Viral Video Marketing: The Mayhem Is Taking Over!
"Use existing communication channels to exploit human beliefs and behaviors,” reads the easier-said-than-done job description of most advertisers. Age-old pressures to produce ads with a “wow” factor have gone digital. Creating the next big viral video marketing phenomenon, in all its rapid-multiplication glory, is the new advertising challenge. And “challenge” doesn’t do the task justice! With over 2 billion videos streamed daily on YouTube, crafting a chart-topping video clip that stays a hit for more than 24 hours is no small feat. Here are a few of my favorite video campaigns that have managed to stand out from the rest…
1.The classic favorite: The E-trade Baby.
As an NFL playoff game (Jets vs. Steelers) was about to kick off the other day, the announcers at the pre-show desk interviewed the infamous E-trade baby for his predictions about the game. In case you don’t already know, this little baby (with an adult voice and vocabulary) has made a short career out of advising the general public on financial investing. The pre-game segment actually highlighted a full, interactive conversation with the baby about the game two minutes before it started, and it was hilarious. It just goes to show, in the world of viral video marketing, creating bizarre and memorable characters is almost always a winning strategy
We all know him, and despite our best efforts, just can’t seem to look away when this tall, dark, and always-shirtless hunk of man candy comes on the screen. Kudos to Old Spice for applying the “sex sells” marketing technique so effectively (It really never gets old…)! Another noteworthy factor that has contributed to the campaign’s success is its ability to effectively involve other celebrities (The Old Spice Guy has sent personal thank you videos to everyone from Apolo Ohno to Ellen DeGeneres, genius!)
3. The new favorite: Allstate’s Mayhem Guy.
How do you take the mind-numbingly dull topic of car insurance and make it a humorous, online sensation? Just ask Allstate! Whether it is a commercial featuring an emotionally-distraught teenage girl behind the wheel, or an out-of-date GPS, each real-life situation is more relatable and amusing than the last. The concept of Mayhem is sheer perfection, because really, few life events rival a car crisis when it comes to creating chaos! Mr. Dean Winters, personally, I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see what crazy antics Mayhem has in stored for us in the coming year!
As the above examples demonstrate, viral marketing is unique in the sense that it assumes the consumer is already infected with the projected message. That is to say, it may not be necessary to specifically describe what is being advertised, because the campaign or character has already established its intended brand, service, or product. And the next best thing about these types of advertisements? After creating a video with panache (something short and shocking will usually do the trick), advertisers can sit back and just let word-of-mouth and entertainment value take over. And if they’ve done their job, as the examples cited above certainly have, let’s just say the virus spreads like wildfire!