In Part 1, we looked at some of the hottest techniques being used in viral campaigns for up-and-comers. But what happens when larger, established brands get in on the action?
One of the top moments of the FOOA conference came from Ogilvy North America Co-CEO Carla Hendra, who demonstrated how to make a viral campaigns stick. Channeling David Ogilvy, she started off with a few bold statements:
We can’t afford to be ubiquitous. (In the mass-marketing, media-saturation sense.)
Video is the new television. (Small-scale video projects can have a bigger impact than TV ads.)
Text is the new print. (Unlike traditional print media, text can be placed anywhere, anytime.)
Mobile is the new outdoor. (Forget billboards, mobile is the way to reach customers on-the-go.)
Ubiquity is the new exclusivity. (Mass marketing is over, and niche efforts are the key to ubiquity.)
And, of course, that…
Still, Hendra insists that “advertising has always been accountable.” She says that, sure, we need to be able to optimize on a scalable basis, but marketers have to be specific and shouldn’t generalize by saying that advertising isn’t accountable. In fact, she claims it’s getting more accountable as the science of measurement improve.
The Four Elements of Effective Advertising:
Art – Can be neither commoditized nor compromised.
Science – Viral campaigns should be measurable and repeatable (but not copied). A balance between art and science is a must.
Innovation – Digital innovation spreads like wildfire.
Experience – Content is what allows the customer to think about, touch, purchase, and engage with the brand; it’s the real “matter” (substance) behind the brand.
Grab attention with rich media (video clips, interactive games, etc.). “Rich media gets more clicks, but it doesn’t convert as well. Animation works better “…when it doesn’t have to be explained with copy.”
Ogilvy developed a campaign for Dove called “Dove Evolution” that garnered “over half a billion downloads” worldwide. (Still, I’d seen it and so had the person sitting next to me, but neither of us recalled it was for Dove.) The campaign was such a hit that it even spurred a hilarious parody in the form of “Slob Evolution.” As it turns out, Dove wasn’t upset, but flattered by it. That seems to be the healthy attitude for a brand, don’t you think?
On search: “In today’s world of precision targeting, what search means is that ‘clout’ matters less. Digital has been able to democratize media in a very real way. A used car dealer with a credit card can trump Chrysler for the top search term.”
“You’ve gotta have the courage to fail,” Hendra insists. “Take the risk, test something new. Carve out 15% of your marketing budget and make sure you’re TESTING new, innovative ways of connecting with customers. You’re gonna get fired by NOT testing–that’s what companies should fear.”