Friday, November 03, 2006

Viral Marketing speak catching a cold

Politic communication has just released this gem:

Viral video marketing campaigns produce 750 percent more clickthroughs than traditional banner ads, according to preliminary figures released today by, an online marketing research laboratory.

“Researchers and analysts speculated that viral videos would transform the way online marketers attract qualified customers,” said Jalali Hartman, director of strategy for MEC. “These preliminary research results are a clear indication that amateur viral videos not only effectively drive viewers to company sites, but also help convert viewers into customers and subscribers.”

Well, let look at what really happens.

Lets go to YouTube and look at an example:

There are a lot of things about this campaign and they are mostly about a public that is being entertained and, most important, is inviting Dove into its life.

Most people find advertising gets in the way of thier life. It is intrusive - it is scream marketing.

But, if the story and the process is part of a conversation, then advertsing can work. Advertsing is in this case, an element in the conversation.

Over 400,000 people have sought out what is a Dove advertisment. This is not an add pushed in the face of someTV demographic. This is an advertsisement that people WANT to see. Not everyone. Not all people in the cinema or watching a TV programme. Just people who WANT to see it.

They have emailed it to friends, embedded it in blogs, wiki's, email and spread the word as part of their conversation in their relationships. This is about shared values between people. Values that would be very arrogant of Dove to assume it owns (it only owns some of them).

Conversations are not viruses, they are conversations. This is not someone passing on a video like a common cold. This is people passing on fun and entertainment to create better relatonships. The relationships are not owned by Dove, they are owned by people.

Stuart Bruce has an excellent blog post about this too with some excellent comments.

This is Relationship Management, not relationship marketing.

And is it effective - you bet!

Its called Public Relations.