6 August 2014


Viral Marketing: Personality vs. Products

Viral marketing has become the forefront of many businesses, from large to small, they are all competing to get their product across to a mass online market, and the simplicity of the idea is that it is low cost and hard hitting.For a Viral campaign to be a hit, it needs to have interesting, watchable content that will get people talking and get the social networks trending.

Faux Kiss

(Photo courtesy of ixdaily)

The huge success of the 2014 viral video, titled “FIRST KISS”, was in fact a clever marketing plot to boost sales for the brand Wren Studio. This video was everywhere for months, people took to the internet and were posting, sharing and tweeting in the millions. There indicates a clear message, people respond to a humanistic approach to marketing.

Haven’t seen the video or need a slight reminder? Click here to watch!

Social Norms

The video itself was simple, a humble black and white tone with couples ranging from all age/race/sex. The cast members were devised in order to reach a mass audience, which was relatable to most, the result being a highly successful viral video. Using content that connects to the users on a personal level has always been a huge success, people want to feel emotion and this in turn associates a link that the brand is kind and customer oriented.

This is known in marketing as a social norm, one that is similar to a relationship on a human level, but with the absence of any sense of business transactions. This message is not cold and clear, it is asking for a friendly relationship with consumers to look into the personal side of the business, a focus on the 'brand personality'. In these interactions there is often an offering of something to the customer without an expectation of instant payback. Even though this type of strategy may not result in high sales initially, it does create a sense of customer loyalty that will result in more returning customers.

(Photo courtesy of Social Norms - Mobile Response)


Selling an emotion rather than the product

Even though a week after the release it was released that the ‘strangers’ in the videos were in fact models and actors who knew exactly what was happening. The awareness raised for Wren Studios was huge from the video. Traffic to the Wren website hit 14,000%, and 96% of those were new visitors. Sales in the online store went up to 13,600% when compared to the week before First Kiss was released.

"Whatever the original plan, "First Kiss" has become an amazing marketing campaign for an amateur filmmaker, but not for Wren Studio. She's created something pervasively, culturally interesting, something that has people interested in discussing its very meaning."

A perfect balance

There is a power shift evident from the popularity of these viral videos. The internet is now host to more than a billion of people , it has not only changed the way that products can be sold, but also how different digital marketing is from the traditional methods. Content is everything, if no one is engaged with your ideas, then there is no sharing and therefore no interest in your product.

Advertising no longer should be obvious and in your face. Product placement and misleading headlines are something that should be on the decline. The audience want quality, relatable connecting content. Companies should set their efforts on finding projects that the public find interesting. Focus on the people, the product will follow.

(Photo courtesy of citadel connect)

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