Sunday, April 08, 2007

Viral Marketing - The Webchutney way...

Sometime back, I had spoken about Guerilla Marketing and basics on Viral and Ambient Marketing. Recently, I came across Webchutney, that specializes in Virals and claims to have pioneered the concept in India.

Whether it has pioneered the concept or not, it has definitely created some wonderful pieces of virals for “Make my trip", a travel portal famous for deep discounts in travel fares. These virals for Make my trip include Chidiya Udi and Chalo Lanka. Simply amazing and funny. There are a few other campaigns also, but nothing compared to the creatives like these. As is evident, these virals were awarded the Gold and the Silver Awards at Abby 2006 for Digital Marketing Innovation! Click for the virals - Chidiya Udi and Chalo Lanka



According to one of the reports on the campaign, Marketers have migrated to the web for heightened exposure and targeted audiences.

Viral Marketing, as defined, is a short-term tactics to grab attention, which may or may not translate into sales. This, according to me, is a big question mark. What is the objective of a viral? – Heightened exposure or increased sales? Agreed that the former is imperative, but does it translate into the latter? How do you measure the effectiveness of a viral? From what I read, it is based on the click-throughs and the hits – but that’s about it. Sales/conversions do not come into the picture, unless the campaign is coupled with promotions and offers.

That does not mean that one should include promotions and offers and links within the advertisements. It is important that visibility is generated first. The webchutney report mentions the same thing “As the strategy involves exchange of value, the first step is to make it worthy for your audience. Only then you can count on cheap publicity and eventual acceptance of your offering”. But there HAS to be a tracking mechanism to take this exposure right till the sales conversion part, which unfortunately, is missing in this campaign (based on my limited understanding)

Virals are ineffective if there is no channel to spread them. What works in India’s favor is the emerging webophiles, who spend a lot of time with orkut, youtube, linkedin and gmail. This entails web-based advertising, especially targeted to the youth and the young couples. Of course, the IT sector is a big booster for this as well!

Marketing Profs, in the first edition of their modified Newsletter, “Get to the Point” have given “Three Keys to a Viral Campaign” – Pitch Nothing, Amuse your audience and Invite participation – keys essentials to either translate business into sales, or float an entertainment piece for your consumers…

Coming back to Indian scenario, Looking ahead, there would be certain bottlenecks for web-based advertising in India –
  • Slow speeds and connectivity
  • Internet penetration
  • Accessibility in work environment (in most of the cases, internet access is restricted during office hours – so someone might get the link forwarded, but might not be able to open it, thereby blocking and stalling the viral)
  • Stronger negative hangover than a positive hangover
  • Linking exposures to sales
  • Integrating offline setups with online presence

    Whether or not these bottlenecks would be addressed or not, companies continue to use this mode for their campaigns. Extending their virals, the latest TV Advertisement also seems to leverage the viral way, by circulating the link to its ad through mailers, before its aired across TV Channels (Downloadable Format)

    The more you give, the more comes back to you. Once a viral is released, its replication is guaranteed and will most likely spread itself without the marketer's constant backing. A viral can be text, animated, film or in any other form but as long as it is snappy, interesting and hooks attention, it is bound to go around.

    Taking this concept further, Webchutney has introduced a concept called as “69 Marketing” – yup, based on the common understanding of “69” position, the concept primarily talks about the importance of User-generated content in Marketing.

    If you give it to the consumer, the consumer will give it back to you!
    "Through a four-point approach, your brand message becomes a part of the consumer's online social communication, which he is actively involved in". In this manner, one involves the consumer herself in brand communication.

    More details on this concept would follow – interesting concept, though! ;) Worth exploring further. For more details, here is the link to 69 Marketing!

    Webchutney is the first Indian interactive agency to initiate a viral marketing campaign in the home turf. It has pioneered the use of this promotional tool in the digital arena. It conceptualized, created and spearheaded a viral campaign for MakeMyTrip.com, a first of sorts in the Indian interactive space.
  • 4 comments:

    Makemytrip.com said...

    Hi Puru,

    Thank you for mentioning Makemytrip.com on your blog. We are glad that you liked our Viral campaigns.

    We can promise you that you can look forward to more of them in the future.

    Keep the feedback coming!

    Geeta Eral
    Makemytrip.com

    Vulturo said...

    Hey Dude,

    Thanks for writing about us - much obliged for the mention. Nice blog, btw.

    Chillax, rock on and that sort of a thing!

    Anamika said...

    i love such ads....while i am free in my agency i keep on watching them..the way they connect bollywood to advertise is marvellous...hats off to all you guys scratching your brain to entertain us...just wait for me to be with you one day...print media sucks....

    Anamika said...

    please post if any new ads are released...