Well since I was in New Orleans the past week, I missed the memo of the switched readings for class. I decided to catch up with that and see what all the hype was about viral videos! Though I am thoroughly upset that I missed the day in class that you all just watched YouTube videos all day, I am well aware of some of the most viral videos and have a few favorites myself. One of them is Grape Stomping. There have also been remakes and re-enactions of this, but it started out as a story on the news telling about a winery where you can actually stomp on the grapes to help make the wine. However, it turned out to be a hilarious fail.
What I like about viral videos on the web are that anyone could make one, from a dancing baby in a home-video to a child lipsyncing, from pets doing tricks to mishaps and failures of various activities.
Actually let me correct myself -- not everyone can make a viral video (purposely.) Anyone can make a video and post it on the web, and I mean, it is possible for that video to go viral, though it probably won't unless bloggers and viewers really like/dislike it and share it with everyone they can.
In The New Rules of Marketing & PR, I found the example of Mentos and Diet Coke to be really very interesting from a company's viewpoint. Now of course I've heard of the reaction when Mentos are dropped into Diet Coke, and I've even done the experiment in elementary school, but the fact that these two guys recorded the reaction and put it on the web for everyone to see -- genius. Seriously though, who doesn't like to see explosions and watch things blow up? Not only did Mentos greatly benefit from this video that spread like wildfire, they also took it to the next level with social media and got the customers in their market to get involved. They hosted a contest for people to tape their own experiments and send them in to a special Mentos website where other people could vote and choose the video they liked the best. So smart. Then, to make it even better, they chose the prize offered to the winning video by carefully examining who the target audience would be -- technology savvy, younger people -- so they chose to give 1,000 free iTunes songs. This is such a great example of marketing because they did everything so thoughtfully and planned out once they got all of that publicity from that video, to continue gaining more publicity and milking it for what it was worth.