Some numbers to get started: More than 90 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and more that 400 million of tweets are shared every day. Viral Marketing, online buzz or social networking, all similar concepts to represent, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, a marketing activity in which information about a product, a brand, a service, an experience, spreads between people. From the reading of the article “Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance” I clarified some concepts and of course, learned some others that were completely unknown to me until today. I have always thought that viral marketing and word of mouth represent the same thing, but as Kaplan and Haenlein explained in their article, Word of Mouth “is the sharing of information about a product, promotion, etc., between a consumer and a friend, colleague, or other acquaintance”, which with an exponential growth can result in a viral marketing campaign.
Keys to success
The authors in the article put it very simply: Get the right message, the right messengers, and the appropriated environment and your viral marketing campaign will surely strike. It sounds uncomplicated but is not, no wonder why there are so many unsuccessful campaigns of this type.
On 2014, Malaysia Airlines launched a campaign based on a contest called “My Ultimate Bucket List” where consumers were asked to answer the question “What and where would you like to tick off on your bucket list, and explain why? A pretty good idea from a naked eye, but why did it fail? After 2 tragic accidents, both in the same year and both with Malaysia Airlines as the protagonist, a concept like “bucket list” was not that well accepted and even judged by the audience as lack of empathy and sensibility towards the victims and the situation. In this situation probably the biggest failure was the environment and the latest history of the company.
On the other hand, we have Dove and its “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign. The campaign tries to expose the contrast between how women view themselves and what others see. The video was uploaded in 25 languages getting consumers from more than 100 different countries around the world. This is the perfect example of how a brand, with not even mentioning its product, using the right messengers, message and environment can create a successful and memorable marketing campaign with outstanding levels of sharing and brand awareness.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2011). Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance. Business Horizons, 54(3), 253-263.
How These 10 Marketing Campaigns Became Viral Hits (2014). Retrieved from: