As consumers we see big companies create these cool viral marketing campaigns, we watch them, and then what? Are you suddenly inspired to go out and buy those products? Or do you just say “Hey that’s cool” and move on? I know that I have seen some pretty cool marketing campaigns like Coke and Skyfall and the race through the train station or Redbull’s first man to free fall to Earth from space, but that didn’t make me start buying the products. In fact, you will never see me with either of those beverages. But I am not necessarily representative of the consumer market.
So how does the consumer market react to these viral marketing campaigns? Well I’m guessing that they have some good laughs at some of the more silly ones like Cadbury’s guerilla playing the drums, but do they feel a call to action? Well, if you are successful you will probably see a sales increase, but that really isn’t the point of viral marketing. The point of viral marketing is to spread some sort of brand awareness, and spread it quickly like any other virus would. And when your video has millions of views in just a few days then you know you’re probably on the right track.
What happens when you’ve got such a high number of people seeing your product and passing it along to all of their social network, then you’ve got a pretty high social reach, and it’s the consumer doing all the work for you! So going back to my Coke and Redbull example: I, the consumer, may not feel a call to action for those products, but I definitely remember them and I most certainly shared the video within my social networks. In that case, I’d say that those companies achieved their goals.