VIRAL SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
Remember Gagnam Style, the music video which went viral on Youtube in 2012, and ended up breaking the youtube view counter in December 2014. The video made its singer, Psy a national Icon and an instant millionaire through a combination of youtube ads, iTunes downloads and other commercials. Another such video which might Ring a bell is the Harlem shake, which took half the time “Gagnam Style” took to hit 1 billion views.
Various companies and MNC’s try to follow a similar Mantra to boost their sales and expand their social media presence. All the likes, shares and tweets we do are directly or indirectly responsible for proliferating their revenues.
The Social Media market, which includes various websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. have recently become the new hub for marketers. The main aim of Social Media Marketing is to create content that attracts attention and compels readers to share it across their social networks. These virtual markets, which did not exist until a decade ago are projected to generate over $ 11 billion in revenue through various campaigns and advertisements by the end of 2017. Platforms mostly used by Social Media marketers.
When talking about Viral Social Media campaigns, one simply cannot forget about the Old Spice ad campaign in 2010. this ad campaign is often considered to be the Godfather of the advertising world, as it was the first time a company had been able to generate such a favourable customer response.
All men’s deodrants and bodywashes have always targeted men in their advertisement but Old Spice, which is practically the inventor of men’s bodywash decided to reinvent the box. They targeted women, not men in their video, ‘The man your man could smell’. The video was aired on a superbowl weekend and quickly became a phenomenon. 3 months down the line, it captured 75% of all conversations in the category by women and suddenly, everyone was talking about, ‘the man your man could smell like’.
The success of the video obliged the company to follow it up with a response campaign -
Old Spice produced over 180 similar advertisements and videos, took comments from all other social media sites such as Reddit, twitter, facebook andposted the same on its youtube page.
The overwhelming response, the company got from the public was evident, as the campaign got more views than Obama’s victory speech in a day and soon eclipsed 40 million views within the week. These campaigns ended up being Godsent for the company as it helped turn the bussiness around. Its twitter following increased by 2700%, facebook fan interaction by 800% and sales by over 100%. The Company also became the #1 Youtube channel after crossing the 1.5 billion mark in just 6 months.
As we all know, this era, dominated by social media has proided marketers with some powerful new tools. They are global, potentiallly viral and free. This can be further exemplified by the fact that Snapchat, which is a relatively new social media platform is worth more than Burger King and Pizza Hut COMBINED !
Various kinds of businesses across the globe are now using this free technique to promote their products and services. For Example, a few years ago, in Cadbury’s, “thanks a million” campaign, the company built a giant Facebook ‘like’ thumb out of 3 tones of Cadbury Dairy Milk Tablets, combining in such a way that their Facebook Fans understood. This was done to thank the company’s fan-base for helping them reach a Million likes and was widely appreciated by the Public.
While campaigns such as this are part of a company’s deliberate efforts to connect with the public and boost sales, some like the Diet coke and Mentos volcano experiment which received millionsof likes was absolutely accidental and the respective companies had no part to play in the virality of the videos. They, nevertheless accepted with open arms, the boosted sales which were followed after.
Social Media however, does not guarntee that the content being shared online is always begin in nature. Many a times in the past has it happened that an image, a video or atweet by an employee of a company has fostered dissent. Recently, a Taco Bell employee was fired for posting controversial pictures of him canoodling a few tacos on Facebook. Following the incident, the company’s twitter and FB pages were filled with posts by angry and disgusted customers.
Another very similar blooper happened with Dominos in 2013. We know how video content is one of the best ways to captivate audience. Well, two employees at Domino’s Pizza apparently embraced this philosophy, but no the determent of the brand. Instead of using video to talk about what a great brand Domino’s is, these two employees created dirty Domino’s Pizza videos by committing heinous and unsanitary acts with the food that they were preparing. Needless to say, these videos didn’t exactly get patrons excited to order up a pizza.
So its evident that everyone has a few hiccups with their social media marketing strategies from time to time, whether they’re a small mom and pop shop or one of the big brands. Such occurances, albeit accidental and uncontrolable are extremely unhealthy for a company’s growth and put them under a bad light publicly.