At the Consumer 2.0 Conference last week I had the pleasure of spending some time with Steve Wax from Campfire. The firm was the subject of a really interesting Fast Company article in November 2006 and I found Steve’s ideas very refreshing.
Campfire – founded by Steve and a few of the guys behind the Blair Witch Project – does these really complex online events/games/virals like Art Of the Heist: Steve made me stop dead in my tracks when he said (roughly) “people have to stop saying they’re going to ‘make a viral video’ because you can’t decide whether it’s going to be viral or not. It’s the same as saying ‘I’m going to write a hit song’ or ‘produce a hit TV show’ – it just doesn’t make sense”.
I’ve always said that viral marketing was the conscious use of word-of-mouth as a marketing tool but I really see Steve’s point. You can try to be viral, but can you really say something “is viral” before it has in fact “gone viral”?