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    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    Viral marketing... Lets all get rich!


    I have been doing a lot of research on Viral marketing campaigns lately and decided to seek some collective involvement form members here. I am starting of the thread by giving a list of examples from Wikipedia. I am doing this to try spur peoples thinking and memories.
    • The Ponzi scheme and related investment Pyramid schemes, are early examples of viral marketing. In each round, investors are paid interest from the principal deposits of later investors. Early investors are so enthusiastic that they recruit their friends resulting in exponential growth until the pool of available investors is tapped out and the scheme collapses.
    • Multi-level marketing popularized in the 1960s and '70s (not to be confused with Ponzi schemes) is essentially a form of viral marketing in which representatives gain income through marketing products through their circle of influence and give their friends a chance to market products similarly. When successful, the strategy creates an exponentially growing network of representatives and greatly enriches adopters. Examples include Amway and Mary Kay Cosmetics among many others.
    • Early in its existence (perhaps between 1988 and 1992), the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 had limited distribution. The producers encouraged viewers to makes copies of the show on video tapes and give them to friends in order to expand viewership and increase demand for the fledgling Comedy Central network. During this period the closing credits included the words "Keep circulating the tapes!"[
    • In 2000, Slate described TiVo's unpublicized gambit of giving free TiVo's to web-savvy enthusiasts to create "viral" word of mouth, pointing out that a viral campaign differs from a publicity stunt.
    • In 2001, BusinessWeek described web-based campaigns for Hotmail (1996) and The Blair Witch Project (1999) as striking examples of viral marketing, but warned of some dangers for imitation marketers.
    • Launched in 2002, BMW Films was among the earliest viral marketing campaigns. It attracted nearly 55 million viewers and helped to elevate the career of Clive Owen.
    • Burger King's The Subservient Chicken campaign, running from 2004 until 2007, was cited in Wired magazine as a striking example of viral or word-of-mouth marketing.
    • Cadbury's Dairy Milk 2007 Gorilla advertising campaign was heavily popularised on YouTube and Facebook.
    • The release of the 2007 concept album Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails involved a viral marketing campaign, including the band leaving USB drives at concerts during NIN's 2007 European Tour. This was followed up with a series of interlinked websites revealing clues and information about the dystopian future in which the album is set.
    • In 2007, World Wrestling Entertainment promoted the return of Chris Jericho with a viral marketing campaign using 15-second cryptic binary code videos. The videos contained hidden messages and biblical links related to Jericho, although speculation existed throughout WWE fans over whom the campaign targeted.[8][9] The text "Save Us" and "2nd Coming" were most prominent in the videos. The campaign spread throughout the internet with numerous websites, though no longer operational, featuring hidden messages and biblical links to further hint at Jericho's return.
    • In 2007 the New York Times' advertising columnist Stuart Elliott wrote about a business-to-business viral campaign for a software company, showing that viral advertising has application in areas outside of consumer marketing.
    • In 2007, Portuguese football club Sporting Portugal integrated a viral feature in their campaign for season seats. In their website, a video required the user to input his name and phone number before playback started, which then featured the coach Paulo Bento and the players waiting at the locker room while he makes a phone call to the user telling him that they just can't start the season until the user buys his season ticket.[13] Flawless video and phone call synchronization and the fact that it was a totally new experience for the user led to nearly 200,000 pageviews phone calls in less than 24 hours.
    • Avirginsplea.com claimed that a 25-year old virgin living in Toronto named Geoff needed five million hits on his website in 30 days in order for Jenn, one of his very hot platonic female friends, to help him lose his virginity.
    • The 2008 film Cloverfield was first publicized with a teaser trailer that did not advertise the film's title, only its release date: "01•18•08." Elements of the viral marketing campaign included MySpace pages created for fictional characters and websites created for fictional companies alluded to in the film.
    • The Big Word Project, launched in 2008, aims to redefine the Oxford English Dictionary by allowing people to submit their website as the definition of their chosen word. The viral marketing project, created to fund two Masters students' educations, attracted the attention of bloggers worldwide, being featured on Daring Fireball and Wired Magazine.
    • The marketing campaign for the 2008 film The Dark Knight combined both online and real-life elements to make it resemble an alternate reality game. Techniques included mass gatherings of Joker fans, scavenger hunts around the world, detailed and intricate websites that let fans actually participate in "voting" for political offices in Gotham City, hidden phone numbers and websites in the queue lines of The Dark Knight roller coasters at Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Great Adventure, and even a Gotham News Network that has links to other Gotham pages such as Gotham Rail, a Gotham travel agency, and political candidate's pages. The movie also markets heavily off of word of mouth from the thousands of Batman fans.
    • Both the second and third games in the Halo series were preceded with viral marketing in the form of an alternate reality game called I Love Bees for the second game, and Iris for the third game.
    • "Will it blend" - the founder of Blendtec, Tom ****son, blends various items (such as light bulbs and iPhones) in a Blendtec blender in an ongoing series of YouTube videos, which has gained a large internet following.
    • In December 2009, podcasters of The Mike O'Meara Show launched a viral marketing campaign on Facebook to encourage others to download the show.
    • Between December 2009 and March 2010 a series of seven videos were posted to YouTube under the name "iamamiwhoami" leading to speculation that they were a marketing campaign for a musician. In March 2010, an anonymous package was sent to an MTV journalist claiming to contain a code which if cracked would give the identity of the artist. The seventh video, entitled 'b', appears to feature the Swedish singer Jonna Lee.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing


