Word of Mouth is known to be the most effective form of advertising. In the last few years a new term was coined – Viral Marketing. Viral marketing is largely known as an online strategy, when companies produce an email, or a video, and encourage people will share it with their friends. Maybe “encourage” is not the right word – the readers/viewers feel they NEED to share this – it is either hilarious, shocking, or evokes other strong emotion, which compel people to share it with others.
Microsoft, like many other companies, use this technique to keep their brand awareness high. After over 3 decades, MS has a very strong brand. They don’t need to create awareness, just maintain it, and just notify consumers of the new product offering – to drive their OEM sales, primarily.
Recently Microsoft circulated a video, which is just amazing to watch: shows a man in a neoprene suit on a DIY waterslide, flying 115 feet and then landing safely in a kiddie pool. It’s accumulated more than 1.4 million views since it got uploaded to YouTube last week, and reactions were all over the place, ranging from dropped jaws to sheer amazement to a more cynical, “Nah, this can’t be real.”[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkwh4ZaxHIA]
To the doubters – no, it is not real. What is Microsoft selling? The new MS Project 2007. WHAT???
This is how it works.
MS carefully crafted a video, which has nothing to do with MS, or Project for that matter. There is an obscure web address at the end of the 44 second video, which you need to memorize and type in your browser window – not an easy “click through”.
All this doesn’t matter, though. What matters is that MS created a video, which shows something remarkable, (real on not real does not matter), which viewers will say ‘”WOW”, and “you HAVE to see this…”
Then Microsoft tracks how many people viewed (it is a German website – so only people who understand German, will be likely to visit the website anyway), and tell their OEM partners that they can’t ignore the demand for the product, as the retailers are getting bombarded by consumers, asking for that new product.
How do we know it is effective? check out this review, and read the subsequent comments. And the fact you’re reading this post….
Create something remarkable, to get people talking about you. It will pay!