Viral advertising refers to one type of Internet marketing technique that effectively incorporates already-existing social networking technologies, such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, as well as a host of others throughout the world, to promote a product or service.
Advertising campaigns are meant to reach the masses, of course; and since 47% of Americans, alone, use some type of social networking service, it behooves businesses to utilize popular social media outlets to increase brand awareness via the Internet.
Viral Advertising can take the form of video clips, e-books, text messages, Flash games, webpages and others; and the goal with viral advertising is to utilize as many as these modes, as possible, to transmit a knock-out advertising message across political, economic and geographic borders—profit is the name of the game!
The viral advertising realm is taking full advantage of utilizing viral videos which are used through internet sharing venues. This type of advertising on line, videos might be only a few minutes in length. One of the most notable viral videos was the overnight sensation, Gangnam Style by Psy. From December 21, 2012 to August 8, 2013, the music video had been viewed more than 1.59 billion times on YouTube, alone; and it became the first music video to ever reach a billion viewings.
When it comes to advertising, success relies on “hooks” which are intended to draw the consumer in, preferably within the initial introduction of the ad. Hooks are rhetorical devices that intrigue the listener so much, that he or she wants to listen to the rest of the advertisement.
Whether it’s emotional appeal, a thought-provoking question, an astounding statistic or fact or a catchy musical passage, the advertisement becomes a human magnet, of sorts, and draws the viewer in and keeps the viewer interested for the duration of the ad.
Hooks you might recognize:
Hooks are carefully crafted and repeated with every advertisement; and if the hooks are clever enough, sales have been known to double or even triple. Here a few you just might recognize:
** “Can you hear me now?”—Verizon
** “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” – Federal Express
** “You’ll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.” Pepsodent Toothpaste
** “Good to the last drop.” – Folgers Coffee
** “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!” – State Farm Insurance
The triumph of great marketing hooks is when those hooks become so engrained in people’s mind and so well-known, they become a household word or a topic of discussion.
Conventional Advertising Is Sinking:
The advertising industry journal, Adweek, reveals that conventional advertising such as radio and television ads and print ads, for example, are falling by the wayside and sinking like the Titanic to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars each year that are no longer ear-tagged for conventional advertising methodologies. This is why companies like National Ad Force Digital have been so successful over the last decade.
The research firm, Nielsen, states that this spiraling pattern shows no signs of recovery, and understandably so. Video advertising is on the rise and insightful advertisers are capitalizing on the video-advertising bonanza.
Web channels on the Internet have developed a new form of entertainment incorporating only a few minutes of runtime and they are called “webisodes”. Webisodes, many times, utilize humor, such as Burley and Carl’s which makes fun of professional athletes and their teams.
The humor involved targets mostly men between the ages of 18-34; and sponsors can jump on the advertising bandwagon to promote their wares—at times in the frame around the screen or sometimes as part of the entertainment. Internet advertising, via webisodes, is gaining immense popularity and companies such as Doritos, Coke Zero, AT & T and Dove are reaping the benefits of webisode Internet advertising.
Product Placement Advertising:
1: Television Programs:
Since audiences, who watch pre-recorded programming through such means as TiVo, tend to fast-forward any and all commercials, an advertising trend has emerged that has managed to remain one step ahead of those feisty consumers who just can’t bear the thought of spending their down time watching any advertising of any sort.
Enter: “Product Placement”! Product Placement, also known as “Product Plug”, has to do with literally, placing the advertised product in the program itself. Case in point: On Survivor, the host of the program, Jeff Probst, announces how one can win a crate full of goodies—cool tools, furniture and camping equipment—all with the Sears logo!
Or how about the endearing 1980’s E.T. character who ate Reese’s Pieces; and then there’s Spam which made its presence known in Kill Bill Vol. 2. Product Placement is almost subliminal yet obvious—a virtual paradox that has become big business; and Product Placement’s continued growth is akin to a body-builder on steroids.
2: Video Games:
Advertisers are, also, figuring video-game advertising into their budget—and they are onto and into something big! Money that, at one time, was spent, almost solely, on TV and print ads is now being strategically redirected to in-game advertising.
Video games are the new breed of Product Placement and the potential for advertising profits is endless. Sales from video games each year is in the tens of billions of dollars and in-game advertising isn’t jumping off this bandwagon anytime soon.
Here’s how it works:
Video game publishers partner with well-known product giants, such as McDonald’s; and in the game, The Sims Online, for example, animated players can buy virtual McDonald’s food for their hungry sims. In the game, Need for Speed Underground 2, Product Placement for Best Buy, Cingular Wireless, Old Spice and Burger King mesh together beautifully–but the paradigm doesn’t stop there.
Research indicates that gamers actually like advertising in their games since the real-world ads offer an added dimension of realism. Another case in point: one is playing a Major League Baseball game and the game player notices ads behind the home plate that are up-to-minute and were, in the real world, recently seen on television.
The advertisements, within the game behind the home plate, whether displaying a new movie release, a new model of car or a brand-name tennis shoe, could actually change each day, depending on the decisions of the advertiser. The technology behind in-game advertising is rising to new levels in that technology is allowing advertisers a way to update their ads even after the game’s release!
Yes, advertisers have the insane option of tailoring and modifying their advertising based on whatever changes the advertiser deems timely and appropriate. If Burger King promoted an entirely new product 6 months after one bought a video-game that was embedded with Burger King in-game advertising, that new Burger King product would, voile`, show up during game time, even though that new product was never in the game before.
Don’t ask me how they do it!