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Adverblog points to a microsite, created by Juxt Interactive and done up with a combined country/hip-hop/British twist, for Nestea Ice which hopes to attract 12 to 24 years olds guys with its music videos, T-shirts, branded character stories and a contest which offers chances to win a bunch of Sony products including a TV, mini stereo, PlayStation 2, games, music CDs and inflatable chairs.
Puppet Vision Blog points to another chapter in Virgin Mobile's Canadian "The Catch" campaign. This one, called "Billy the Finger," consists of a site with several videos in which finger act out various scenarios involving a shady cell phone salesman who attempts to convince Billy to sign up for one of those "bad" cell phone plans. The execution provides the viewer with the option to make decisions for Billy and view the various outcomes which include a trip to prison, a threesome, a hot cheerleader, circus acts, unintentional rear entry and finger burning.
The site is being promoted with fake "Wanted" posters in Toronto which don't mention Virgin Mobile but simply point to the Billy the Finger website which, as all viral-intended creations do, has a send to a friend feature which is labeled, cutely, "Finger A Friend." It's well done and amusing enough to create interest in checking out the various chapters of the story.
Writing on an Adrants forum, Kevin Glennon brings a contrarian but common sense point of view to the practice of viral advertising. Glennon claims viral is not intended. He says it can't be planned and is a response, not an intent, to a piece of work that happens to be worthy of passing along. He claims there's no difference between a viral campaign and a successful campaign, writing, "You do not create viral campaigns or efforts. You try to create them. Just like you do not create successful ones. You try to. You can launch something funny that gets 20 hits, and it's not viral. Launch something that explodes into 200,000 hits overnight, and yes, it's viral. It's not viral until it's successful. Anybody who tells you otherwise is robbing you blind."
While Glennon's point of view is certainly true in many respects, the notion of viral marketers as enablers of viral activity - those that implement tactics to increase the likelihood an execution will spread - can't be completely dismissed. It's true that the best viral activity is organic but many creative pieces do find their way around simply due to a little "push" from these enabling companies. They may not go far after the initial push unless they are well received, thus successful in Glennon's words, but they wouldn't go anywhere at all without the push in the first place. It's an intriguing catch-22.
TV Guide.com has launched a yet another orgasm-themed viral called "Fusebox" which, using a computer monitor and a flat screen TV, illustrates the attractiveness of TV Guide online content. According to discussion in an Adrants forum, it has not been well received by the industry. From the wide screen take over to load times to relationship to the brand, many found the effort underwhelming.
Fusebox, Inc. Creative Director, whose company created the spot and who, commendably and in an uncommon practice, placed this work up for discussion in front of a naturally voracious and opinionated audience, has promised to heed the advice of his peers during the creation of the next three spots in the series. Join the discussion here and offer your opinion. We know. We know. It's pain, but you have to join the network to read the forum.
New Line Cinema, like every other movie distributor has a website promoting its upcoming movies. But, for the release of its Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy, Wedding Crashers, New Line has added a twist and created a section of the movie's website where visitors can "crash" the movie trailer. Visitors who enter their name, a friend's name and their head shots will appear atop the bodies of their characters in a "re-cut" version of three minute online trailer. Once the "re-cut" trailer has been completed, people will want it to be seen so, of course, they'll send it out to their friends. It's a very simple, yet ingenious way to get the movie's site spread virally.
If you don't look closely while watching this tongue in cheek news reel about a female-deprived town in Alaska that scented itself aerially to attract women, you'll miss the fact it's a viral for Axe Deodorant. The clip is peppered with witty one liners and quips delivered non-chalantly and straight-faced making for, in our opinion, an effective piece of viral marketing.
In true buzz marketing form, recruitment firm, Accolo, which created a spoof, called "rethink Recruiting," of the famous Paris Hilton Carl's Jr. commercial has seen itself catapulted into the national limelight. The firm will be featured on a segment of Good Morning America at 7:40 AM EST. The spoof has been viewed 1.5 millions times and will also be featured on A Current Affair, Entertainment Tonight, Tarrant on TV in the UK, Fuji TV in Japan and the Today Show in Australia. In addition to television coverage, the spoof has been covered on upwards of 1,000 weblogs as well as The New York Times, The New York Post, Star Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle among others.
Five years ago, Ridley Scott's production company, RSA Films, founded The Fireflies Ride to raise money for Leukemia research organization Lueka. Five years later, it's still going strong.
The Fireflies Ride is a rugged, nine day ride through the mountains from Geneva to Cannes. This year a "rider," actor-writer Theodore Bouloukos, has launched his own website that tracks his progress with a new video clip every day. It's a pro bono project by the now corporation.
The viral website and all content was created by HBXIV, the now corporation's viral unit. the now corporation is also co-sponsoring a party to welcome the riders when they arrive in Cannes. Though the ride takes nine days for the Fireflies to complete, no one knows just how long Theo will ride. You'll know why after you see his physique.
Adrants reader Morris Adamowitz sent us this video which features a guy who claims to be a writer for CBS's CSI. In the video, he drones on about his writing inspirations, how he has to learn the latest techniques in forensic science, do meticulous research and sometimes, take the work home with him. In this case, literally, as he nonchalantly grabs a dead guy off a slab, carries him to his car and brings him into his house all while continuing to drone on about his work.
Whether this is an authorized viral or not, it really doesn't matter. It's good. It works.
UPDATE: It's all real. See comments.
Ty Pennington of Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover fame is appearing in a viral, security cam style, for Alltell. In the viral, Pennington appears to be getting ready to take a shower until, in the last frame, he pops up and shouts, "Hey! What are you looking at?" A link then takes you to an Alltel page promoting its "txt2win" million dollar sweepstakes which Pennington say will help you build the home of your dreams. OK, so the security cam thing has been done many times before but more than one person sent this link to us so, apparently, it's getting around which, afterall, is one of the major points to a viral efforts. And, anyway, who doesn't want a chance to win a million bucks?