A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another successful viral campaign - even the Germans are having a crack!

Another successful viral video - 2 million views on YouTube after 7 days is not half bad.

This one has got me thinking...

1) Are viral videos now truely mainstream and part of popular culure? Maybe because I'm Gen Y - I'm now more likely to watch and remember a viral video than a TVC for the simple fact the popular ones strike an emotional connection with me - i.e. an emotional imprint occurs. We often see it in groups now, people struggling to remember ads they saw on TV.

2) At the heart of most successful viral videos is real people people 'DOING' real stuff. People like watching people 'DOING' stuff - maybe because we like to post rationalise why people do the things they do - which allows us to feel involved and visualise ourselves in the situation

I wonder if we can test viral 'experiential campaigns' the same ways as TVCs? I'm not sure we can, but it would be good to hear what others think...I'm thinking about actors could role play the idea!


  1. It is definitely another channel of communication and probably part of most big company's media strategies these days - don't confuse the medium with the message! Therefore easy to test ...

    'Real' events that represent the coming together of lots of people or feel like random (rather than staged) intrusions into reality have had HUGE appeal for a while now - beyond viral video. Remember Sony's 'Get On Board' ad from about 5 yrs ago? And the Bravia balls bouncing down the streets of San Fran? The whole 'flash mob' thing? They are bout new ideas of temporary community, the 'wisdom of crowds', and also about reclaiming and transforming everyday space. Probably a few other things as well - the viral mediums you mention help facilitate these things to perhaps more people but are not the driver. Food for thought.

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kb0KLUijlo

  3. I should also add the whole choir / community / group singing thing to the above: Choir of Hard Knocks, The Polyphonic Spree etc

  4. Viral is the ultimate testament to how media power has shifted from 'them' to 'us'. The thrill of finding something worthy of forwarding on is palpable, and to receive it is totally different than via a 'broadcast'. its a mate saying check this out, its worth 30sec / 1min of your time.
    Its democratic and personalised (sort of) marketing. Craetivity / connectivity is king. No ifs, ands or buts.
    Its source may well be corporate, but if it genuinely passes the mate-test it'll fly.
    Which really is a far higher standard than that most TVCs are held to, the classic 'Top quartile performance vs all other ads on TV'. Personally I'd rate viral ads as needing to be nearer top 5% worthy of repeat viewing - imagine how ad agencies would react to THAT as the benchmark standard! (CW)


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