Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Word of Mouth, then MMS and Now Word of the Mouse - Its all about ideas that went Viral !

Viral marketing, viral advertising or more pertinently the surprise of a 'million hits on facebook/youtube' basically refers to a creative output that spreads like wild fire and reaches millions of us in a very short period of time.

A creative output that encourages a certain set of the society having high social networking potential to share it.

A creative output that convinces the other certain set of the society having the curiosity to view or experience it.

With Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, viral marketing has become more pronounced in our day to day lives. Recently we saw the Flash Mob video at the CST Railway station, Mumbai. Please click here to experience the video if you haven't already. It has clocked 1,745,676 views as I write this blog.

Then we have seen Sonu Nigam taking advantage of the viral "Why This Kolaveri Di" to promote his son with a very methodically edited video of his son singing Kolaveri Di. The original video has clocked 21,839,944 views, not considering the other youtube edits of the same video. Even the Sonu Nigam engineered video has garnered 2,877,936 views.

A few generations back, viral ideas travelled through word of mouth, then I remember them travelling through MMSes, now they travel by the WORD OF MOUSE !

Speaking of word of mouth, the best example of an idea going viral, outside of the virtual world, is of course 'Harry Potter'. This series of books written by Ms. J. K. Rowling has been translated into 65 languages and has sold more than 325 million copies in more than 200 territories around the world. The Harry Potter films produced by Warner Bros. Pictures have grossed $3.5 billion worldwide at the box office.

MMSes as a medium for spreading virals also attained huge eyeballs and gossip. As we know, stories of two bollywood movies - DevD and LSD were based on the phenomena.

Do you remember the Ashmit Patel - Ria Sen MMS clip? It has again re-surfaced on youtube and is gaining popularity. You guys have to hunt for the link yourself on this. You can click here to hear an interesting news on it though... Hai Rabba, Ashmit! kuch to sharam karo..!

MMS virals were more of pornographic content, probably because MMS travelled from peer to peer and the mobile device is extremely personal. It was like how many men read a classic novel before going to bed alone!

Whatever said and done, pornography has limited scope in the society. MMS was soon bowled over by the social networking websites. Today is the generation of Youtube and FaceBook. And here comes the word of Mouse!
Some of the interesting epidemic that the mouse had spread:
  1. Charlie bit my finger - again ! (395,738,061 views)
  2. David After Dentist (103,648,602 views)
  3. Talented Fat kid Dancing to Dhinka Chika (1,541,922 views)
  4. A blog that has received over 2700 comments and over 1 million page-views - An open letter to a Delhi boy written by an amateur cum 'celebrity-now' blogger Shahana Nair Joshi
Going by these phenomena, it is obvious that the dream of every brand manager is to have at least one viral campaign in their careers. The biggest question still remains, how to create a viral campaign?

There are quite a few brand campaigns that have gone viral on youtube. Click on this line to sample a few.

The new Nokia Lumia - The Amazing Everyday video is going viral as we speak. It has clocked over a million page views already. 1,034,928 views to be precise. It has surpassed Samsung's "The Next Big Thing" Galaxy S II Commercial. Going by this, can I pressume that Microsoft has finally arrived into the mobile OS market? Perhaps, yes. Perhaps, no.

There is also hope for the old popular commercials to go viral today. If the brand has the ethos intact, why not re-popularise the old commercials.. The 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial is a case in point. It has received many millions of views. One of the many youtube uploads of the video has garnered 8,797,112 page views.

This world of viral marketing is the new challenge for every creative mind in the advertising and marketing industry. There are no easy answers or theory, just like there is no theory behind why Lady Gaga has the maximum number of followers on Twitter, followed by Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian (can you believe this?) and Britney Spears.... I cant name the line-up. It is gross. But it is a fact. Is beauty really skin-deep?

Honestly, designing a viral campaign would mean the final stamp on knowing not only consumer behaviour well, but also a generation to its bone marrow.

Till the time I can't create, let me just spread. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi you are doing a great job. I was looking for this information. I found it on your page its really amazing.I am sure that these are your own views. I hear exactly what you’re saying and I’m so happy that I came across your blog. You really know what you’re talking about, and you made me feel like I should learn more about this. Thanks for sharing useful information; I’m officially a huge fan of your blog.


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