Viral Marketing with Tiger Woods and EA Sports

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Now I’m not usually a fan of viral marketing; I wish I had a pound for every time a client has thought it would be a great idea. Usually they have no budget and have a dream of spending a small amount to effectively get a TV campaign level of coverage, they think viral marketing.

In the ten or twelve years I’ve been doing digital marketing I have done only a limited number of viral projects. This is usually down to one or a combination of these reasons:

  1. When we discuss potential budgets, clients don’t have anywhere near enough set aside for the project. Not that it needs a massive budget necessarily. However, if you want to spoof the Cadbury’s Gorilla like Wonderbra did then that’s not cheap. (Interestingly now spoofed and remixed to new tracks – check out these search results on You Tube)
  2. When we sit down and look at the alternatives for where they may spend that budget and point out that they haven’t max-ed out the opportunity fo channels such as PPC, they prefer an alternative that will give them a more predictdable response.
  3. The final element in creating a great viral campaign is a great idea. There is a nothing to stop any brand having an opportunity to come up with a great idea though. What is needed is real insight into the message you want to communicate, coupled with a great idea of how you want to communicate it and liberally sprinkled with the right kind of humour. Not all brands and businesses can and feel comfortable engaging in the right kind of humour.

I’m not proposing to list all my favourite virals here but I did come across a great response from EA Sports to a glitch that someone found in their Tiger Woods 09 video game.

Someone who had bought the game found that they could get Tiger to play a golf shot whilst stood on a lake. That You Tube member, Levinator 25, decided that he would post a video on You Tube showing the glitch and pointing out how wrong it was.

Talk about turning a negative into a positive, see what EA Sports did in response by following the link below. Take note when you visit how many views the clip has had…

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ1st1Vw2kY

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On July 29, 2009
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