Viral marketing is an opportunity to see your brand, product or service spread within an audience through the user sharing your content, often on social media, or user created parodies, images and emails.
The user feels they have some power, they found something they enjoy and want to share it with their friends, it’s the modern “Word of Mouth” marketing, giving a vote of trust for your brand. In it’s best form, it develops into a fad or craze that can be seen in a variety of appearances. and lingers in people’s minds.
“Unintentional” Viral Videos
Recently Shia Lebeouf was involved in an art project collaboration with fine art students from Central Saint Martins, the students were asked to provide a piece of text for Shai to interpret, and it was all filmed in front of a green screen.
The end result, #INTRODUCTIONS was released under a creative commons non-commercial licence, so anyone who has the inclination can take and share the video that was produced and adapt it to their liking, without infringing copyright.
The 31 minute video with 36 improvisations has been touted as “the most intense motivational speech of all-time” in reference to Joshua Parker’s suggestion to Incorporate the Nike slogan “Just do it”.
Shai responds with not only that slogan, but other slogans from the brand over the years, including one from 2008 “yesterday you said tomorrow”.
Since it was uploaded, because the green screens lends itself to be incorporated and mixed into a variety of media, people have taken advantage of this and embedded the video into multiple scenarios, from home made videos, to trailers for movies, songs and much, much more.
The Impact on Google
As a result of how widespread and viral this has become Shai Labeouf has spiked on Google Trends, along with the term “Just Do It”.
Was it Done as a Marketing Ploy?
That’s the real question. Would your brand suffer if you did something as liberal and open ended as this, perhaps it would, and perhaps it wouldn’t. That’s where having a well crafted message over multiple platforms and media with your brand voice, can help avoid negative connotations from being derived, while setting a campaign up for success.
Has Nike made any money from it? Directly, no they haven’t… indirectly, they are in the spotlight again, and will gain market share and brand strength as a result.
How about Shai himself? While this was never an “intended” marketing exercise, he has a new movie coming out, and the timing is ideal. He has managed to endear himself to a whole new audience through an art project collaboration, and gained further exposure and fame for his personal brand.
Viral Video Examples
One of the very early adopters was youtuber millerwa4 with a home made video of Shai on his balcony. With his videos usually reaching a maximum of 2,000 views, this one has amassed over 3.5 million to date.
Youtuber Joey Danger, who’s videos usually reach a few thousand views, has released his version of “Batman & Shia Labeouf v Superman : Dawn Of Do It“ and it has escalated him to his own notoriety, with the video currently having over 2.7 million views.
Often the notoriety is its own reward, but Joey is a musician, producer and artist so has taken it to the next level with the creation of wallpapers for people to download, and is gaining further visibility on multiple social media platforms.
Should You Do Viral Marketing?
Everything about your brand should lend it self to the opportunity to be shared, to be spoken about, to be reviewed, to be told to friends and family of your current and potential customers.
How easy it may seem for a viral video to take off, in truth there is a lot of hard work in the background for this to happen from a company perspective, while maintaining a great brand presence.
Top 5 Tips for Successful Viral Marketing Campaigns
- Universal Appeal – to the broadest audience possible
- Short and Simple – make it easy to consume
- Emotional – take them on a journey
- Shareworthy – that it’s something people want to tell their friends about
- Relatable – something your audience will identify with
Whether it is in a video, print media, packaging or web design, professionally representing your brand in a way that inspires word of mouth is an important part of viral marketing, and is something that should be incorporated throughout your marketing strategies. If you want to know more about brand awareness through content creation, and how it can work alongside your campaigns, give the team at Nous a call.