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bazooka_kid.jpgI must have read and heard a hundred times that viral marketing is an inexpensive way to get a message across. Nice idea. But it’s not true.
The field of viral video contests and emails is crowded with a few terrific campaigns and a huge number of lame ones. I don’t want to pick on Bazooka, but the The Bazooka Joe Video Contest is a great idea whose execution is one-dimensional. Try, for example, to find a link from the site to the video entries. You can’t. There isn’t one. And, despite the website, blog, and, I think, a TV commercial, the contest apparently is not reaching its potential audience.
For example, I was on a cross-town bus yesterday and three teenage boys were goofing around, singing the extremely catchy hip hop Bazooka Bubble Gum song and annoying old people by dancing in the aisles. They were cracking eachother (and me) up. I asked them if they’d entered the Bazooka Joe Video Contest and they hadn’t heard of it. I told them about it and they said they’d check it out. These kids were the ideal audience for Bazooka, yet they had no clue the contest was happening.They said none of their friends did either.
headsup.jpgHere’s the bottom line: mounting a viral campaign requires not only social media, which provides remarkable new tools, but also integration with offline marketing, from street teams and guerilla marketing, to billboards, TV, radio, and print.
New media marketing is simply not a substitute for all others. It’s a tool: one of the best ever created. But doing it right ain’t cheap, or easy.
Look at the intensely clever marketing for Stormhoek Wine, which began by sending the wine to bloggers for their review, and now involves 100 Geek Dinners – offline – where people can get together to try the wine, and point of purchase, and clever labeling using the brilliant Hugh Macleod’s edgy cartoons, you still see the combination of online and offline, traditional and new. Because that’s where the real skill comes in — using all available tools in new and exciting combinations.