There have been a lot of news stories recently that have been commended for their viral marketing capacity. The ‘world’s best job’ competition, won by Briton Ben Southall, proved the power of advertising across a global forum, predominantly through social media.
This week saw another piece of clever self-promotion, with the news that a former model and personal trainer became a junk food addict, causing him to pile on 7 ½ stones in weight. Melbourne resident Paul James did this to better understand his larger clients unique needs; although in truth what he has done, very well, is promote himself and Doherty’s Gym, with news stations throughout the world covering the story.
Today came the revelation that the infamous ‘Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt’ had received a monumental sales boost primarily due to the hundreds of mocking reviews posted on Amazon. The subject of these posts have been circulating throughout the Internet, including blogs, social media and email, helping generate further publicity and increase interest in the product – even if it is a little tongue-in-cheek.
Despite an increase in sales by 2,300%, the makers are understandably far from happy with the amount of negative attention that their garment has garnered. In spite of this, the huge public awareness that viral marketing – whether deliberate, as in the case of the Queensland tourist board, or otherwise – can potentially deliver, is enough to make seasoned marketers sit up and take note.
Unfortunately you can’t usually pre-empt or organise a viral campaign, they just grow organically. Evidently though, extreme originality can be the key to success. This certainly highlights the need to be creative in the modern marketplace. People power will drive any business forward, but it’s up to us as marketing professionals to generate the momentum.