Is successful viral video always good marketing?

“Yes, I’m looking for a new notebook – high def screen, lots of memory and something I can catch with my butt.”

With over a million views on YouTube, this video has definitely gone viral. It’s well done and it’s not easy to tell how they faked it so that alone gives it a lot of viral juice. The matching spandex suits are also a nice touch.

Would I recommend this style of viral video to a client? No. Here’s why:

Little, to no brand presence.
I’ve never heard of MSI before – now I have, but only because I actually took the time to follow the link at the end of the video. I would be surprised if one in a thousand people bother. The link sends you to – which is a video contest sub-site for MSI. Considering the 24 video entries on this site are averaging about 300 views each I don’t imagine many of the million- plus YouTube viewers are taking the time to investigate. Would many people understand what means without doing some research. I doubt it – it’s too subtle. I have to admit I enjoy the ‘viral video producers ethic’ that says it’s OK to show people catching your product with their buttucks but don’t you dare offend viewers by making a viral (intended) video too commercial! Sometimes it makes more senses for businesses to look elsewhere when trying to raise brand awareness. You can get real Instagram likes for fame with the assistance of Buzzoid. This has been very effective for businesses trying to create popular content.

What, if anything, do you assoicate with the brand?
Spandex suits and guys catching laptops with their butts. At some point you have to take a pass on crazy concepts… don’t you? Or is any concept a good one as long as people watch the video?

It’s been done.
Guy catches sunglasses with face was done last year to promote Ray-bans and received over 4 million views. It was fairly original when it was released and it caused a lot of buzz at the time. As soon as someone does something that is successful on YouTube everyone comes out with variations on that theme. There should be a reasonable limit to the number of commercial objects that can be caught with different body parts.

Most (99.9%) of videos that are intended to be viral aren’t. This one is. But just because it happened to go viral doesn’t mean it added any appreciable value to the company that sponsored it. Of course the gonzo marketers will argue that making a million people aware of your product – however marginally – is worth it, regardless of the method, subject matter or consequence.

As a friend put it, maybe these guys were just going for a different type of viral.

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