    What I would like from members is if each person can give a few examples of the best viral marketing campaigns they have come across. Please if possible give a link to the website.

    I am hoping that someone may give me the inspiration I am looking for. I would think if this thread takes off it could be the launching pad for many people that read this forum to adapt one of the ideas and make it their own…

    So thanks in advance for all those out there that are willing to participate…..
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    A great example is DropBox (online storage), where they will give both you *and* a friend additional storage if your friend signs up.

    This is "double-incentive" where you both gain something, and therefore perfect for viral marketing.

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : Thanks for you input
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    Originally Posted by Atle Iversen
    A great example is DropBox (online storage), where they will give both you *and* a friend additional storage if your friend signs up.

    This is "double-incentive" where you both gain something, and therefore perfect for viral marketing.
    Thanks... How did this go viral?

    -------------------------------------

    Come on Guys and Girls you all must know some examples that you have come across.

    What I am seeking is things people did to market their product that then went viral ie generated a very large volume of links/hits via viral spread. So not specifically the product but the marketing idea..
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    Originally Posted by Atle Iversen
    A great example is DropBox (online storage), where they will give both you *and* a friend additional storage if your friend signs up.

    This is "double-incentive" where you both gain something, and therefore perfect for viral marketing.
    Great idea.
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    Originally Posted by gazzahk
    Thanks... How did this go viral? ..
    1. You could post a custom URL on a blog, and if people signed up to Dropbox using that link, you would get bonus storage for free (ie. easy to invite strangers means they got lots of mentions in blogs - and then other people would add their own bonus-links as comments as well)

    2. It is a useful service, so you would send an email recommending your friend to sign up using a custom URL, and once s/he signs up, you get the bonus automatically.

    Very easy to use, no cost for any of you, and bonus storage for both of you - win-win :-)

    An important part of this is of course the FREE part; that means no risk and easy to recommend. My company liked this idea so much that we've implemented something similar, but our product is not free, so it can't be that viral (but the double-incentive is still useful :-) )
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    Hi Gazz..

    I personally like this one..

    Deviate attention and then make viewers realise that they missed something, subtly passing on the message..

    Idea on a whole, seems enticing..what say buddy?

