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Viral Advertising
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  • The assumption, using the viral analogy terms, was that if such an advertisement reaches a "susceptible" user, that user becomes “infected“and then shares the idea with other users, ”infecting“ them. As long as each infected user shared the idea with more than one susceptible user on average, the number of infected users grows according to an expontential curve.


  • 1. Viral Advertising Rachel Williams
  • 2. What is Viral Advertising? noun 1. (Business/Marketing) a direct marketing technique in which a company persuades Internet users to forward its publicity material in E-mails (usually by including jokes, games, video clips, etc.) 2. (Business/Marketing) a marketing strategy in which conventional media are eschewed in favour of various techniques designed to generate word-ofmouth publicity, in the hope of creating a fad or craze Viral Marketing, Viral Advertising or Marketing Buzz refer to Marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to in crease a brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives, such as an increase in product sales. It is done through using a self-replicating viral process. It can be delivered by word of mouth or by the Internet and mobile phone networks. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive games, adver-games, ebooks, brandable software, images, text messages, e-mails, or web pages. The most common transmission vehicles for viral messages include: Pass-along, incentive, trendy, and undercover. The ultimate goal of marketers interested in creating successful advertising is to create viral messages that appeal to individuals with high social networking potential(SNP) so there is a high probability of the message being presented and widely spread by these individuals in a short period of time. The term "VRL marketing" has also been used to refer to stealth marketing campaigns—the use of astroturfing online combined with undermarket advertising in shopping centres to create the impression of spontaneous word of mouth enthusiasm.
  • 3. The History of Viral Advertising In 2004, the concept of the alpha user was thought up. It had become possible to identify focal members of any viral campaign, the people who were most influential. Alpha users could be targeted. In 1997, Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson, of the venture capital firm ‘Draper Fisher Jurvetson’, describe adding advertising to outgoing mail from Hotmail users. In the early 90’s, the term “Viral Advertising” was created by Harvard Business School graduate Tim Draper and faculty member Jeffery Rayport. In early 2013 the first ever Viral Summit was held. It attempted to identify similar trends in viral marketing methods for various media. Media critic, Doug Rushkoff, was among the first to write about viral marketing on the Internet. Bob Gerstley was one of the first to write about algorithms designed to identify people with high "social networking potential.” The term was popularized by Rayport in 1996, in the article "The Virus of Marketing”.
  • 4. The Basic Criteria Marketing Professors, Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein, say there are three basic criteria that must be met in viral advertising, these are: Messenger Three specific types are required to ensure the transformation of an ordinary message into a viral one: market mavens, social hubs, and salespeople. Market mavens are individuals who are information specialists, and are usually among the first to be exposed to the message, transmitting it to their immediate social network. Social hubs are people with an very large number of social connections, often knowing hundreds of people and serve as connectors between different subcultures. Salespeople receive a message from the market maven, amplify it by making it more relevant and persuasive, and then transmit it to the social hub for further distribution. Market mavens may not be particularly convincing. Message Only the ones that are memorable and interesting get passed on to others and have the potential to spur a viral marketing phenomenon. Making a message more infectious is often just about minor adjustments. Environment This is crucial in the rise of successful viral marketing – small changes lead to huge results, people are also very sensitive to environment. The timing and context of the campaign launch must be right.
  • 5. 7 Common Types E-mail was once the only way that viral marketing started. Since then, it has gone from a marketing strategy to an art form. There are many ways to create a successful viral campaign. Seven of those ways are: 1. E-mail: It was first but it is still works. However, a little harder to use as more restrictions have been placed on it. 2. Newsletters: This is an extension of email but very effective. If you include enough valuable information, it can drive up the number of visits to your website. 3. Blogging: Having this tool on your website enables bloggers to interact with one another and is a terrific way to get the message about your product out there. Bloggers have their ears to the ground for new products and services. 4. Chat Rooms: One on your website can encourage interaction among your customers. You can also use it to schedule special events, like having an expert available to answer questions on a given day at a given time. 5. Tell-a-friend Script: If you add this and include that e-mail addresses supplied will never be shared with third parties, you can increase your potential customer list greatly. 6. Video Clips: Including cool video clips on your website will keep up the interest and increase traffic. 7. Flash Games: Although they are a little costly, they are extremely effective and get your viral campaign going. Once launched, they require nothing more from you.
  • 6. What makes the perfect viral ad? Sneezing pandas. Laughing babies. Sleeping dogs. Things such as sneezing pandas and laughing babies might not be clever but they are still pored over by marketers. Why? Because they have successfully "gone viral" and viewed by millions of people. It is very difficult to say you’re going to create a viral because a lot of things become viral by accident. When you make going viral an aim, things can go wrong. Getting the public to take part helps create a viral effect, like in the Metropolitan Police's anti-knife crime film ‘Choose a Different Ending’, where viewers chose different scenarios. On YouTube, the viral ads that are successful are those that ask you to engage and appeal to you on an emotional level. T-Mobile used flash mob techniques, getting passers-by to join the dance and got more than 30m hits on YouTube: But public involvement is no security for success. Brands like Dolmio asked the public to upload their own versions of their TV adverts, with questionable results. Most people feel a bit wary about brands making virals, they don't like feeling the wool is being pulled over their eyes, the branding has to be really subtle. Successful virals often tie in with the news. Brands need to act fast to capture the moment, but can get caught out. Vodafone suffered a backlash in Egypt after its agency released a video suggesting the telecoms giant helped inspire the nation's revolution. The film quickly went viral, but so did the backlash. Overall, there is no perfect recipe, but for best results, don’t aim to make it viral, keep up with times and get the public involved.
  • 7. Good Examples The Last Exorcism – Lionsgate Films used Chatroulette, an online chat room for people with webcams, and following it’s stereotype, they promoted their film by having a series of young women appear as “up for a good time”. The men watching, would see a girl start to unbutton her top, then she would turn into a demonic monster. They would be terrified, then see an URL for the film’s official website. Watch Here: Blair Witch Project – The selling point of Star Trek Into Darkness – This kicked off with some this film was that it was “real footage” pretty subtle marketing, some fans noticed what and based on “a true story”, so these looked like a secret URL hidden in a scene in one of were the strengths they played with. A the trailers – “”. Big time fans basic website was created, detailing the figured the connection and the mention of ‘1701′ gave story of the Blair Witch, from 1785, viewers belief it was connected to Kirk and his when it began, to 1997, when the Enterprise. When viewing the site, a sign up form footage was ‘discovered’. Rumours of a could be seen, as well as links to Twitter and Facebook witch in the woods which made people which were giving out obscure messages. disappear fuelled the flames, and the team behind the film joined online forums adding extra information. As an extra add-on to, three actors from the film were also listed as ‘missing, presumed dead’ on IMDB.
  • 8. Good Examples Dark Knight – 42 Entertainment played on what would become the films famous tagline and created ‘’, a website which sent fans on a scavenger hunt, finding clues to unlock special content, like teaser trailers and hidden messages. These instructed fans to uncover clues at certain locations throughout the States. When put together online, the combined clues revealed an image of the Joker and an audio clip of him saying “and tonight, you’re gonna break one rule”. The website was continually updated and edited, to keep content fresh and fans engaged. District 9 – The filmmakers created a series of adverts and stickers placed in several cities on bus stops, trains and benches with the words “For Humans Only”. Below it was a phone number, the call directed people to a website. Each website for the film focused on a different area of District 9′s world. These kept viewers from all over interested, talking about District 9 and who those ‘Non-Humans’ were.