I stumbled across a fun, if slightly risky, interactive ad for Burger King while searching for Star Wars themed birthday gifts. The ad is fun, and funny, while the punchline is a bit risque. And, once I’d finished challenging Lord Vader, it got me thinking about what makes a web campaign viral.
It reminded me of a Summer 2004 video for Joey Tomato’s. The campaign was nothing more than a tongue in cheek video short, streamed from the Internet. The circulation method – create the spot, email a link to everyone you know and see what happens. Did it work? I don’t have numbers but I can tell you that I got it from someone who got it from someone else who… well you get the picture.
So much of the marketing we see online these days is plagued by the three “b’s” – it’s bland, boring and, well, just plain bad. In short, utterly forgettable. Isn’t that the antithesis of what we’re challenged to do as marketers?
It’s far too easy to pitch a safe idea and a formulaic strategy – whether the pitch is to a client or your boss. But when I think of the ads that have piqued my interest, not one was safe and every one engaged me – they made me laugh, or cry, or seethe with anger.
To achieve the holy grail of truly viral campaign, marketers need to take the first risk. We need to put those slighly zany, just might work ideas on the table. And on that note, it’s just after lunch out here on the West Coast and I have a sudden craving for a burger…
See the Burger King ad that got me thinking and check out the Joey Tomato’s video.