Viral Marketing & It’s Effect On Us

A couple years ago, I was introduced to an interesting phenomenon.  This phenomenon has been around for decades, but had to be defined due to the effect the internet has had on commerce.  In the free market, advertisements are everywhere but today I want to discuss those that incite an extreme interest from the public.  This is often achieved by using today’s topic, and that is viral marketing.

Viral marketing is defined on wikipedia.org as a, “marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to try to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses (cf. Internet memes and memetics). It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks.”

from CNN.com

Donald Trump making a joke about menstruation

Viral marketing is most effective when the content is, “stand-offish”.  Due to this, Donald Trump has had to afford very little to his campaign fund.  To use his own word, “any press, is good press”.  He exploits the sensitivities in our society and makes up a few in the mean time.

This has been practiced for decades by the mainstream.  On Halloween of 1938 an advertisement was given to the public via the most popular means of entertainment at the time, radio.

War of the Worlds

Advertisement for the 1938 original, “War of the Worlds”

It was at this time that the cinema was in it’s infancy.  In that infancy, due to the imagination of the majority of the public being occupied by the propaganda that was often being broadcast to them via the radio that could commonly be found in every home about the world wars, it was fitting that the majority of the productions coming out of Holly Wood were that of the science fiction genre.

When it was time to turn H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds into a film, it was also time to advertise it.  This advertisement would go down in history because of the impact that it made on the general public.

The commercial was done in manor that sounded like there was an actual reporter in a field in New Jersey where in the story line a crash landing had occurred.

Viral marketing was used recently in an advertisement for “Independence Day Resurgence”.  As the internet was buzzing for a several days there after about the speculation of an actual add from the movie featuring the “U.S. Army symbol”.  Asking folks to join the ESD.

My point is, we must be very aware of the information that we share.  Undercover advertisements, can be very sneaky.

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