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What are Viral Videos and How are They Effective in Marketing?

Searching for a new way to promote your brand on a limited budget? Viral videos might be the answer you’ve been looking for. Let’s first begin with the definition of viral videos. As the term viral suggests, these videos are very communicable as they link from person to person. Infectious in nature, viral videos are short media clips which gain widespread popularity through internet sharing services such as email, instant messaging and video sharing websites like YouTube.

Many videos that “go viral” are spread by word of mouth and some even make it into headline news stories, thus granting their producers increased exposure as they gain fans in exponential numbers. Marketers are now taking advantage of viral marketing by investing their creativity in new avenues such as these viral videos and launching them on YouTube to see how many viewers they can draw. As these videos are watched by millions, the brand behind the video undoubtedly gets a large amount of buzz – which is precisely what the company wants. Viral videos, which usually incorporate humor to appeal to a broad audience, have become a rather famous method to market brands or promote certain products by embedding advertisements directly into these highly-ranked videos.

Take for example this video produced by Victoria’s Secret competitor, La Senza. This viral video spreads holiday cheer in a very unique way. Without going into too much detail here (you really need to watch the video to get the full effect), La Senza promotes their line of intimate apparel by having ladies in all shapes and sizes sing a holiday tune in the key that corresponds with their cup size. (Hey, it gets you talking doesn’t it?) Check it out below and become the next zillionth viewer of the ad:

Here’s another one that quickly went viral: Evian’s video featuring active young toddlers who ‘live young’ thanks to the bottled water company’s naturally pure promise to keep the mind and body forever youthful. This video does a great job with incorporating humor into the message and has subsequently climbed the rankings of YouTube’s most popular videos. Take a look for yourself:

What viral videos can do for you:

Viral video marketing “pros” are numerous. The first advantage is that these types of videos are generally low cost to produce – relative to traditional television commercials at least. In fact, many viral videos are produced by amateur videographers since the content of the video is what carries the most weight. This way companies can cut down on their costs to produce such advertisements as long as they have created a video that is unique and provides value to the large intended audience.

Another pro for viral videos is that they promote themselves. Once the video is released the job is almost complete. The company then just has to sit back, relax and (hopefully) enjoy the show. Viral videos spread through word of mouth from internet users, so companies don’t have to do much to generate the buzz.

What’s your favorite viral video and what are your thoughts on the two examples in this blog post?



Bubba

Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on

Comments

  1. QLP Jill

    Wow, that La Senza commercial is one of the strangest videos I’ve ever seen! I can’t decide whether to laugh or take offense. (Although I have to admit that it’s funny). It is a terrific example of a viral video because it does exactly what it’s supposed to do – attract attention and urge people to hit that “share” button! The bras are pretty; I’d never heard of La Senza before this Cup Choir thing. I’m probably the only viewer who paid more attention to the product being sold than to the models… ;)

    There’s no denying that the Evian commercial is a good example as well. Normally I don’t like things that go overboard with the computer-generated graphics, but I couldn’t help but laugh at this one. There’s something SO ridiculous about watching babies rollerskate like that! I’d probably share this with friends just to see their reactions.

    I really enjoyed this post! :)

  2. KB

    Very entertaining! Definitely a smart way to advertise. Just think… people are to the point of skipping commercials on tv with new advancements in technology that allow them to do so and actually chosse to spend countless amounts of time looking at advertisements on YouTube. I myself could easily spend hours looking at this stuff…IF I had hours of free time. Great post! :)

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Great Point!

    • Vernon

      Nice

  3. Cybernetic SAM

    It is very true in today’s world unless your commercials or ads aren’t ridiculous or off-the-wall no one cares. Even if you don’t like the ad when it’s viral everyone will eventually see it. It is actually quite a brilliant marketing tool. As time goes on though you have to wonder when is “too much” going to hit a plateau? Eventually we are all (our generation at least) going to become desensitized to just about everything because nothing will shock us anymore. By favoring this kind of marketing we are mass producing shorter and shorter attention spans as well. But at the end of the day, it works.

  4. Vernon

    Sometimes the video becomes larger than the company themselves though. I remember a previous blog I mentioned the Old Spice guy (Isaiah Mustafa) being a hit on the web. From having Grover of Sesame Street doing one to Terri Hatcher going back and forth w/Isaiah. The only problem is that it didn’t do anything for the Old Spice brand.

    Incidentally I don’t feel comfortable watching the first video at work…. I will however “watch” it in the comfort of my apartment

  5. JJ "Suite G"

    I wonder if that first ad showcases the actual singing voices of those girls, or if it was dubbed over during the editing process using professional singers’ voices (or synthesized voices).

    As far as the Evian ad: I’ll bet it took forever to properly train and choreograph those toddlers.

    • Stantz

      You know, I honestly didn’t think about your first point until right now. I should’ve thought about that, but I’m pretty sure I was distracted.

  6. Got an Itch

    Is there a cure for viral videos?

    Viral Videos sound like one nasty disease to me…

    I was out partying all night last night and I woke up this morning with a REALLY bad itch… I wonder if I have a viral infection… Maybe even a VIRAL VIDEO infection – JK! :)

    Ok, on a serious note, how does one get the initial momentum required for a video to become/go viral? I highly doubt in this ultra crowded world that we like to call the internet that the “Build It and They will Come” logic still applies! :)

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