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How Far Would You Stretch to Go Viral? Infusing Creativity Into Your Marketing

How far would you be willing to go to capture the hearts and minds of your target audience and customers?

We all have the capacity to launch a Facebook or Twitter account, but what about going that extra mile by creating viral promotions that are time-sensitive and creative? That way, instead of going with the popular culture curve, you create it! These are just some of the reasons why taking bold creative leaps within your company can take your business a lot farther than you can imagine.

According to a recent study, two thirds of the world’s Internet population visits a social network or blog site each week. We all know the importance of social networking platforms, but do we all truly know how to grab customers’ attention on them?

It seems like everything is bigger, flashier, and more connected in advertising now, even when it comes to selling something as simple as trash bags. But that doesn’t mean creativity has to suffer!

Take the new Glad trash bag commercials, for instance; they are using Jim Henson’s puppeteers and animatronics to sell their top-of-the-line trash bags. In this particular example of viral marketing with Clorox’s Glad trash bags, they have created an entire faux-reality television show called “The Wild Life,” which uses animatronic animals:

Glad has created a unique and bold viral campaign — not only with this video series but also by tapping into Facebook, where you can make your family the star of their own wild reality show. This type of marketing really gets people to notice your product or company by involving the customer on a personal level. There is no product or company too small to come onto the social platforms with a bang!

Don’t forget another one of the best industries for viral marketing: the film industry. New movies constantly one-up each other and try to break the social network mold during the heavy promotional stages. Twentieth-Century Fox achieved viral success in recent memory by releasing a tie-in campaign for Prometheus (Ridley Scott’s sanctified and long-awaited Alien-prequel). Instead of only using the standard movie trailers, they have launched a viral campaign simply called “David.”

Verizon is tied to this viral campaign by simply stating that David and Prometheus are powered by Verizon. Verizon also made their site completely dedicated to exploring Prometheus (the ship). All of these clever elements have caught the attention and captivated a lot more people than just the typical Alien fan clubs! Take a look:

“David” teaches us that reaching out to potential customers and networking among other companies as an equal call out, that will end up with positive results. So, go that extra mile to reach out to engage the unlikely crowd, you might surprise yourself.

The beauty of these creative campaigns is that you don’t have to be a huge international corporation to get creative and attempt to go viral. Even Quality Logo Products, this very company, as seen success with unique video ideas. Joe, the head of our media department, believes that creative companies have a clear advantage in marketing:

Videos and online promotions that showcase products or services are always a valuable asset, but that’s just the beginning. The commercial draw of social media means that brands now have an opportunity to have a little more fun with their marketing campaigns, and sometimes that’s exactly what customers are looking for – fun. If a Brand A can prove to be more fun, entertaining, unique, or surprising than Brand B, then Brand A will come out on top every time.

In addition to creating new online videos and maintaining an extremely interactive Facebook account, we always strive to interact with our customer base on a more personal level. It’s important for companies to have a creative side and a sense of humor, otherwise they’ll likely be ignored.

So, no matter if your business is big or small (and no matter which products or services your business sells), there’s plenty to think about when it comes to creatively marketing yourself. Broaden your consumer horizon by going against the grain!

What do you think of these viral advertising campaigns? What’s your favorite viral video example that netted a company a lot of attention? Any more advice to add?

Image credit to Clipart.com.


Serenity Morris

Serenity is on the support staff for Quality Logo Products. Cynical and straight to the point, this no-nonsense gal is loveable and passionate about her various nerdy interests. When she is not geeking out about music, British television, and politics she is usually doodling her troubles away! Her artistic abilities are often commissioned for internal and external QLP promotional materials. You can also connect with Serenity on Google+.

Comments

  1. Mandy Kilinskis

    I’d have to say that one of the best viral videos within the past few years was the one for Chuck Testa. Even if the guy hasn’t seen an increase in business (though I imagine he has), he’s probably sitting pretty on all the money he’s making from YouTube ads.

    In terms of viral videos, the best advice would be not to make a video with the sole intention of going viral. Those usually end up being flops. But if you’re making a video to add value to your clients or inform an audience…you’ll probably do okay. :)

    • Cybernetic SAM

      I agree! That’s just like when you go to youtube and surf through, and all that comes up is people adding remixes to videos about EVERYTHING — hoping it will go viral. It is a difficult marketing ploy, but if done well it can change your business in a blink of an eye.

