Yes yes, I would think that the people that read this blog know about viral ad campaigns but I’m going to mention a few I like and what could be done in the small Irish market to send an ad around.
Even with little resources, a company or indvidual can get massive coverage for their product or endeavour. This seems to be happening more and more even in the little old broadband backwater of Ireland. Judging by the 10s of 1000s that visited my site to hear Twink tell her husband to zip his mickey (since removed after advice) and the loads of hits that Claire got for the Meteorite Gardai, it shows there is a massive potential audience even for something so parochial and the cost of distribution is zero.
These were, I suppose, very much unintentional viral campaigns. That’s the odd thing with a viral ad/viral video, they could be started by an ad company or by some joe public who just uses these products in a fun way.
I like what Viking did with their office supplies being used to recreate scenes from movies and the public being asked to guess the films. The site from what I can see was hugely popular and I’m sure most of the traffic to the site was seen during 9-5 by office workers, perfect.
A recent flickr photostream of a Jaguar being covered in post-its appeared to just be one of the usual pranks but I bet a post-it company could work on this idea and run a competition for car art using post-its. UPDATE: They made ABC news over this. Nice ad for the company and the atomsphere there.
The Diet Coke and Mentos videos that went all over the planet were started by a bunch of fun-seeking people but now both companies are apparently getting into the game and running competitions. I’d prefer people drinking or chewing my product more than wasting it but extra sales are probably more important for these guys.
I thought the best ad for Toyota in 2006 was what the Top Gear team did to a Toyota Jeep. I’m sure the video predates 2006 but I found it a testimony to the Toyota brand. I bet it helped increase sales of Toyota jeeps. I’m surpised Toyota didn’t cash-in on this. Maybe they didn’t need to do anything and just watched sales increase. Were I them I’d licence that segment from TopGear and free it to be used online. Stick it on YouTube and all the rest of the video sites. The original version of this I found on Google Video but it since got wiped.
An intentional (I would think) viral video campaign came from the Will It Blend? crew who were there to sell their blenders but blending things you didn’t think possible got them worldwide attention and a segment on the most watched American morning show. Cost? (If we are to believe there wasn’t a PR company with shills pushing the thing down every journo’s throat) – Safety glasses, electricity, a few working iPods and a dustpan and brush. How much would their competitors have spent on ads to get the attention of the same audience?
I don’t think that Dove makeup and photoshop ad was that good. It was viral though but I’m not sure did it want people to actually try out their product the way the Diet Coke and Mentos ad did but it sure as hell got them some great and free brand recognition for an area of the market they want to target. It did however seem costly to make and the ad wasn’t fun or funny. It stimulated the deep thought part of the brain and for some reason laughter travels faster than consideration on the net. Alsot the Beeb made that Toyota “ad”, the kids made the Mentos “Ad”. Fair enough Viking did make a website for their campaign.
Suggestions for Irish Companies:
So could small Irish companies use viral ads to spread the word and either sell products or at least create brand recognition? What cold we see some of the blogging companies do?
Pat Phelan and Roam4Free could create a stop-motion video of clamshell phones singing some song. Not really showing off the product itself but definitely getting brand recognition and using a tool for free roaming.
Maybe Mary Gilmartin at AdvancedTechnology Products could create a video using their products. Maybe film the reaction of people when people in the cleaning room Space Suits just walk around like tourists in the streets of Ireland or do a whole John 3:17 thing and appear at numerous public events in the suits. Then there’s puppetry with the latex gloves and other such products…
Bubble Brothers – Hard to do something with an alcohol product. Get engaged couples to talk about their cute engagement stories or to even re-enact them and have them put them on YouTube. Have engagmentStories.ie host the best ones. Bubble Brothers will send 10 bottles of champagne to your wedding.
Aer Arrann – Just dozens of clips of Michael O’Leary mouthing off and just at the end have white text on a black background. “If you fly with us then this arrogant bollox doesn’t get your money”.