Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oh, and one more thing...

We made a Chuao Wiki page! There's more to come!

visit the page here, I'm sure there will be more information to come as the company gets bigger and more successful!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This one's for you, Kim Gregson

Hiya Kim, just in case you didn't see, there were blog posts based in April that I didn't get credit for because of the same problem as the rest of them-- in the middle of working my internet cut off and then wouldnt let me sign back in again. It's the one about SunChips and the one about new laws for viral marketing in the April section that looked empty.

Besides that, I've enjoyed your class alot, and I know everything that I learned will be VERY valuable in my hopes to have a career in buzz, viral, guerilla, and all things cool--marketing. Hope you're looking forward to the Chuao presentation, bring your appetite!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Semester's Reflections...

When I learned about my mandatory assignment of venturing out into the blogosphere to report on viral marketing, it was very intimidating because I didn't have any experience nor much knowledge of both blogging and viral marketing. But what I learned from this assignment is that both of these things are becoming increasingly important and influential in our culture and society.

I had just become familiar with the growing activity of blogging and gaining an understanding of its increasing influence on society. Elements of legitimate cultural reference such as TV, news, talk shows, magazines, etc. have been using bloggers as reference as well. This is when I realized that with the impact of the internet growing in our society, elements available via the internet would be increasingly influential as well.

This revelation was very inspirational to me, and I look at this phenomenon quite optimistically; by people recognizing and acknowledging "bloggers" opinions, they are simultaneously recognizing the opinions of the general public; the "average Joes and Janes"-- their opinions and thoughts are being broadcast to whoever comes across or searches for it, and by publicizing it on the World Wide Web, makes their opinion visible and recognized by everyone: newscasters, Steve Colbert, and plain Joes and Janes everywhere.

So although I was apprehensive at first to take the plunge into the very open, publicized world of blogging, this realization gave me another optimistic outlook about it; that my opinion could be heard and recognized by either classmates or respectable people in the very industries that I hold to a high regard and hope to be a part of. Enter my blog topic: buzz and viral marketing, two very important modes of advertising not only in the wonderful world of marketing, but to myself as well. I hope to make a career in attracting people to products, services, and/or establishments in unconventional ways that blow their minds. Viral and buzz marketing are two great ways to do that.

In researching current happenings in the buzz and viral marketing industry, I came across patterns, concepts, and themes that contributed to a so-called "how-to" manual of viral marketing that has been developing in my brain. The most evident form of viral marketing is the utilization of the web video, whose popularity can be credited to the web phenomenon YouTube. Many of my blog entries had to do with viral campaigns that predominantly consisted of webisodes or short web clips- like online TV advertisements- such as the AirTran campaign (my favorite concept), the tourism company webvideo advertising, the Tassimo webisodes, and another type of video viral advertising that is a trend in its own right; viral campaigns for movies.

Within the timespan that I've been writing this blog I have covered two viral and buzz movie campaigns, the Dark Knight and the Quarantine campaigns, which are among many others that have happened within the year. This new trend typically utilizes YouTube to post realistic videos relative to the plot of an upcoming movie (ones like the pioneering Cloverfield videos), and ties in movie characters and their own storylines through creating blogs and websites for the characters and/or elements of the movie plot.

Although this approach is incredibly creative and interactive, I wonder whether progressive audience research methods could measure the amount of effectiveness and whether it decreases with the amount of movies that decide to copycat this type of viral advertising. If the opportunity just so presents itself in a job or internship I have in the future, I can utilize the knowledge that I attained throughout this course to find different modes of assessing the effectiveness and creating different types of viral advertising that may have the same effect on the target audience of these videos, but in a different way so as to not be repetitive and therefore receive negative reaction to the campaign.

One tactic of viral and buzz advertising that seems to be prevalent and successful is to keep the viewer guessing or moving along to find more. These movie campaigns always have a sense of mystery about them that makes viewers want to see other clips, visit other websites, and read blogs pertaining to the movie in order to find out more bits and pieces about the plot and to be immersed in the experience. Even a simple reference to a home website in a viral video or interesting banner will impact website traffic, which is the tactic used by Pepsi's Tava, AirTran, Tassimo, and even Hillary Clinton!

The last and my personal favorite and most important trend in viral and buzz marketing is humor. As referenced in fellow IMCer, and buzz and viral marketing blogger (with whom I share the same name) Kristen's blog, 88% of content that people send or pass on to others is of humorous nature. People are impressed and seem to warm up to stereotypically stoic businesses who have the capability of entertaining and getting a genuine laugh out of consumers. My personal theory is that these companies seem more personable, and especially when used in a viral campaign on a medium as personal and accessible as the Internet, they gain an affinity with the public that is otherwise virtually impossible to attain.