  2. Jen

    I agree that if a company can keep a good sense of humor and have fun, then they are much more likely to stay relevant and not fade into the background. Nice post Sam, I can’t wait to watch the example commercials this afternoon!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks Jen! They are really good commercials and VERY creative. They are great examples of using creativity to capture attention. I mean if they can do it for garbage bags, anyone can do it!

  3. Amy Swanson

    I never really paid attention to YouTube before I started working here, but now I totally understand how you could waste hours just watching videos. I love watching the ads companies put on there exclusively because they’re typically edgier than what’s on traditional TV. The OldSpice videos are the ones that immediately come to mind for me… for some reason ;)

    Great post, Sam! In terms of advice, I’d say try doing a video and see what happens. You never know if it’ll be a success or a flop if you sit back and do nothing!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks Amy! Yeah like I was saying it isn’t an easy way to market but done right it is pretty awesome. Even look at us, our videos aren’t viral but when customers see them, they appreciate them. And I think that it is a great way for the neuromarketing aspect that customers start associating your company with faces and as people, not just a company.

  4. Rachel

    That Prometheus video is really impressive. I saw it for the first time a few weeks ago, and it made me way more interested in the movie than I was beforehand. I can’t say that the Glad trash bag commercial makes me want to go out and buy trash bags, though, haha. What a weird commercial…

    Speaking of weird, that reminds me of those terrifying Quiznos commercials from a few years back. I wonder sometimes how advertisers come up with this stuff. :)

    Great post, Sam!

    • Candice J.

      LoL Those Quizno’s commercials are still scary as HELL!!!! What on earth were they taking when they thought this was a good idea. Seeing this would NEVER make me want to go to there, in fact it just encourages the fact that I shouldn’t go there…. Bad move Quizno…..Bad move….

  5. Candice J.

    That Glad Bag video was HILARIOUS!!!! I would totally tune in weekly to watch a viral clip like that. Which I guess is what the company was aiming for. But on the same hand I’d only want to watch it because it was hilarious. I’d never pick that brand over another or suggest that brand to anyone based on the video. So I don’t really know how well this marketing strategy is going to work for them.

    • Cybernetic SAM

      As I said before I think the whole viral thing is majority to increase sales, but I think in today’s world there is a lot more to a business than simply sales. I think a huge portion of success is recognition and connection, and in this modern virtual world it takes more than just a billboard and a commercial. Youtube has changed the face of marketing and made it even more difficult and personal. People need immediate connection or they lose interest.

  6. Cybernetic SAM

    Thanks Rachel! Yeah I agree about the trash bags but it is just a good example of getting creative and getting your name out there. Though not as viral as they hoped it was successful enough that people had paid attention. Between that and the “David” video it is a neat scale of creative versatility.

  7. Bret Bonnet

    If Joe G. says it… it must be true! :)

  8. Jeff Porretto

    Personally, I LOVE when a company that sells something so mundane (such as garbage bags) goes out of their way to be creative. Because honestly, you just put your trash in them. And they’re all fully capable of doing that. But that last little bit of making the product just unique enough, and then marketing it in a way people remember is where the $$$ is at!!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Association has always proved time and time again to the success of businesses. Think about it if you really like or relate a creative marketing campaign you are probably more likely to subconsciously favor that brand. It’s science.

  9. Jaimie Smith

    Sam this was a really neat post. Its cool seeing companies make the extra effort to do something really cool. The first video, the Wild Life was hilarious! lol Def made me laugh!
    Great job on this post, Sam! Thanks for the info! :)

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thank you Jaimie! I am glad you liked it, just goes to show that with a little creative effort you can do some really amusing things!

  10. Jill Tooley

    You know I’m all about the creativity! The only reason I hate sitting through commercials is because 99.9% of them are god awful. If more of them were like the Wild Life and David commercials you featured in here, then I’d watch them over and over again!

    I want to go to Glad’s YouTube channel and watch more of this little series. They’ve managed to answer the age-old “who cares?” question by creating these videos — after all, who would want to watch trash bag commercials otherwise? Pretty brill! I’d definitely think better of Glad because of this promotion. And the David/Verizon commercial gave me chills. I know it’s not real, but it’s cool as hell.

    I still think our Anatomy of a Marketing Campaign video is crazy awesome! You know, as crazy awesome as Pillow vs. Pillow. ;)

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Pillow vs. Pillow indeed. You brought up some valid points. I too get very annoyed with the constant commercials that you see a million times and yet they are boring! It seems like most companies use repetition instead of creativity, they just want to beat the brand into your brain. Unfortunately, this strategy is a huge deterrent (at least for me), I latch on to companies who go that extra mile and get those creative juices flowing.

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