While I cannot claim to be a digital expert, I still do have a personal checklist for digital work. And it goes something like this…
1. Is there a brand connect?
Putting up a microsite with skimpily clad women might be just the thing for Axe, but if you’re going to chipkao (lazily replicate) your idea on another unsuspecting brand, it can be quite injurious to the brand’s health.
*Off-set the evil*
Just today a colleague introduced me to http://offsettheevil.com/ .
They made a violent evil game (condemned 2) and to showcase the experience of the game, they decided that to off-set the evil of the game one should visit http://offsettheevil.com/ . The site is cute, beautiful and happy. The game is now etched in my memory as bloody and violent. I suppose that is what they were hoping for.
2. Is there any brand ‘experience’?
*MTV Roadies Auditions*
MTV’s reality show Roadies has one of the meanest auditions ever. And they took the mean judges online to recreate the show’s experience. Quite an interesting thing. Try taking an online audition here.
3. Are you involving me for WOM?
I’m a little concerned about the viral. No, I don’t imagine it’ll die or anything. Just that we’re pretty much taking the viral for an online TVC, which it is not.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on getting blocked by everyone I know!
*Elf yourself* by OfficeMax
This is best involving and therefore WOM-able piece of work I’ve seen recently. Within minutes my entire gtalk list was flashing their own elfyourself videos.
All you need to do is upload a picture, and watch your eflved self make some real cool moves.
Mine was particularly cute *blush*. But I didn’t save it anywhere. Watch this one instead.
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and many marketers are sick of hearing the ‘let’s do a viral’ idea. Most are convinced that since everyone’s doing it, they shouldn’t; or worse, everyone’s doing one, so let’s! But the truth is, a viral is not something that has been done to death. And, a viral is hardly something you can ‘do’.
What is a viral
Viral: A self-propagating practice. It could be a video, image, text… any message.
And in that ‘self-propagation’ lies the excitement and the misery of a marketer. While a true online viral means limited marketing spends, it also means that netizens decide its worth and love or trash it at will.
No, a 2 minute video that a marketer believes is funny and releases to a bunch of netizens, is not a viral. It is a ‘viral-to-be’ and the power to make it viral rests with the viewer.
While most marketers are yet to warm up to the idea of a viral, ‘do a viral’ is becoming quite a boring brief that keeps coming one’s way. Simply because not every brand can and should be viralled.
Why the viral will not die
- Virals are fun
They entertain. And considering how everyone around me is ‘so bored’ all the time, I guess virals help.
- They make people feel important
People love to be the ones who know things and can tell others about them (“Oh! You didn’t know that! Let me tell you.”)
- They make people feel like they had something to do with it
This is perhaps the best part of a viral. In the act of forwarding a viral leads the forwarder to believe that he/she had something to do with it. Forwarders almost believe that they play a part in the viral (and they do!) and it allows for the coolness or funniness of the viral to rub off on them.
‘Popular by association’ is the name of the game.
- Even the lazy ones can share
It takes just a click. Serves the lazy ones well.
What will die
1. Patience with poor virals
Show me one more annoying viral masquerading as an attempt at ‘engagement’ and I vow to not use your brand!
2. Marketers patience with the digital medium
They’ve only just warmed up to our medium and there we go giving them virals that never viral. Ladies and gentlemen say goodbye to your digital budgets.
The viral will not die (no matter how much we wish the ‘do a viral’ brief would).
But really, a viral needs to viral.