viral marketing

Viral: why some campaigns succeed

It’s the era of digital marketing. It’s not just any digital marketing, it’s the kind that talks to a person’s subconscious and compel them to purchase a product or service. Even then, there are campaigns that die out fast and those that really go viral. Here’s a bit of insight on why and how.

The Human Element

This is one detail that has been making all the difference lately. A very good example is the WaterisLife’s campaign that went viral under “First world problems by third world people”. The video brings in the human element to the issue and makes you feel empathetic towards the cause that the campaign represents. Even though this particular cause is a social one, there have been other adverts such as some of the campaigns done by Burberry, Dove, Old Spice, Dos Equis and Red Bull did not portray a social cause or crisis. But they appealed to the minds of viewers by giving them interesting attributes and making them feel like the brand “feels” how they would feel. Dove’s attempt at turning gray hair into gorgeous and Burberry creating a sense of community are great examples.

The Play Quotient

Heinz executed this just right with their “which bean are you?” quiz on Facebook. The idea of campaigns like these, is to get people all revved up to find out what the quiz results will say. This automatically ensures that the app will be shared too. There were five winners picked hourly and they were gifted a personalized bean to suit their results and each user who successfully invited 10 people to take the quiz got a great bag of goodies; now if that isn’t beyond normal marketing, what is? Heinz was also quite smart in how they collected their data. They offered Facebook coupons for users to download so that they can use it to try out the product, but to stop people from downloading more than one each, they ensured the coupon was associated to the Facebook IDs. This method helped them gain some intel into the shopping patterns of clients as well.

The value for money with experience factor

People like to think that they are eligible to enjoy a broad range of experiences and get absolute worth for their money when it comes to shopping for products and services. A very good example of combining these two aspects with the “story telling” feel to it, was this A380 Emirates Airline commercial starring Jennifer Aniston. This campaign consists of a series of events where the star is exploring various classes on the airline and enjoying some of its key facilities. She meets interesting personalities on the way, particularly a little boy (perfectly put there to appeal to the masses). She then chooses to fly in economy saying that she feels like its great experience, comfortable and value for money. Whereas most airlines would put the emphasis on business class, Emirates here went with the economy making it the star of the campaign and appealing to their biggest audience with the promise of budget flights and luxurious settings.

In a nutshell, here are a few pointers that can turn the tables in favor of your next campaign

  • Identify your true audience
  • Build an emotional connection with them. Focus on core emotions such as joy, sadness, anger, fear, trust, surprise, expectation and revoltion.
  • Make sure that sharing comes as an integral part of the campaign
  • Maximize on user interaction, get them to market the product or service for you
  • Get your timing right.
  • Go all out on the visuals that you create. 

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