"Viral" is the new holy grail of marketing. Leaving aside for a moment that the idea of creating a viral campaign is akin to making a note in your agenda like, "3:00-3:15 p.m. Be spontaneous," I did want to share a brilliant piece of advertising for a company called Lastminute.com. Similar to Hotwire or other such services, they sell last minute plane tickets, theater tickets, spa packages, etc. This piece was created by London-based Rubber Republic.
In our last post, we talked about content being the most cost effective and meaningful way to connect with users. Give them something of value BEYOND the 30-second spot, and watch what happens. This is a concrete example of what we're talking about. Why does it work? I think for two main reasons. First, it does not claim to be something it's not, so it passes the authenticity test. The beginning of the video clearly explains that this was done with hidden cameras and actors. At the end, there is a tag that shows the name of the company and what they're selling. By the time the video is over, however, you are dying for the payoff. The second reason it works is because it's relevant to what is being advertised. It is theater about going to the theater. (Or should I write "theatre.")
The lesson for advertisers and marketers is the one we talk about non-stop: be relevant and be authentic. As of this writing, this video has been viewed on YouTube less than 170,000 times. Check back at the end of the month and let's see where that number is.