The OMMA Video conference hit New York yesterday, as media and marketing executives from agencies, marketers and publishers all took in some of the learnings from those who are on the forefront of making it happen with digital video.
I moderated an interesting panel called: Getting the Bug: When Video Ads Go Viral. It was quite a discussion. Attempting to tap into the “YouTube” phenomenon, marketers have been trying very hard to make their campaigns achieve a viral effect, and have tasked their agencies with the same. But the crux of the issue comes down to “viral” as a tactic. We discussed how the focus should be on creating good, compelling, and entertaining content. If it resonates, it will “go viral”. We used some cool examples, each having a diffrent story, approach, brand attribution, outreach program, and ultimate result:
Ray Ban / Never Hide
Diet Coke & Mentos (one of the earlier ones)
Human Skateboard / Sneaux Shoes
Criss Angel / Freak Your Mind
So what is the forumla for a marketing asset to go viral? It’s part creative, part marketing outreach, part riddle wrapped in an enigma? We discussed the fact that the current state f the viral video market is skewed towards the younger fragmented pop-culture segments – in other words, you’ll be waiting a long time for the viral AARP video. So where does this approach fits into the marketing plans of brands that reach different targets. It sort of doesn’t. Come on guys – we as marketers fit too many square pegs in round holes.
We touched on the subject of investment levels, measurement and the ultimate impact on branding and sales of a brand’s products. The net net here – keep investment levels sound, integrate with other activities, don’t bank solely on a video or other marketing asset being a viral phenomenon. Even if the content is great and is supported by outreach, it doesn’t guarantee hundreds of thousands or millions of views, or consumers engaging in blog chatter and conversations about the content. If the content is good – you will acheive some of this effect. Video sharing sites, blogs and other platforms that allow for collective experience are the new version of the “water cooler effect” of yesteryear. Focus on the content, the message, and the brand. Don’t try too hard, don’t over-invest. It’s either good or it’s not.