Archive for the ‘Emerging advertising media’ Category

Viral Marketing

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Emerging advertising media


Viral marketing is using the Internet as a social network to promote a product or company through a web site, video, game, or other message spread by Internet users. The idea of a viral situation is that when a user sees the message, he or she will pass it along to his or her friends through online communication or verbal word of mouth; the message spreads like a virus and its goal is to “infect” as many users as possible.Viral marketing has grown in recent years due to the popularity and growth of user-generated web content, which allows viral ads to spread very quickly.


Reasons to use viral marketing.

Since the Internet gained more widespread use in the mid-to-late-1990s, Internet memes have spread as viral content. David Meerman Scott (2007) cites the “dancing baby,” spread through e-mail, as an early example of a viral video. Over time, advertisers realized that they could capitalize on the popularity of such memes. Sites like YouTube and MySpace allow anyone to upload their own content, which has allowed online videos to circulate very quickly among the general public, and therefore led to an increase in viral marketing. Viral marketing can be catered to most age groups, as more and more people are using the Internet and its social media. The public’s interest in new media has inspired many advertisers to use viral advertisements because people may see them as more unique and cutting-edge than traditional advertising.

        Cost Effective.

Another reason for viral marketing is that it is generally cost effective; since viral content is spread by word of mouth, the people are doing much of the promoting for the company. There are no particular estimates for how much viral advertising usually costs, but most viral campaigns are not expensive., for example, has used a number of odd eBay purchases to create viral buzz. In 2006, the site bought a kidney stone passed by William Shatner for $25,000, and the story was covered by reporters and bloggers. In essence, paid $25,000 for publicity, and the money was donated to Habitat for Humanity, which put a positive spin on the situation’s image.

Limitations of Viral advertising.

The main limitation of viral marketing is that it risks making the company look bad to the customers if the viral content looks too “fake,” forced, or similar to a conventional advertisement.

At other times, viral ads have given a company negative press because the company had its name attached to an ad, but was not aware of the ad’s content. In early 2005, a British boutique agency called Lee and Dan made a fake commercial to send to Volkswagen in which a terrorist tried to set off a car bomb inside a Volkswagen Polo, but failed because the car was so sturdy (Batler & Butman, 2005, p. 57-58). Volkswagen immediately received bad publicity for using terrorism in the ad, and its reputation was damaged until Lee and Dan admitted that it made the video.


Response from Viral advertising.

Successful viral campaigns have elicited strong responses from audiences. The Subservient Chicken campaign amassed tens of millions of web hits (Terdiman, 2005). Asa Bailey of the Viral Advertising Association said that viral campaigns have the potential to net 10 times the exposure of a traditional campaign, and defined what makes viral ads work as such: “It has to have some kind of wow factor. A viral ad has to have a connection to the consumer. It has to make you laugh, make you cry, has to make you think (or) it has to say something. It’s not so much about just banging on the product.” (as cited in Terdiman, 2005). The aforementionedCloverfield made $40 million in its opening weekend—a record for a January release (Brodesser-Akner, 2008a, p. 58). The movie promotion began with a teaser trailer simply reading “1-18-08” (the film’s release date) to pique the interest of audiences, and followed with a series of web sites hinting at details about the movie’s plot (Brodesser-Akner, 2008a, p. 58). These activities allowed fans to become immersed in the marketing. Marketing for The Dark Knight took fan interactivity further with online games that required players to take actions in real life, such as a contest in which the first people to find a particular bowling alley locker found Joker bowling bags with bowling balls, Nokia cell phones, and messages to call a particular phone number (Brodesser-Akner, 2008b, p. 3-55). The film went on to be highly successful.

Impact of viral marketing.

Although it has only been prominent for a relatively short time, viral marketing has made a notable impact on advertising. With the rise of new media, it has become fresh and unique, as well as easily to access and pass along for users. The inexpensive costs of viral ads, compared to their potential exposure, are efficient for advertisers. Numerous companies have already shown the potential of viral marketing, and others have opportunities to think of new ways to make viral ads fun and engaging for consumers.



Other interesting qualities about viral marketing.

Viral marketing also has other interesting qualities. One is that advertisers can use pre-existing viral content made by Internet users to start a campaign. In the summer of 2006, Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of made a video in which they dropped over 500 Mentos mints into 200 liters of Diet Coke. When the video was discussed on hundreds of blogs and its creators appeared on late night TV shows, Mentos began publicly supporting the two men and using the video for promotion (Scott, 2007, p. 91-95). Another curious idea about viral advertising is the “too-hot-for-TV-online-only-video” (Luscombe, 2009). Budweiser provided a recent example with a straight-to-YouTube commercial involving a man buying beer and a pornographic magazine. The ad’s adult-oriented humor is intended to intrigue the audience (in this case, young men) into actively finding and recommending the video on YouTube (Luscombe, 2009).

Examples of viral mareting.

Viral Ad – BBH Graduate Recruitment

Sprite Viral Ad

Captain Morgan Viral Ad

Ikea Viral Ad

dove evolution



Trash receptacle advertising is a method of advertising that can do both. Next time you are walking around town, count how many trashcans you see. Since the most trashcans are similar and boring, why not let advertisers spice them up a little and make them unique? Although this method is on trial in some locations, one can expect to see this method more frequently as advertising clutter gets more and more.

