Recent viral marketing campaigns

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This article was updated on the 9th of August 2006

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In this article, we examine a few of the more successful viral marketing campaigns to hit the blogosphere in the last week.

Some of the more recent viral campaigns in the blogosphere were about some up and coming movies. From Miami Vice to Snakes on a plane.

UPDATE: Rocketboom and the NY Times post material about That Girl Emily viral marketing campaign.

From Marketing Nirvana on the post Miami Vice is good by Mario Sundar.

It’s time to shine a spotlight on some exciting news happening in the backlot of the Viral Community. It’s a known fact that in the recent past, a few movie studios have been messing with their core target audiences (read bloggers) by shutting down a few fan blogger sites. The negative publicity generated by one such incident, has movie studios recalibrating their PR machines to giving Paramount (hint, hint) importance to movie bloggers.

Back to the Viral Community’s backlot: Chris Thilk from Movie Marketing Madness (MMM) who has been a good blogger friend of mine, received a call from Universal Studios regarding the release of the movie “Miami Vice”. Upon receipt of this info, our very own Mack, raised a clarion call to fellow bloggers to evangelize the movie via their respective blogs.

Movie studios are finding cheaper ways to market their movies. A simple phone call froma Universal studio exec to a blogger, which lasted about 30 minutes was enough to seed a buzz. More reaction from the blogosphere here. It also shows that seeding the buzz is quite easy, if made correctly. It is an interesting development, but one of the reasons why viral marketing appeared is to put the little guy on the same footing as the big guy, enabling different companies with vast differences in revenues to compete more effectively in the same arena.
One of the better examples of a viral marketing campaign came from the movie Snakes on a plane. The movie execs wanted to change the name of the movie. Because of the efforts of people within the blogosphere, they changed the title back to Snakes on a plane. More on snakes on a blog. If you haven’t heard about the movie, the title aptly describes it. Samuel Jackson is starring in it.
Another successful example of a viral marketing was the ThatGirlEmily campaign. Whatiswillthinking gives pointers on how to spot viral marketing campaigns. Here is someone who spots part of the campaign in NYC. The premise of the campaign is a scorned wife named Emily who learns that her husband is cheating on her, decides to make his life a living hell for the next two weeks. Here are the more interesting parts of his astute analysis:

1.) She has no profile. Well, at least not one that has anything other than her gender is female, and an email that goes to a generic GMail account. Normally when people start blogging they err on the side of too much information that they assume no one will ever read.

2.) Comments are turned off. This is to avoid anyone calling her out as a fake and having it seen by everyone. Seems like if you just started a blog you’d want to know people’s opinion on what you write, right?

3.) Normal people misspell stuff and don’t use correct grammar. A lot. This sounds like text copied from some chick-lit novel. Don’t all those start with a heroine who is blindly devoted to her hubby and then her world gets turned upside down, at which point she must gather all her strength and fight against her oppressors?

4.) Amazingly enough, there is a private investigator who has been hired by her brother (thereby proving all men aren’t in fact evil), and this private investigator is immediately available to promptly get to work on her case.

5.) There is a post for every single day. Gee whiz, that’s convenient. If you’ll notice, my posts are generally gapped, because I don’t have time to post every day. Also, I don’t have something to say every day. Despite being a successful real estate agent, she has plenty of time to write incredibly lucid and well-thought-out posts.

6.) Coincidental that this is happening in New York, isn’t it? ‘Steve’ works in NYC, while she runs her real estate biz in the suburbs in New Jersey. Isn’t it incredible how shit like this never happens in Omaha, Nebraska? Funny how everything on TV seems to happen in New York or Los Angeles.

7.) She says she’s going to unleash 14 days of hell on ol’ Steve. Allow me to quote:

It’s going to be 14 days of vengeance. 14 days of unbridled revenge. 14 days of Steven looking over his back to see what’s coming next. Because I’ve decided that 14 days is precisely the amount of time I’ll still devote to that faithless and deceitful husband before I wash my hands of him completely. These 14 days will be a message to all of those nut-sacks who betray their family. Remember in Jamaica, on our honeymoon, when you said we were now a family? Me and you. Oh, you remember! It was on the terrace, in our white satin robes, right after you came prematurely. (Shoulda seen that pattern!) 14 days of misery for Steven, 14 days of reprisal for me, and 14 days of fun for all of you reading this blog!

Welcome to Emily’s 14 Days of WRATH! Wait till you see what I’ve got in store for Steven tomorrow – a wine tasting party with a twist!

I guess we’ll be back tomorrow to see what happens, won’t we? Why 14 days, anyway? I’m guessing it’s because that’s how long this will take to get word out all over the place with man-haters everywhere. This was on the main page of FARK.com this morning, which coincidentally serves as a place where a lot of mainstream media vulture types get their news. What a bizarre coincidence that the first day she posts her declaration of vengance and decides to unleash 14 days of fury that it gets posted on a site with 2 million visitors. If this were real life, it would have been posted on like, day 9 of her vengence spree. It’s pure genius submitting a link like this to Fark. Not only does that site get incredible traffic, but word of this will also go out to the media outlets that use stories from Fark as material. Besides, it’s not news, it’s FARK.com.

8.) After a little detective work by my friend Matt, it turns out that ThatGirlEmily (notice how every identification is the same exact name?) joined a couple of forums, here and here, and posted the exact same message on two different sites. All of this on a day when she was showing real estate to a psychiatrist, running home to post, then going to a PI appointment to find out ol’ Steve was cheating, then running home to post again.

9.) Now this one’s the clincher. In her billboard that’s pictured above, it’s supposedly located in New York close to his office so his coworkers can see it, right? Well apparently there’s another one with the exact same wording on it that’s on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.

Rocketboom posted a vlog with an interview with the writer of the blog, ThatGirlEmily. The NY Times posted an article as well.

The blog was viewed over 2 million times in a month. The actual was exposed within 24 to 48 hours after it started. However, it still generated a lot of interest during its campaign.

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3 Responses to “Recent viral marketing campaigns”


  1. 1 Mario Sundar July 22, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    Range,
    Thanks for highlighting our own Viral Community’s efforts at getting behind a fellow-blogger, Chris in highlighting his leap into the big league among movie bloggers.

    I appreciate your referencing that & look forward to more interactions from you in the future.

    I also checked out your personal blog and couldn’t help but admire the collection of pics you’ve there.

    Nice to meet you.
    Mario
    Marketing Nirvana

  2. 2 viralone July 22, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Mario, looking forward to it as well. ViralOne is omewhat of a collaborative effort.

    Nice to meet you and looking forward to some interesting discussions on the subject.

    Cheers.

    Range (ViralOne)

  3. 3 viralone July 23, 2006 at 2:11 am

    Right now, we are writing an article on the viral marketing campaigns run by the TV networks to promote their up and coming shows. We have counted at least 8 pilots leaked on the internet in the last few weeks, 3 from ABC, 1 from NBC, 2 from CBS and 2 from CW. And those are just the dramas. There are at least another 5 sitcoms released on the net.
    Stay Tuned for our analysis.


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