All of the trends that I have picked up in my time assessing the viral and buzz industry can almost make it seem like viral and buzz marketing is a trend within itself. The content is always up-to-pace, never dated, yet is so expendable when it comes to the next hot viral campaign. But what people, especially those in the marketing industry, must know is that the internet is not a trend, and it is here to stay. When covering the success of the online advertising regardless of an economic decline and the success of viral marketing, I realized that this is a piece of knowledge that I will carry on and utilize in my career in the marketing industry. What this blog and this class taught me is that the internet is the future. Technology is the future. Creativity and progression is the future. And I look at the industry and my contribution to it with these things in mind.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Seems as if traveling is this week’s theme…

Thursday, April 17th- last post of last week, blogger wouldn’t let me sign on.

I discovered another article written about the travel industry incorporating viral marketing into their advertising plans. Using the popularity of YouTube as inspiration, reported that tourism companies are incorporating viral videos into their websites in order for customers to better visualize the experience that their company’s services will provide them.

Apparently, this movement is incredibly successful. A 2007 report stated that a nationwide survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres found that over 75% of respondents said online video was as good as television for learning about advertisers, and more than 60% respondents said they had taken some action after watching a viral video ad.

There have been many success stores, one being from Sarah Robinson from a tourism company in Andalucia, Spain: "My conversion rate went over 20% today, I am so pleased. Having a short video on our website has enabled us to get a message to our audience that sound and pictures can do better than text on a page.”

Word-of-mouth has traditionally been the most effective mode of promotions for tourism companies; people tell others about their experiences, which encourages others to want to have the same experience. These videos are projected to be just as effective, but they are more expensive due to hiring a production company and the costs that ensue. However, a Sydney-based video production company called Authentic Holiday Films provides a “shoot-your-own-holiday manual” and they take care of the editing and post-production processes, which reduces the cost dramatically.

This is something, I hate to admit, that I’ve never thought of, but I wish I did. I know that while in Spain planning my weekend trips, these videos would have definitely strayed me away from decided to go to Lisbon, Portugal, during rain season, instead of Valencia, Spain. Oh well, maybe others will avoid my mistakes thanks to this new trend!

An airline has a Eureka! Moment

Wednesday, April 16th- again, my computer would not let me sign into blogger.

Ever since I have been doomed to delayed flights, lost baggage, and being treated like an incompetent child (aka FWC- flying while collegiate), I’ve always wondered—how come nobody cares about us?! The huge population of flyers who pay full price when they can’t afford it to run around to connecting flights just to go home to spend Easter weekend with the family?

As reported by Adweek, AirTran finally realized my dear market segment and has created a campaign dedicated solely to collegiate-aged folk- the “Fly free til you’re 23” campaign. The campaign started the week of April 9th; the company will release one 30-second and two 15-second viral videos featuring senior citizens posing as 23-and-under kids using fake ID’s and disguises in order to qualify for their new sweepstakes; a chance to win two round trips per calendar quarter until the winner turns 23. At the end of the viral videos, watchers are led to to register for AirTran's frequent flyer program, A+ Rewards.

The videos will be released on websites such as and, and has been featured in college town theatres and print promotions have been placed in college campus newspapers. The campaign is also in partnership with NBC on Campus, a concept incorporating NBC and University Network, which is a digital out-of-home company that broadcasts programming to 283 screens on 181 campuses.

People such as Henry Harteveldt, an airline and travel analyst at Forrester Research, are singing their praises about AirTran’s strategic approach; “Going after younger travelers is a smart approach, since most of them haven't formed brand loyalty yet” he says, "the promotion requires everyone to join AirTran's rewards program and it's a good way to build loyalty with customers.”

The promotion ends June 9th, so to all my fellow college students out there, get on and sign up! I did!

New Sony Movie continuing viral cinema marketing

Meant for Friday, April 11th- computer wouldn’t let me sign on

I guess I’m not the best YouTuber, because I just found out on the Wired blog network that there was a 40-second clip posted on YouTube in March of pure mayhem outside of an apartment building, sniper rifles and all. It was posted by “EricsVideoBlog” and he asks that people subscribe to his account in order to find out what happened in this clip which he mysteriously got his hands on…

…Turns out its just another viral hoax done by the people who seem to be doing it best these days- movie studios! It turns out that it was a viral marketing tactic created for Sony Pictures new film, Quarantine, which is set out for release all the way in October. The clip received at least a million views the weekend it surfaced, and at least 400 comments about the clip itself. They released the full trailer yesterday, and along with the first clip, have at least 2 million views.

Since the release of the first clip, “Eric” has created around 30 video entries asking people to theorize what happened in the clip. He has also referred to a new character in this viral marketing “story,” which has joined the investigation and spills about it in his “blog.”

These kinds of movie campaigns are very creative, and would seem to attract that same kind of people who are into alternative lives such as Second Life, since they are simulating an occurrence and getting the public involved with the story. My only wonder is; is this gonna get old? Are these campaigns going to turn off cynics such as I to going to see a movie that tries to trick people into getting wrapped up in it? Guess we’ll have to see what other movies and movie studios jump on this bandwagon.