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Viral Marketing

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posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 10:16 AM
"Viral marketing" is a new trend that is spreading, where companies care little about the message and more about simple "awareness". A good example is the chaos over an X-Box football game where beta-testers inexplicably lapsed into a violent state for no real reason. The latest, from Mazda features what appears to be a car that just wants to have fun:
Download the QuickTime move from ATS here: Given that these two examples are very "Jackass" in nature, what do you think about this new trend?

posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 10:31 AM
Hmm ... I thought viral marketing was marketing by proxy of (usu.) free services. Increasingly, these services aren't even free. The marketing must be able to spread at a non-linear rate as well. The focus is on transmission, not necessarily the content. [ see: and ]

The commercials you highlighted are "post modern." Content is sacrificed for attention and by retaining attention, content is thereby resurrected as king. It makes no sense, but although it's a recursive definition, it works. I haven't seen these commercials, but I'm sure I would pay more attention to them.

I think, in a small part, these ads represent the dissonance of their target market. This is a bad thing, because these ads are gravitating towards the nonsensical and shocking, with little narrative or consequences. It exemplifies this drowning, sad post-modern world.

posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 10:41 AM
Speaking of xbox and marketing, the new volvo s40 commercial is strictly video capture from an xbox video game. I found it to be a clever way of marketing the "capabilities" of the s40 and definitely something new versus the usual "professional driver on closed course" type commercial.

I wonder if new s40 owners will try to perfect their driving on an xbox first and then try their new skills on their s40 on the highway?

posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 10:53 AM
Glad you asked!

I happen to be doing a presentation at a conference next week about this. In brief, "viral marketing" as a concept is several years old. It springs from the original research on memetics and the basic reading list starts with a 1979 article by Alexander:

Brodie's "Virus of the Mind" is probably the classic seminal work on this.

It's available online (free) here:

The "viral marketing" concept was popular in the "home bizop" arena a few years ago. Rosen's site has a readable online book on the concept:

Everybody tries it but it doesn't always work because we become resistant to it in marketing. However, when it works, it's good for traffic:

That's the basics. I can bore you to death with other things about it -- but won't. This happens to be one area that's allied to one of several research projects I have going on (research for academic conference publication.)

Oh yeah -- Ktprktpr -- NICE analysis! Bravo!

[Edited on 23-3-2004 by Byrd]

posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 11:10 AM
Actually, in the post-Internet era, "viral marketing" is intended to be something that spreads and takes on a life of it's own by the target market. The hope, in this case, is that young men (16-24, the Jackass audience), latch onto this video and spread it around via e-mail and IM... hence... the "viral" aspect. Increasingly, "viral marketing" is a heavily digital effort, relying on online word of mouth.

posted on Apr, 1 2004 @ 01:25 AM
Are you talking about stuff like that damn Quizno's commercial. It has those nasty-ass spungmonkeys singing that song. It made me remember Quizno's, but then I don't want a sandwich cause one of those things might be near it.

posted on Apr, 1 2004 @ 03:21 AM
Well, in the post-internet age of aquarian design with the human in mind, when ergonomics become sensible and keyboards and meeces and screens are dead and buried, viral marketing will take on a new form again.

I imagine most of the "viruses" will be imperceptible and companies seeking to implant an idea and own their customer's predisposition to purchase their brands will be using more of an airborne variety of virus where members of the target market are not required to act as carriers.

Subliminal advertising may be illegal but it can get so insidious that even regulators will not be aware of its presence.

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