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : Cool... Thanks my friend..
    • EGOL agrees
    • terriwells agrees : Wow, that's very nicely done. Thanks!
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    http://uk.tv.yahoo.com/news-extra/article/45330/millions-decide-fate-of-bt-couple.html

    There you are. Started as just normal ads, then someone with insight turned it into an actual "story" which people can control.

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : That is a great idea get visitors involved in the decsion making. This has real potential.
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    I really liked the concept adapted by Mathew Inman in promoting the online dating website mingle2.com

    He created some cool quizzes and surveys and allowed users to post the results in their personal blogs, myspace pages, websites etc

    The widgets can be viewed at http://www.oneplusyou.com/q

    This strategy helped mingle2.com get 90,000 UV the first month and went on to become a huge success until it was acquired by justsayhi.com and then some things went wrong...

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/widgetbait-gone-wild

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : Something like this could be used by a varierty of different sites. I can see the potential of adapting this idea myself... Thanks mate..

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    Originally Posted by pro_seo
    I really liked the concept adapted by Mathew Inman in promoting the online dating website mingle2.com

    He created some cool quizzes and surveys and allowed users to post the results in their personal blogs, myspace pages, websites etc

    The widgets can be viewed at http://www.oneplusyou.com/q

    This strategy helped mingle2.com get 90,000 UV the first month and went on to become a huge success until it was acquired by justsayhi.com and then some things went wrong...

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/widgetbait-gone-wild
    That story should of been called "How to kill the goose that layed the golden eggs" Very nice of him to share his stuff up.

    The idea great though something like this may be what I am looking for.

    --------------------------------------

    Memebrs please keep the examples coming... Already some great stuff here!
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    Some great images that went viral in 2010

    http://thefuturebuzz.com/2010/08/02/viral-images-2010/

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : I love the bus...
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    An article I just read

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/technology/7948560/aussie-youtube-queen-makes-100k-from-clips
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    This one's from Avast - great concept

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxM1cnphLpw

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : Great video...
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    Don't forget the latest internet phenomenon... The Old Spice YouTube videos... search You Tube and you will find them.

    Comments on this post

    • gazzahk agrees : Thanks for the input
    • paratroll agrees : It was a great campaign
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    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    Thanks to all so far that have participated.

    So far we have seen if you make a 'cool interesting video' this can do wonders for traffic. Side note I watched Kick A$$ the other nite and loved the way the video was what launched his fame (very funny movie).

    I am thinking of some instructional funny videos made in English and Chinese to put on my website.

    The small simple quizzes idea is great I can see this. It gets others to display you content and generates links, traffic and rankings. I can definitely see applications here. I know recently my business partner asked me to link to a site that had some cool geography quizzes on their website. The challenge here is to come up with ‘cool’ interesting quiz ideas.

    The idea of giving something away for free to get your site going viral is challenging. If it goes viral that is a lot of ‘giving away’. The give away must be of value for the concept to take off. It does have potential and I am now discussing some thoughts with others on what the gift could be.

    The interesting signs (ie the bus) I can see great potential. I am now consulting some graphic artists about making some very interesting posters etc that catch peoples imagination. This seems both easy and hard… ie creating the sign is easy.. coming up with the idea is hard. Maybe it is a matter of borrowing another’s sign/idea and modifying it for my localized market.

    Please people keep the examples coming. Everyone must have come across some great marketing ideas that went viral. Already I now have some potentially great marketing concepts buzzing around my head.

    What about examples that have captured a social networking buzz? Etc

    Thanks again for those that have participated in this thread…

    Please all other members out there chip in with you examples I would greatly appreciate your input…

    Thanks again

    Gazz
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    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    Once again.

    Please my friends somepeople must have some more examples then just the ones we have got so far.

    BTW I spoke to my business partner yesterday and showed him the examples that have been given so far. We now have the seed of three marketing stratergies we are going to try based on those ideas to make some things go viral within the localised market we target. So thanks for that.

    More examples would be greatly appreciated...
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