There was an article in the Guardian recently which talked about “viral branded content” and the top 10 viral videos of 2013. ( The secret to viral video marketing | Technology | theguardian.com )
The winner was Dove with its Real beauty sketches Dove Real Beauty Sketches – YouTube film which shows FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora sketching portraits of women from their own descriptions, and from the descriptions of strangers, clearly struck a chord with global audiences who recognised that, when it comes to personal appearance, women are often their own worst critics.
But what struck me in the article was the phrase:
“Creating the best possible content is a good start, of course, and promoting that content should be the next step.
“Viral hits ride the zeitgeist, they capture the imagination,” says Whatley – but they also “have significant investment behind them to ensure that enough eyes turn into enough clicks and enough shares.”
In other words, Real Beauty Sketches did not succeed on emotional resonance alone. It was also backed up by a rock-solid media planning, distribution and public relations strategy.”
Back in the day when I was a budding marketer, I remember a debate we had with our advertising agency where they argued that people buy ads as much as they buy products. In other words, a well-made, creative, engaging ad was as much a part of the product experience as the physical product itself.
It seems to me that what this article is saying is that the same principles apply – great creative content, emotional resonance and a brand proposition backed up by effective media planning, distribution and integrated PR.
Only the channels have changed since, from 30/60 second films on TV then to video content on the web now.
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose….