While I was falling into the rabbit hole of new trends in social media (get me a chatbot now)¹ I came across another article. This article discussed various forms of traditional marketing techniques in the new world of social media.² One of the ways to promote your brand to your target is to create something, you want to go Viral. I’m thinking to myself, whaaaaaat? That seems really risky, because, don’t most things go viral by accident, rather than planned. Things go viral, because they are shocking, hilariously funny or so horrible, you can’t get it out of your head. So, actually planning something like this seems to me that it could really back fire.
So then I start thinking about things I know of that went viral, were they planned or just an accident. I’m sure Pepsi, was hoping their Kendall Jenner ad would go viral, and it did, for all the wrong reasons.
Or how about this Dollar Shave Club ad. Which, for a major brand, seems like a really risky choice. Why did it go viral? It was definitely something never done before by any other razor brand. It was irreverent, fun and said a lot about their company’s values. Apparently, they know their target market very well.
Then I started thinking about the TV show, This Is Us, which my wife convinced me to watch, and now I’m hooked. Prior to the Super Bowl, I could look at Facebook without seeing some kind of ad or post about the big reveal on the episode airing right after the Super Bowl. “Spoiler Alert” Everyone already knew Jack was going to die, just not exactly how. Well, all that social media advertising, posting by millions resulted in one of the highest ever viewed hours of television right after the Super Bowl. 27 Million viewers, I didn’t even know that many people still had cable.³ So, I would say that was a serious viral campaign, whether they meant it or not.
But, there is just as much risk, as seen by Pepsi and untold numbers of other companies where Viral is a bad place to be. It takes a lot of space, time and money to recover from a Viral sensation for the wrong reason.
So, let me know what viral videos or pictures or stories you have seen, that wow you, surprise you or just make you shake your head in wonder.