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Corporate-branded Viral Videos

December 19, 2008

The weather outside is …. well “frightful.” It’s the first major snowstorm of this winter in Connecticut. I just received the following video sent to me by a coworker. Could not resist sharing it with you :)

Have you noticed that there is a subtle marketing and branding message at the end of the video? I bet you did.  More and more videos are put together attracting  large numbers of viewers by displaying funny and/or informative nuggets of content  followed by a subtle marketing message.

Here is a list of those which have been very successful (courtesy of  Custom Communications):

Nike - “Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold” – Viewed 22.6 million times
Pepsi“PEPSI (Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink – We Will Rock You)” – Viewed 14 million times
McDonald’s“Fast Food Freestyle” – Viewed 11.8 million times
Coca-Cola“Diet Coke+Mentos=Human experiment: EXTREME GRAPHIC CONTENT” – Viewed 8.5 million times
Unilever - “Dove Evolution” – Viewed 6.7 million times
Budweiser“Banned Super Bowl 2007 Bud commercial” – Viewed 2.1 million times
Microsoft“Microsoft Surface Parody” – Viewed 2 million times
Ikea“Banned Commercial – Swedish Midsummer” – Viewed 1.5 million times
Toyota - “Top Gear: Killing a Toyota Part 1″ – Viewed 1.1 million times
Reebok – “The Return of Terry Tate”

and my favorite:

Microsoft“If Microsoft Designed the IPod Packaging Video”

I ventured into this viral video space along with Creative Concepts when creating the “How to Write a Love Letter” video which, so far, received just over 4K views with little to no marketing effort on my part.

It’s interesting how divided my fellow marketers are on this point. Some are very encouraged by this video and waiting for me to create more. Brand awareness is what they point out as the video’s biggest  benefit along with low production cost and a potential for truly wide-spread and international reach. The critics however point out the fact that viral videos do not necessarily increase sales and if they receive the attention of the masses that attention peaks quickly and it is not sustainable.

What do you think?

By the way, it is snowing really hard now in Shelton, CT. Stay warm and safe.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Apache Cleric permalink
    December 19, 2008 2:59 pm

    So what if the viral nature of these videos doesn’t promote sales. It increases brand awareness which may not translate directly into sales, but the more someone sees your brand the more likely they are to remember it. Then later down the line when it comes time to make a decision and it is your brand versus an unknown competitor you automatically have the advantage. It is just like in politics the person with the better known name is more likely to be elected, even if no one knows anything about the candidates.
    As for sustainability the whole nature of viral videos is that that spread extremely fast and then usually die out pretty quickly. Are you more likely to remember the name of a company on the same billboard that you walk by every single day, that eventually just becomes part of the background noise or the company whose different ads are seen in numerous places that actually attracts your attention over and over again?

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