All About Viral Marketing

The general term 'Viral marketing' doesn't exactly sound very safe or appetising, does it? Viral marketing is when a marketing message is spread via word of mouth and/or keyboard - it's a marketing agency's dream. Not only is word of mouth referral cheap, but it's also proven to more effective than direct forms of marketing as people typically listen to referrals or go with a brand they recognise, than with those they don't. And, as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity...

 

Nowadays, viral marketing is most commonly a shared video theme. The advent of social media coupled with the wide use and distribution of Smart Phones worldwide means everybody nowadays has a video camera in their back pocket and a means to publish material to the masses. Social media can then 'fan' the message to literally millions of recipients within just a few hours. It's not always a good thing, the London riots of 2011 were largely rumoured to have spread across the City and then across the country by viral use of Social Media.


Viral advertisments are popular on video sharing sites such as YouTube.

 

 

In advertising though, humour is often the target approach. But sometimes, clever marketing campaigns can use humour, to make you aware of another emotion. We are, of course, referring to the famous 2014 social media campaign better known as 'The Ice Bucket Challenge'. For those who may have been living in a cave for the last 2 years, a campaign was started initially for the ALS charity whereby people would film themselves pouring a bucket of water over their heads, and then making a charity donation for the privilege of doing so. The campaign was so effective that millions were raised for charities, and if you weren't nominated on Social Media by a 'friend', you probably started to wonder if you actually had any friends at all. Even George W Bush famously completed this challenge.

 

 

 

 

Of course, it isn't just charities that use viral marketing as a means to advertise. The marketers over at John Lewis are experts at not only releasing a hugely popular viral advert on television every year (that normally leads many of us to shed a tear) but the public has actually started to expect that same quality, better in fact, every year on year. Adverts are often launched first on social media now. Imagine, people, sharing an advert before it is officially an advert. The 2015 Christmas advert for John Lewis saw the lonely old man on the moon viewing earth via a telescope, and a young girl on earth doing the same in return... before of course, the clever girl on earthworks out a way to deliver a Christmas present to the man on the moon.

 

 

But, where there's a good idea, or in this case a great advert, there is often a parody, sometimes more humorous because of the audacity, than the original advert. We refer of course to the Aldi spoof, which presented their own 'cheaper' alternative to the telescope that the man on the moon was using from John Lewis.

 

 

Music too can be great for creating viral interest. Find a great 80's Phil Collins Rock track, add a Gorilla playing the drums... and you could advertise... chocolate of course! This sounds too simple to be true but the results for Cadbury were amazing.

 

 

The final emotion, of course, is sadness. We leave this one for you to view yourself. It was a famous advert for a German supermarket chain, EDEKA...

 

 

 

 

 

Written by

Total Merchandise | Editoral Team

Our editorial team is drawn from a pool of experienced promotional merchandise product team members, account managers, marketers and other contributors. With such a wide range of skills and experience, they write about many aspects of promotional merchandise, wider marketing and business matters, as well as company news updates.

Connect with Total Merchandise on LinkedIn Connect with Total Merchandise on LinkedIn

Total Merchandise
How To Keep Your Promotional Merchandise On Trend In 2019

How To Keep Your Promotional Merchandise On Trend In 2019

Every business strives to remain current and promotional merchandise is no different. Consumer trends are constantly changing, 2018 saw the rise of the fidget spinner,...

10 Branded Metal Bottles To Consider For Your Next Campaign

10 Branded Metal Bottles To Consider For Your Next Campaign

With research revealing 85% of the UK public are worried about the impact of plastic pollution on the planet, there's never been a better time to consider a branded met...

Promotional Merchandise Items That Can Help Mental Wellbeing

Promotional Merchandise Items That Can Help Mental Wellbeing

The conversation around mental health and wellbeing is growing ever-louder and - it goes without saying - with due cause. With levels of stress, anxiety and depression at all-ti...

12 Promotional Products To Make Working From Home Easier

12 Promotional Products To Make Working From Home Easier

The UK government recently announced that UK businesses should ask staff to work from home where possible, in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus. For many workers...

4 Things To Consider When Ordering Promotional Face Masks

4 Things To Consider When Ordering Promotional Face Masks

Following today's government announcement that the wearing of face coverings will be compulsory wearing by staff and customers in hospitality settings, as well as by st...

'Tis The Season! Branded Advent Calendar Ideas For Christmas 2020

'Tis The Season! Branded Advent Calendar Ideas For Christmas 2020

Okay, okay: it's mid-September and Christmas might well be the very last thing on your mind. But there really is no better time than right now to start thinking about y...