_13.html

AdRants: Abandoned carts have feelings too. Also, they talk. Also, this guy’s INSANE:
http://www.adrants.com/2008/03/abandoned-carts-have-feelings-too-also.php

The Buzz and Viral Marketing: The Cart Whisperer:
http://kgerringer1.blogspot.com/2008/03/cart-whisperer.html

Cutting Digital Teeth: The Cart Whisperer:
http://claretownhill.typepad.com/weblog/2008/03/the-cart-whispe.html

Viral Blog: Viral Friday: Food Fight:
http://www.viralblog.com/2008/03/14/viral-friday-food-fight/

Nobody Asked…: The Cart Whisperer…:
http://www.nobodyasked.com/2008/03/08/cart-whisperer/

iMarketer Blog: The Cart Whisperer: A YouTube case study:
http://www.4syndication.com/mdv_communications_online
_marketing_blog/the_cart_whisperer_a_youtube
_case_study/30386/v.do?rssView=true

Future Now: The fight against shopping cart abandonment:
http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/03/05/verisign-cart-whisperer-campaign/

Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
So far, the videos have been viewed collectively almost 3.3 million times on YouTube alone (seeding was done at the top 12 video sites). The site has seen 88,804 unique visitors with the average site visit growing over time to 4:13. The photo album continues to be the most popular section of the site. Users have submitted 61 photos to date.

The Shopping Cart Evolution video outpaced the launch video. Results were almost instant. Site traffic took a considerable dip without any paid seeding or traditional banners, but it is now rebounding on its own.

Biggest Lesson:
YouTube views do not equal site visitors. We knew this going in, but wanted to close the gap over time. We played with various calls to action at the end of the videos and saw an increase. If we were back at square one, we would have launched three videos – one every four days for 12 days to try and monopolize two weeks and a month of the Most Viewed categories. Viral success is so fleeting, and that means your launch has to sustain its momentum, at least for longer than two days on YouTube.

Surprise: How eagerly viewers welcomed a whacky campaign from a brand that’s known to be staid and conservative.

Written by shootstreet

February 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

From Marketing Sherpa – Printing’s Alive from Pazazz

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Printing’s Alive

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpAuDrs5ocg
http://www.pazazz.com/

MarketingSherpa Summary:
Pazazz’s edgy video shows that viral success is possible without breaking the bank. Pazazz wanted to convey its love for printing by making people laugh, and this 3-1/2-minute video does just that on a shoestring budget. Seeding consisted of an email to Pazazz’s house list, a YouTube video, links on Facebook and LinkedIn and press releases to industry publications. The video has received 133,000 views and more than 20 requests for a high-resolution copy to show at conferences and corporate events, plus a speaking gig for the CEO at major conference.

Agency: None
Client/company: Pazazz
Brand campaign was conducted for: Printing’s Alive
Launch date of campaign: Jan. 7, 2008
Target audience/demographic: Everyone who buys print

Campaign Goal:
Create a video made for fun and to promote print in an unconventional way. Printing’s Alive features Print Fanatic and his team; they love printing and want to make it fun to attract young and creative people.

The 3-1/2 minute video was written and filmed at Pazazz’s headquarters in Montreal. “We wanted to make people laugh,” says Warren Werbitt, President and CEO, Pazazz. “We’re passionate about printing, and we wanted everyone to know.”

Creative:
The message behind the video is simple: We work in an old industry with old ways and some old leadership that has yet to “get it.” We wrote a script that played up the positive aspects of the print industry. Then, we filmed a video outside of Pazazz’s Montreal office using real employees. Even though it was done in the early fall, it was not released until January 2008, when it was designed as a “pick me up” in the new year.

Seed Strategy:
Members of Pazazz’s database were emailed a link to the video. That same URL was also placed on Facebook and LinkedIn. Press releases that included the link explained the video to all industry publications. People kept forwarding the link and, in no time, it was viral.

Buzz Generated:
Print CEO Blog: Warren Werbitt is a print fanatic! http://printceoblog.com/2008/01/warren-werbitt-is-a-print-fanatic#comment-4550

Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
The video was posted on YouTube on Jan 7, 2008. Since then, more than 200 comments have been posted to it. Pazazz has also received more than 800 emails in response to the video. In addition, more than 20 high-resolution copies have been sent out to companies and organizations in the print industry that used the video to open up conferences and corporate events. More than 50% of the recipients clicked on the link to the YouTube video. Views topped 100,000 within two months. To date, more than 133,000 people have viewed it. The lead in the video, the Founder and CEO of Pazazz, was asked to be a keynote speaker at a print conference.

