Free advertising

July 9, 2006 by  

Free advertising is so easy to get. Just don’t think to hard about how to get it. Case in point…

Diet Coke and Mentos
Diet Coke plus Mentos equals messApparently when you mix soda and the candy, Mentos, a chemical reaction causes the soda to erupt from a bottle. Two performers had posted a short video of themselves on YouTube, demonstrating their symphony of soda spray. It got them an appearance on the Today Show, which I happened to catch by coincidence on Friday 6/30. Millions got to witness the performance with Diet Coke and Mentos. The next morning, I’m looking at a picture in the paper where Jersey beach goers are making sand volcanoes erupt with the same mixture.

According to the performers, any soda will do, but Diet Coke is less sticky. So by now the Diet Coke and Mentos brands have received countless free impressions. Representatives for the companies are all to happy that their consumers find creative ways to enjoy these fine products.

Logitech Web cam
Last March, YouTube contributor “BowieChick” innocently enough posted a video about her break up. As she sped through the story, she added special effects over her face — a gas mask, cat eyes. BowieChick wearing gas mask No expected this short video to be a viral breakout star and viewed by many. C|Net reported in early April that it had been viewed 200,000 times. Site visitors asked how she did the special effects, so she posted a follow-up video demonstrating how they were applied with a software bundled with certain Logitech Web cams. Other viewers also posted their own sarcastic recreations of the original video. Logitech did benefit from a brief spike in sales on Amazon and all the brand awareness generated.

So how do you create a viral video for your brand?
It is certainly not easy. It can’t be staged. It needs to get an addictive hook across immediately.

Entertainment Weekly made their own attempt and posted an interesting recap of their experience. I Want to be a viral video star

It chronicles how some staff at Entertainment Weekly spent a month trying to come up with a catchy, 2.5 minute viral video, to prove they could do it.

They asked advice from a comedian, a girl who’s own video became a hit and professional viral marketers. They posted their video on YouTube, created a Gmail account and a MySpace page to track interest.

Do you know the secret for success? Please post a comment.


2 Responses to “Free advertising”
  1. T-bird says:

    As always, marketers rush in to cash in on the creativity of others – and miss the point. I applaud the passion, commitment, and resourcefulness of many of these home-grown efforts, and wonder how commercialism will dilute this new creative outlet? Can they even co-exist?

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