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QotD: Make This Viral More Viral

Here’s an interesting situation. Ideazon, who makes “gaming keyboards” (something I must plead ignorant to even knowing existed) has created a very sophisticated viral campaign called “Dominate” that, as I understand it, is not actually “going viral”. Or at least not to the level they’d like (or that the budget would require I’m guessing).

I think the campaign has many of the components needed to go viral with their hard-core gamer target market (95% of customers are male and 82% are over 25) but something seems to be missing in the strategy, execution or media. My guess is that there are a bunch of little things that all dampen the viral impact – probably enough to prevent it from becoming a true hit.

Rather than offer my $0.02 worth I thought I’d leave it as an exercise for you humble One Degree reader. Consider this a group assignment for this, the first full week of December.

  1. Go to Dominate and review the site. Warning: Some people will be offended by this. Guaranteed. If so, hit the back button quickly and accept this little unicorn chaser to cleanse your mind.
  2. Think about what great viral marketing campaigns have in common and see if anything is missing from Ideazon’s.
  3. Consider new ideas they might try to jumpstart things that you haven’t seen elsewhere.
  4. Report back to us in the comment area below. I look forward to grading your work. 🙂


  1. James Sherrett
    James Sherrett December 6, 2006

    Okay, how about some blunt, honest criticism then some suggestions?
    I know that some good people worked hard on the creative, and they should feel good because the end product looks polished and loads and plays well. But basically, if we’re passing value judgements, which we are, the creative isn’t very interesting. A one-minute animation, a little disturbing, a little boring. Nothing more.
    There’s no hook, no surprise, no playfulness. There’s nothing new, nothing funny, nothing really smart about it.
    The audience they’re trying to reach likes to feel empowered and exclusive, smarter / savvier / more connected than the ‘average’ person. They see themselves as outside the mainstream. They’re hip to marketeering and they don’t want to be marketed to the way they see other people they don’t identify with marketed to.
    These are gamers – couldn’t the folks that made the ad take that small hint and created a game for the audience to play? Something as dead simple as an online scavenger hunt would have at least had a little payoff. Tapping into the RPG / quest genre in a goofy / fresh / fun way would have had even more life. Think of Trogdor, the Burninator.
    Tactically, the video execution is static. The payoff at the end of the video, which is the key thing to leave with the audience, the thing that drives them to ingrain the message and pass it on with their personal endorsement, isn’t there. The ‘ah-hah’ moment is a let down. Yeah, it’s a barrel. I get it. So? They’re not fish. The length is also too long for the interest level they generate and the payoff at the end. None of the characters have any story to them for me to care about. Even one small thing – a detail, a line, anything – would have given me something to associate with them.
    Plus, what else can I do with the video? Can I make my own? Are the parts of the video available for me to remix on my own? Not that I can tell. Overall the campaign feels ‘asocial’, not anti-social but not creating / fostering / feeding any sort of social connections.
    Where is the video available? As far as I can tell, the video is only on their website. No outreach to meet the people they want to engage where those people live. No posting to YouTube, etc. to use the tools built into those sites to augment the video. That’s a simple step.
    Then how about offering up the source files to people to remix? Run a contest to give away regular prizes for the best submissions. Create a party planner for customers to throw their own LAN party / gaming party with their friends, then post the results back to the website.
    To make the thing more social, consider what would happen if you held a party to play the video for some friends and colleagues. Take the web and the technology out of the equation. What other things would people want to do? How would they react? What would they discuss? How would you preface the presentation? What questions would people ask?
    Then translate that human behaviour onto the web.

  2. Matt Williams
    Matt Williams December 13, 2006

    The Z-board series of keyboards hasn’t caught on with my group of gamers and when I was at the Penny Arcade Expo last year, I didn’t see that many in the “bring your own computer” hall.
    Right now, the gaming keyboard market is dominated mostly by the Logitech G15 system. There is a lot of hype over the Optimus OLED display keyboard (where every key is an OLED display and all keys are completely programmable) but the cost is looking to be about ~$1 000 USD each.
    The ads themselves I can see appealing to mostly 10 year olds guys. Not to say that adults don’t find poop and fart jokes funny, but in this case…they just aren’t.

  3. Edward Basing
    Edward Basing April 30, 2007

    I like the spot. It’s a very specific target group they are going after. Hardcore gamers with $$ to burn. In that sense any ‘viral’ succes is could only be limited. I doubt an online scavenger hunt(?!) would work in this instance. If the idea is to simulate FPS domination, I would have added a frag counter and HUD display as the caranage is adding up. Or a double amputeed dancing baby mascoct.

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