Biggest Lesson:
We learned (based on real comments) that people applauded us for stating the truth. We will do a second video and, again, choose a real theme that people in our industry can relate to. The comments were incredible. People want to laugh, and we gave them a reason to laugh in this video.

Written by shootstreet

February 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

From Marketing Sherpa -Viral Marketing Hall of Fame 2008. Top 10 Campaigns and Results

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MarketingSherpa’s Viral Marketing Hall of Fame 2008: Top 10 Campaigns & Results Data

SUMMARY: If you’re in need of some viral viral marketing inspiration, look no further. Here are this year’s inductees into MarketingSherpa’s Viral Marketing Hall of Fame.

The top entries in our fourth annual contest ranged from expensive to frugal, complex to simple. Victors include General Mills, Columbia Sportwear, VIBE Media and VeriSign. See how the campaigns worked, what they looked like and how well they performed.

Viral marketing may be easier today with the help of social media, but that only made competition for MarketingSherpa’s 2008 Viral Marketing Hall of Fame that much harder. The 10 best campaigns profiled here are truly the cream of the crop from the scores of entries evaluated by Sherpa staff.

These top 10 campaigns leveraged peer-to-peer pass-along to achieve amazing results in a range of demographics and audiences – hip-hop music fans, hardcore gamers, breast cancer survivors and activists, philanthropists, Portuguese soccer fans and more. Some campaigns mixed big budgets, great strategy and wide exposure. Others created entertaining content and watched it sail.

Our winners include large brands, such as General Mills, Northwestern Mutual Insurance and Columbia Sportswear; edgy entertainment companies, such as VIBE Media Group and video games developer THQ; and smaller firms, such as Pazazz, a Canadian printing company, and Sporting Portugal, a soccer ticket vendor. They all bring something unique to the table, with servings of practical and creative advice for everyone.

While judging this year’s competition, we noticed many common threads running throughout the campaigns. Here are the top three:

-> Rise of social media
Most of this year’s candidates sent videos to YouTube, created Facebook pages or organized communities on MySpace — or all of the above. These sites are free to use and add seemingly unlimited viral potential to any campaign. That means free additional exposure from powerful peer-to-peer networks. Marketers are hearing the social media message loud and clear.

-> Peer-to-peer sharing is critical
There were two distinct groups in this year’s entries: fantastically thought-out campaigns and wacky content. Either way, success hinged on peer-to-peer sharing. As our winners illustrate, both strategies can work if enough effort is put into the right places.

Clever marketers created funny videos or text documents, posted them to a few social media sites and people shared like mad — ka-boom! Other marketers left less at risk. They created contests, microsites, full-assault ad campaigns and got on every Web 2.0 medium reachable.

-> All hail mighty content
You’ve heard the adage — we’re not even going to say it — but all it took for some campaigns to go wildly viral was great content. Not every content-based entry made it to Sherpa’s winners’ circle, but there were enough to denote a trend. Most of the content being passed around was funny or sarcastic — even if it was a bit risky for PR. But being truly funny requires risks. Some of these marketers went out on a limb to grab the ripest fruit.

So, without further introduction, here are MarketingSherpa’s Viral Marketing Hall of Fame inductees for 2008:

VIBE Media Group
Click here to see campaign details
MarketingSherpa Summary: This VIBE contest drove young and hip viewers to an urban music and culture website. Participants in an online rap music contest created and submitted videos to be voted on by the VIBE community. They received MySpace widgets to share their videos with friends and drive voters to http:/ /www.vibe.com where they could interact, view and vote on more entries. VIBE saw an 800% ROI on their efforts and captured 60,000 new registered members.

General Mills’ Pink for the Cure
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Bolstering the battle against breast cancer, General Mills launched this campaign to spread hopeful stories of those touched by the disease. An elaborate MySpace page was created and partnerships were formed with celebrities and a network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Visitors could share their stories, comment and download badges and backgrounds for their own pages. The campaign reached more than 2.7 million people, gained thousands of MySpace friends and received great feedback from participants.

