Feel Good Viral Advertising. Does it Work Good?
Posted by Scott Dunn on August 20, 2008
Stride Gum has a YouTube four-and-a-half minute world-wide dance routine that has achieved over 20 million viewers. It makes you smile and want to get up and dance.
How many sticks of gum has it sold? Don’t know.
I think that it’s now very important for advertising to be liked. Not like the old show-and-tell days, when all you needed was a benefit and a reason-why.
But how do the marketers of Stride Gum hope it works? I guess the sequence is—
- I identify with (like) this brand, because
- It makes me want to dance, and that is true because
- It makes a lot of people want to dance, therefore
- I will buy Stride Gum.
Maybe that’s all implied, but I am so old-fashioned that I think it has to be stated, it must be true, and that the brand name must somehow be linked to the benefit.
What’s the buzz, and where’s the beef?
Small budget advertisers must make their dollars stretch far. Once it awhile a Stride may be a stride ahead (intended), but all froth must fizzle. “It’s not creative unless it sells” and “Advertising is salesmanship” are good words to live by.
Viral Advertising of course is Word of Mouth gone bonkers. It works short term— like an endorsement from a friend. How many times have heard this conversation—
“Hey, have you seen the ad about—-”
“No. Who’s it from?”
Does Viral Advertising have the seeds (germs?) of its own demise? Its unfortunate connotations are about disease, spreading destruction and death.
Branding is based on a substantial benefit and a continual delivery of that promise. Healthy brands are self-nourishing, growing, and vibrant. Lawyers are advised if your argument is weak, shout louder. If your brand is weak, make noises and hope it spreads.