Reasons for using trash receptacles to advertise

Trash receptacle advertising, if done right, will capture people’s attention when they do an everyday thing, which is throw trash into a trashcan. This is a method of advertising that people will not be able to block because if the ad is unique it will catch the person throwing away trash off guard. Advertisements that are placed on trashcans will also obtain a high level of reach and frequency. If this method of advertising was used in a major city and hight traffic areas like malls in Nairobi think how many people would see the ad in the time it was being run. In addition to the unbelievable reach this method of advertising would receive, it could also obtain a high level of frequency if a company placed the same advertisement, or many different advertisements that advertised the same product or brand, on many trashcans throughout an area. If a company advertised their name or product on 300 trashcans in and area of New York City, it is a guarantee that many people would notice, and become familiar with that particular product or brand.

Although the cost of advertising on trash cans would depend on the area, it is guaranteed to be a lower amount than what it would cost to advertise on a billboard or on television. While an actual price of running an ad on a trashcan could not be found, by using this, it enables companies to advertise in the worlds largest markets at low out of pocket media costs.


Some may think that targeting an audience would be difficult through trash receptacle advertising because many different people will be viewers of the ads. While it is true that many different people will view the ad, companies can use this method and target their audience geographically. Products that are more expensive and brands that are classier than most others can advertise on trashcans that are in richer areas. The opposite is an option as well.


Limitations of using trash receptacles to advertise

Limitations of this method of advertising may depend on the area. In many areas approval to advertise this way will need to be received. Another negative aspect of advertising  on a trash can is the idea that the company’s advertisement is on a trash can, drawing a close comparison between the company or product and trash.


A company has a few things to think about when scheduling to run their ads on trashcans. In a City environment, one could think of the time of year that the city has the most visitors. While major cities are crowded year round, the holiday season would be an especially good time of the year to run advertisements on a trashcan. While one could make the argument that a continuous approach to running their ads would be beneficial, the contrary seems to be truer. If a company ran their ads on trashcans continuously, many would soon start to ignore the advertisement because it would become just another advertisement. The best approach would be to use a fighting strategy when advertising on a trashcan. The reason being is, if people see the ad followed by a period of time where they do not see the ad, the advertising campaign for a given company will stay new and unique. A pulsing strategy would also be beneficial because this method will allow companies to do a lot of advertising over the holiday season and less advertising over seasons that are not known to be popular spending seasons. Pulsing will also allow trashcan advertising to stay relatively unique.


The impact that trash receptacle advertising has on its viewers all depends on the company or product being advertised. It wouldn’t be a smart idea for a clothing company to advertise on a trashcan, because, well it’s a trash can. I would recommend that companies that use trashcans to advertise make a connection to what they are advertising and the trashcan itself. For example, if TRUTH ran a trashcan advertising campaign about how unattractive cigarettes are, they could picture a young adult smoking and under the picture have a line that says something like, “smoking is trashy.” If companies used puns while advertising on trash receptacles, people might find the advertisement more catch and unique. A company could also use the line, “we make our competition look like trash.” The use of puns on trashcan advertising would make the advertisements stand out even more than they already would.


Successful Usage

The companies that would benefit most from using this method of advertising would be ones that are trying to increase awareness. Trash cans will not make somebody go buy something. They simply will let the person walking by know about a company, product, or danger in a product, in a quick glance. Few people will stop and read five lines about a product that is printed on a trashcan. A company’s best bet is to run a big picture with a slogan on a trashcan when advertising. Trashcans are a great way to create awareness, not teach people about something.

In the future, as advertising space becomes limited, you can expect to see trash can advertise becoming more popular.

Digital billboards are roadside displays that alternate advertising messages approximately every 8-10 seconds with approximately 6-8 advertisers utilizing the same location. The use of these contemporary billboards has recently emerged as a more dynamic approach to reaching mobile demographics (middle-aged, working consumers) in comparison to traditional static displays.

The most significant aspect of this technology is that it gives the advertiser the ability to instantly change and update a network of billboards from one spot. This medium is most beneficial to advertisers who wish to communicate a concise message that will increase name recognition and brand awareness through high frequency and constant exposure.This digital technology has also been implemented to increase the safety and security of communities by the keeping society informed of issues that pertain to them, including: breaking news headlines, weather reports example: Digital billboards helped keep the public informed after the Boston bombings.

Advantages of Digital Billboards.

There are several strengths to be noted of the Digital Billboard: Flexibility for instance-unlike traditional vinyl billboards, digital billboards allow the advertiser to schedule ads to run at several different times throughout the day rather than deciding on a single ad for a single venue. In addition, with digital advertising, it is possible to immediately respond to market conditions- if an advertisement needs to be altered, it can be changed immediately, sent to the outdoor advertising company in email-form and then it can be scheduled to run instantly.

Disadvantages of Digital Billboards.

In contrast however, there are weaknesses as well. With advertisements in constant rotation, there is no exclusivity to a location; unfortunately, competition may be sharing the same billboard. Also, digital billboard rates can be more than two times the rate of a traditional billboard space; however, as cost to construct these new models decreases, availability will increase causing rates to diminish.