Sporting Portugal
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Sporting Portugal created a website that let users submit their name and telephone number to become part of an interactive ad. A video showing a well-known soccer coach stressing out in a locker room ended with a phone call to the submitted number with the coach encouraging the visitor to come to the stadium because “the team needs you.” The idea attracted plenty of blog coverage and more than 610,000 people to the site in two weeks. The all-time record for season ticket sales was shattered on the first day of the season.

Pazazz’s Printing’s Alive
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Pazazz’s edgy video shows that viral success is possible without breaking the bank. Pazazz wanted to convey its love for printing by making people laugh, and this 3-1/2-minute video does just that on a shoestring budget. Seeding consisted of an email to Pazazz’s house list, a YouTube video, links on Facebook and LinkedIn and press releases to industry publications. The video has received 133,000 views and more than 20 requests for a high-resolution copy to show at conferences and corporate events, plus a speaking gig for the CEO at major conference.

Columbia Sportswear’s Tested Tough
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Columbia Sportswear built its brand in this campaign by asking customers to test just how tough the outdoor-wear firm’s products are. Customers were invited via email, display ads and contest websites to brutalize Columbia’s products, tell the tale and send photos and videos of the action. Visitors to the contest site could view, vote and comment on entries. Columbia received more than 3,000 entries. The projected response rate was surpassed by more than 33%.

VeriSign’s Liberty Fillmore, the Cart Whisperer
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Ask any eretailer: abandoned shopping carts are a challenge. And nobody cares more about that challenge than Liberty Fillmore the Cart Whisperer. Internet infrastructure provider VeriSign created a series of fun videos featuring the fictitious Liberty Fillmore, who teaches that website shopping cart abandonment is preventable. The campaign included submissions to YouTube, a MySpace page, a Facebook page and a website for Fillmore’s poetry, videos and contest. The videos delivered a heap of blog coverage and more than three million views on YouTube.

THQ’s Frontlines: Fuel of War
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Looking to promote a new video game, THQ launched this campaign using a microsite, contest and social media. Participants’ chances to win increased with the number of friends they recruited to enter. PPC promotion mixed with some “shoe leather” work at a gaming conference helped to bring this campaign 70% more registered contestants than hoped for.

StyleFeeder
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Social networks are fertile ground for viral seeds. Facebook users, for instance, love applications and are quick to share them with friends. StyleFeeder had this in mind when it created a product suggestion app for Facebook to expand its user base. Less than a year after launch, the app passed the milestone of 1 million installations.

Northwestern Mutual Insurance’s Letyourworriesgo.com
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MarketingSherpa Summary: This Northwestern Mutual Insurance campaign encouraged microsite visitors to “let it go.” Visitors to the interactive page could select concerns, such as financial troubles or illness, and dispose of them via catapult, rocket, submarine or hot air balloon. The microsite leveraged a tell-a-friend feature and could be shared on social media sites, such as Digg and Del.icio.us. By the third month of the campaign, the site’s traffic was 213% higher than Northwestern Mutual’s total microsite traffic for 2007.

McKinney’s Snowglobe Boy
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MarketingSherpa Summary: Sometimes elaborate tactics aren’t required to stimulate a viral response; all it takes is one great idea. Ad agency McKinney’s idea was to take holiday ecards to a new level by putting an employee inside a giant inflatable snow globe for four days and broadcasting it on a microsite 24 hours a day. Visitors could receive “season’s greetings” from Snowglobe Boy and chat with him. In a week, a small seed of a Facebook page, a YouTube video and about 1,000 emails to McKinney’s friends attracted about 50,000 unique visitors, network press coverage and lots of search traffic.

Useful links related to this article

MarketingSherpa’s Viral Marketing Hall of Fame 2007: Top 10 Efforts & Results Data to Inspire You: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=29947

Special Report: Viral Marketing 2007 – 15 Data Charts, Top Tactics & ROI
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=29941

MarketingSherpa’s Viral Marketing Hall of Fame 2006: Top 12 Campaigns You Should Swipe Ideas From
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=27305

Viral Advertising Showcase 2005: Top 12 Campaigns & Results Data to Inspire You
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=23992

Written by shootstreet

February 3, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized