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Viral Marketing, Internet Marketing

For the past few years, viral marketing has become a frequent topic in the mass/general media. The explosive growth of You Tube, FaceBook and other popular websites has created a new area of opportunity for marketing on the Internet, and Internet marketing companies have realized the power of these social media websites.

What is Viral Marketing?

When information spreads from one person to another or one person to many others (like a virus) unfacilitated by advertisers, it is said to spread virally. Viral marketing is a form of Internet marketing that, when launched, relies on people to spread the message amongst their friends, family or colleagues (professional or social networks). Successful viral marketing often entails embedding messaging within other, broader communications methods. Jokes, games, politics, sports, video, audio, animation, email marketing and, of course, blogs have all been used successfully as the conduit for viral marketing.

There are many instances of more "traditional" web marketing efforts being so compelling, funny or absurd that, although not intended in the original marketing strategy, nonetheless go viral. This is most often positive, but can also be catastrophic (the Howard Dean "arrrgggghhhh" video clip was distributed so much that it, in essence, destroyed his chance of becoming President).

Case Study: NCTA Advergame

Our founder worked to identify methods in which the National Christmas Tree Association could reach out to Gen Y nationally, but for a modest budget. He proposed, conceptualized, scripted and commissioned the development of an "advergame" (game with embedded advertising and messaging).

NCTA viral marketing: attack of mutant artificial trees advergame screen grab

The advergame (Attack of the Mutant Artificial Trees) used a sci-fi comic book genre, delivered humorous "digs" at fake trees during game play and presented factual messages about the advantages of Real Christmas trees over fake. The approach was right on target for the audience and it proved to be a huge success.

To see the full viral marketing case study click here.


It may not be an advergame, it could be something as simple as adding a "send to friend" function to your web pages or email marketing, or using You Tube to promote your services, but Searchlight Interactive will work with you to determine whether there are creative opportunities for viral and Internet marketing that fit your target audience and budget.

Contact us and we'll explore the possibilities.

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