Viral Marketing or Is It Publicity?

Getting visual with publicity

The popular term in today’s marketing on the web is Viral. This is becoming a hot subject as well as a new marketing tool that advertisers, not all, are embracing. Getting in on a new technology is sometimes a good thing. But not knowing how it will fair out can be risky business.

viral videos and publicityRecently, a viral campaign was put to the test. A viral video was created using mentos and Diet Coke. The visual showed a geyser being created when mentos was put into the 2-liter bottle.

The video was viewed 600,000 times on such web sites as YouTube. This can be a great number when shown to potential advertisers. As with all new publicity and marketing tactics, there are the pros and cons of this new media.

One the good note, you can get your message, or visual of the product viewed by hundreds of thousands quickly. The negative, you cannot control how and when or where the video is viewed. It’s possible that your video is sent to a bunch of people who want to alter it, or place it near a porn video. No to do anything intentional, but again, no control on where it is viewed.

Another point, it is difficult to really track the effectiveness and direst sales results. Although the people at Mentos believe it worked well that they created a web site to encourage viewers to create their own videos.

This story about Mentos, and viral videos is getting a lot of media attention. In turn it is now part of the publicity phenomenon. Good or bad, a company needs to deal with the new media and be prepared to handle the direction it takes–good or bad.

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What’s New In Marketing?

PR needs to watch this new media

We are in a fast moving world that sees changes on a daily basis. Once we learn of a new technology, or a new media like blogging, we are quickly discovering another media. This time it is "Viral Marketing’.

As usual this new form has been embraced and popular among young web people. It is the video content that anyone with a cheap video camera and some editing equipment, will post onto a web site. This is not just a fad. Tens of thousands of videos are already in the ultimate Short Attention Span Theatre. These will range from the bizarre of car crashes and Jackass-like stunts to musical performances by classic rockers.

In a business environment, there is gold at the end for them. For example, you are already seeing how this new media is creeping into our homes by the TV commercials from MasterCard. I am sure you noticed their new TV spots that invite consumers to fill-in the blanks on their "Priceless" campaign.

There will soon be more high profile companies using this approach in their ad campaigns.

Another popular viral video that has become one of the hottest is YouTube, based in San Mateo, CA. Last April the YouTube had averaged 6.6 million unique viewers a month. That shows you the power this phenomenon is having. Several other exisit like iFilm. Just type the words into Google and see what comes up.

How does this relate to publicity and your public relations campaign? Well, if you do this right, you can probably get some great publicity for your pr client, or your own company by doing something unique using viral video. I suggest doing something that is legal, otherwise the publicity you get from the press and other media will not be what you hoped for.

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