Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thirsty For More Viral Marketing

Brita Image
Viral marketing. If the term makes you cringe, you probably work in interactive media. Far too often these days, clients ask us to create campaigns that are “viral,” citing the popularity of applications that, frankly, have gotten old, and praising the apparent ease with which they generate consumer attention.
The more mainstream the concept of viral marketing becomes, the more misguided advertisers’ perception of it. This is largely because the majority of the applications they see weren’t designed for marketing purposes. There’s a lot more to viral success than slapping up a funny tool or glamorous microsite and waiting for it to become the next “Sith Sense”: And there are many more poor attempts out there than worthy endeavours.
Brita TV Bumper
So when I come across an effort that is as clever as it is effective from a marketing standpoint, I immediately take note. Last week, I was turned onto Clorox Company of Canada’s new Brita Faucet Filtration System microsite, a companion piece to “the current ad campaign”: Both are based on the concept that “you deserve better” — better water, that is — and remind us that the water we consume within our homes isn’t expressly reserved for this purpose.

What makes the microsite (“”: and associated Flash application an effective example of viral marketing isn’t that it’s interesting or entertaining. The site highlights the value of Brita’s products, and does so in a unique fashion. The ultimate goal is to sell products, not to attract site visitors simply for the sake of doing so. Sales, after all, come from visitors that are qualified, and because the microsite content is so product-centric, the odds that visitors will be qualified are very, very good. isn’t perfect. There’s some lack of attention to detail, for example the current page title is simply “House” — clearly a bit of an oversight. But the menu bar at the bottom of the page corresponds with the Flash animations, making the site easier to navigate, and the interactive concept is very clever.
All in all, this viral app is clean, simple, and completely on point. It may not be glamorous. It likely won’t generate the volume of traffic “Subservient Chicken”: did. But the traffic it does generate will be of value for the advertiser. And when it comes to interactive marketing, isn’t that what really counts?


  1. Zed Zidaric
    Zed Zidaric April 26, 2006

    What is “viral marketing”? It is not just throwing up an interactive website and claiming you are doing viral marketing.
    If you go to wikipedia, the definition of viral marketing is the following:
    “Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. It is word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it harnesses the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.”
    Did I tell my friends about Subserviant Chicken? Yes. Did I know that Subservient Chicken was developed by Burger King? Not initially.
    How does the Brita website classify as Viral Marketing? Is it a tech savvy and sophisticated site? Yes. Is it educational? Yes. Would I tell my friends about the site? Probably not.

  2. Freddy
    Freddy April 30, 2006

    The agency that created the site is TribalDDB, and the agency that created the print ad is DDB Canada.

  3. Jambhala Rinpo
    Jambhala Rinpo June 15, 2006

    Well I must admit that the picture of the guy with the grassy beard is funny, but it doesn’t refer to the brita website, and isn’t even on the brita website.
    The brita website looks pretty nice, but I don’t feel much incentive to use the “send to a friend” button on there.
    They certainly do highlight the products benefits which is a plus. They do it in a unique way, which is a plus. What they still need to add to make it viral is a real incentive for people to tell others about it.
    Maybe if they made a free ebook to give away that was about water and health, with links in it to their website. That might get the viral message across, and then have a “send this free ebook to a friend” link.
    Anyhow, just pondering.

Comments are closed.