A viral marketing campaign requires a certain X Factor in order to be successful. Creating a popular promotion is an art and millions of companies launch advertisements in the hope of additional exposure though social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook. There have been many memorable viral promotions. Here, we ask some of theEword staff to pick their favourites.
Stephen Dixon, Designer
Gorilla, Cadbury, 2007
The Cadbury’s Gorilla advert is a great example of viral marketing done right. This 90-second clip of a gorilla playing the drums to Phil Collins’ seminal classic, In The Air Tonight, ticked all the right boxes – it is entertaining, humorous and peculiar; a perfect recipe for viral success. It has just under four million views on YouTube.
Adrian Mursec, Senior Developer
The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers, 2007
The second film in the rebooted Batman franchise set a benchmark for what viral marketing could achieve. Whysoserious.com masqueraded as a website created by the film’s antagonist, The Joker. The site asked visitors to undertake a series of scavenger hunts - the final task asked fans to dress up in their own ‘Joker’ costumes, complete with face paints – in reward for preview clips and stills for the film. It has been one of the most successful user-driven marketing campaigns to date.
Tom Mason, Journalist
The Best Job In The World, Tourism Queensland, 2009
The tourist board for Queensland, Australia, produced an ingenious marketing campaign when it advertised a ‘caretaker’ postion for the Hamilton Island, just off the Queensland coast. The job required the successful applicant to work just 12 hours a month and offered a six –month contract worth Aus $150,000 (£70,000). Not surprisingly, the website had over 7,500 online applications and over 200,000 hits in the first 48 hours. 34,000 applicants from over 200 countries had entered by the time the competition closed. It is thought the campaign generated over US$70m of global publicity. The competition was eventually won by British entrant, Ben Southall.
Dan Nolan, Managing Editor
J’aime la Tour, VisitBlackpool, 2009
SKV’s recent commission for VisitBlackpool is clearly intended to catch people’s imaginations, presumably in the hope of the advert being shared around sites such as Facebook or Digg. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but the campaign does succeed in both playing on and dismantling preconceptions of the destination in question – a common theme in recent tourism advertising – and juxtaposing French cinema with the Fylde coastline to comic effect.