Writing in Forbes, the legendary Jack Trout pokes a hole in the word of mouth bubble claiming its nothing new and in early days basically accomplished the same thing by tapping "early adapters" with traditional marketing to get them to talk up a product. He riffs on both the positives and the negatives of the current flavor of word of mouth and questions the relinquishing of control marketers give up if they plan to enter the word of mouth space writing, "If I go to all this trouble developing a positioning strategy for my product, I want to see that message delivered. Buzz can get your name mentioned but you can't depend on much else." Certainly the current iteration isn't completely about giving up control as it's filled with tactics and strategies to control, guide, enable and direct the seemingly uncontrollable but, Trout does have a point.
Not that this viral ever made it to us unless it's the same one that is the source of that animated image we see all over the place of a woman getting yanked by her dog's lease. A site called Mount Everest Expedition tells the story of an 85 year old woman who plans to climb Mount Everest with her dog is really a viral campaign for Swiss mountaineering company Mammut. You can check out all the goify pictures and videos here.
If a girl signed up for this Plastic Assets credit card, we wonder if a Paris Hilton spending level would cause her breasts to explode or, perhaps, hang to her knees. Yes, The Plastic Assets credit card offers FeelGood Points for each dollar spent which can be redeemed for various surgeries such as tummy tucks, lips injections and breast implants. Applicants can sign up for various card programs ranging from the B card to the DD card. Yes, of course this site is fake and was created solely for the purpose of climbing to the top, which it did, of The Huffington Post's Contagious Festival. It also appears to be created by or at least sponsored by AOL as their banners are plastered all over the site. AdFeak links.
We're told this is a viral effort from Coke. It's a video called The Mouth which shows a bunch of guys (agency creatives goofing off perhaps?) talking into their video camera phones while pointing their phone at another camera to capture it all. The video ends with a product shot of Coke and a guy drinking a bottle of Coke while filming himself doing so. Weird. But weird usually works. Pointless does too. In fact, this could easily be swapped out for a cell phone company promoting its video cam. The video, posted on YouTube March 2, now, as of March 5, has 16,000 views. Hardly network television numbers but we'll watch where it goes.
Idea Grove points us to an interesting little ad clip for Salt lake City, Utah gun shop Totally Awesome Guns & Range which has garnered 53,000 views on Flurl as of March 5. The video poses as a bad horror movie trailer and humorously closes with "A horror movie doesn't have to last two hours as long as you have a quality firearm." While humorous, this one's sure to get anti-gun folk up in arms...wait...not arms....they don't do arms. But they'll definitely be pissed. Watch it here.
Street art site Wooster Collective is running a weird How To series, a part of which is called Lepos' How To Plan A Viral Marketing Campaign. The section contains a truer than fiction, step by step guide on how to create a viral campaign from using borrowed ideas, other's artwork, cheap labor and street youth. The tutorial then points to the "real" Where's Lepos viral site. Funny stuff.
Adverblog points to a little facial suckage contest called Kiss Off created by Dutch agency Qi for its client Stimorol Chewing Gum. It's a typical challenge game in which you choose your kissing character, your friend's character and the type of kiss. The challenge is then sent via email to the friend for viewing. The ubiquitous iPod is offered as a prize if your kiss is good enough. Britney won't be sending it to Kevin anytime soon.
Staedtler writing implement company has launched a campaign in Australia to increase use of its products. The only domestic manufacturer of pens and pencils in the country, Staedtler faces competition from the all mighty keyboard, those pesky imports and the death of the handwritten letter. Acknowledging this, Staedtler, with help from Host, have created a campaign that leverages dependence on the keyboard for correspondence. The campaign consists of a site on which visitors can craft a handwritten message and have it mailed to a friend (in Australia) but the return address will be that of the website from which the note originated. Host hopes this spirals and causes recipients to visit the site, create their own notes and spread the campaign exponentially.
The site will also be promoted with print ads and handwritten notes placed in public places throughout Melbourne and Sydney. We're not quite sure how continually driving people to a website to create digital notes will increase sales of physical pens and pencils but, like, whatever. It'll be fun to watch the whole country pen-pal'ing itself.
Dallas-based Moroch Partners has launched a bilingual, interactive gaming site, called Shark Bait, for McDonald's centering on the Filet-O-Fish and Double Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. In the first level of the game, the player has to keep the sandwich away from attacking sharks and the walls of the tank. There are two additional levels for which unlock codes can be obtained by forwarding the game to a friend viral-bribe style.
The effort aligns well with the rise in online gaming and players who interact with a fish sandwich for a while just might succumb to the power of suggestion and go buy a deep fat fried slab of fish between a bun slathered with some kind of special sauce. Mmm. I'm lovin' it!
Those crazy kids over at McKinney Silver have extended their Pherotones campaign, a guised promotion for Oasys Mobile to viral video with this clip seeded through Emily's Eatmail. While ringing cell phones in the middle of a wedding ceremony certainly cause reaction, the reaction to this ring tone...excuse us...pherotone causes a different sort of reaction with the groom.