Highprofile viral buzz and word of mouth marketing campaigns

Hotmail (1996) The campaign that put viral marketing on the map and that helped Hotmail become the leading personal web-based email service provider. Deceptively simple, the campaign involved turning users of the service into brand advocates, by appending all outgoing emails with a small 'P.S.' message as if it was from the sender 'Get your free email at Hotmail'. By therefore turning Hotmail users into a promotional sales force, the email service recruited 12 million subscribers in 18 months...

Viral agent formats risks and issues

If viral marketing is anything that amplifies and accelerates word of mouth in the digital domain, or even any strategy that creates an exponential spread of a marketing message, then that covers a great many types of marketing communication. Even the subset of viral advertising alone can include a wide range of execution types, agents, or mechanics - including images, jokes, reality TV show transcripts, quiz promotions, advergames, digital video clips, e-cards, interactive microsites,...

Branded promotional games

This is where a game is actually created by the brand itself to support and promote the brand - it's sometimes referred to as advertainment. Often the brand or product will form an integral part of the gameplay. This doesn't have to be the case, but the brand will always be a central element of the game rather than riding on its back. The aim is for the game to be so compelling that it gets passed around the Internet or on mobile phones as the buzz increases and its popularity is communicated...

New reality 5 The importance of trends in a neophiliac society

The iconic linguist William Safire mused in The New York Times on the phrase ' insert colour here is the new black', as used in fashion and to describe something that is new or very trendy. In the piece, he highlights a word, relatively new in terms of linguistics, that perfectly describes people fascinated by the latest and greatest neophiliac. He writes 'I cannot let neophiliac go by It is a useful word coined in 1942 for one who believes that every change is an improvement.'9 In 1997, The...

Financial stimulation

Companies can also generate word of mouth that's motivated not by factors related to the product itself, but by extrinsic factors. In most cases, this is some kind of financial remuneration. One of the most common examples of financially incentivized word of mouth techniques is an affiliate or online referral programme, such as that run by online retailer Amazon. The system is simple and straightforward anyone who runs a website, or who is active on the Web, can recommend products from the...

Case Study 5 EMAP Get your kit off

Background EMAP's Zoo Weekly lads' magazine was locking horns with IPC's Nuts in a fight for young male readers. Getting young men talking about your brand is not the easiest task. They are considered more marketing-savvy and marketing-cynical than the average mainstream audience. They are also difficult to engage and interact with. EMAP wanted a PR campaign to generate ideas that stirred up interest outside of the magazine's weekly content. If you looked at the two magazines as an outsider it...

Case Study 2 Condomi Size Him Up

Background Condomi is a German company which, from 2002 to 2003, was trying to get established in the UK. It was way behind market leaders Durex and number two brand Mates, and didn't have the marketing bucks of Trojan, which was also trying to grab a slice of the market at the time. Prior to the start of the PR campaign, a third of condoms were bought by women, a fact that gave the PR company a directional steer. Campaign The campaign revolved around 'size', and central to it was an online...

Amass intelligence

The 1990s are over and grunge rock is dead. It's a moment in history when many of us who work in online marketing in the new millennium are so savvy about the Internet that we hardly remember a time when it was a vast unknown resource yet to be tapped. We take in stride the fact that the Web has created immense opportunities and significant challenges in polling efforts, and in marketing and communications, including providing brands and corporations with early warning signals from a PR...

Throw out the business plan its limiting

Brewtopia uses it as a rough guide only, specifically when it needs to look at why it went into business. Everything else in such a plan is outdated as soon as the first sale comes in. A business plan, if followed day-to-day, is predicating what should happen and doesn't answer the right questions when things don't happen. Customers determine the business and everything else follows. The biggest and most profitable part of Brewtopia's business today wasn't even mentioned in the business...

The Talkability process

In the New Scientist, Condomi, HP Sauce, Slendertone, Zoo and Fisher-Price case studies, PR is at the core of what became buzz phenomena. But the ideas weren't just arrived at by accident. A deliberate process had been followed. First, the brief was analysed and the current situation assessed both from the client's own perspective and through market and competitor analysis. Next, opinions were discussed and an informal strategic brief was set. These stages in the process are quite similar to...

How to drive brand advocacy

Brand Advocacy Pyramid

Because word of mouth advocacy is of critical importance in driving business success, a good case can be made for arguing that everything coming out of a marketing department should be focused on increasing advocacy rates. Whether it's advertising campaigns, promotional offers, PR, or any other marketing initiatives, the overall strategic goal of marketing should be to optimize the likelihood of people recommending your brand to each other. But how do you create campaigns that generate word of...

Notes and references

1 Gladwell, M. 2000 The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Little, Brown and Co. 2 Rosen, Emanuel 2000 The Anatomy of Buzz Creating Word of Mouth Marketing. New York HarperCollins Business. 3 Godin, Seth 2001 Unleashing the Ideavirus. Chicago Dearborn. 4 Reichheld, EE 2003 'The one number you need to grow', Harvard Business Review, 81 Dec. 46-54. 5 Wilson, Dr Ralph E 2000 'The six simple principles of viral market-ing'.Web Marketing Today, Issue 70. 1 February. 6...

Overview of Connected Marketing

In Part One Connected Marketing Practice, Paul Marsden, a market researcher at the London School of Economics, kicks off with a chapter on seed marketing - pre-launch sampling initiatives with opinion leaders, conducted in the name of market research. The chapter explains how to set up and run effective seeding trials, and uses case studies from Procter amp Gamble, Pepsi, 3M, Google and Microsoft to show how seeding trials with opinion leading consumers can boost sales by up to 30 . By...

What is live buzz marketing

Much like many other approaches to connected marketing, at its most basic level live buzz marketing is simply an attempt to harness, define and formalize what people have done since the beginning of time - talk to one another. Or, perhaps more accurately, it's an attempt to create or manufacture what people have done since the beginning of time. Marketers have now seen and acknowledged the enormous power of word of mouth and have tapped into it, coming up with a host of ways to kick-start it....

Case Study

Client GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade Energy. Primary target audience 16- to 24-year-old males. Brief Lucozade Energy's proposition of mind and body energy was clearly communicated via an on-pack promotion, which enabled consumers to win the opportunity to learn how to practise a cool skill that required both forms of energy becoming a DJ, rally driver, or film stuntman. The stuntman promotion was communicated in movie houses around Britain and was appropriately tied in to the release of Spiderman...

Creating advocacy with Icecards

Mania Adidas

Another simple solution to creating brand advocates and amplifying the advocacy of existing advocates is to enable clients, customers, or consumers to order free or low-cost brand merchandise, such as stickers and stationery to share with friends. At Icemedia, this idea has been developed into a turnkey brand advocacy programme that has been adopted by brands such as L'Oreal, O'Neill, adidas, Bacardi and MSN. The idea is simple enable brand adorers and brand advocates to order free sets of...