In our daily life, million of advertisements pass consciously and unconsciously through our minds. People are exposed to hundreds of branded messages each day, so they get incredibly bored to observe them. Even more, their brains act as filters to protect them from too much information. Mass production of services and products is rapidly increased in exceptional levels, although people’s ability to remember the stimuli remains stable. As a result, consumers pay less attention to advertising. But the main reason of this unconscious attitude is competition for attention. Nowadays, an advertising message does not only compete between another 3000 marketing and advertising messages, but also against the smell of our favourite food coming from the kitchen, the unexpected message from our wanted-lover, the broken vacuum cleaner, the electricity bill, our daydreaming and of course everything that could attract the attention of the target audience. Viral advertising is a potentially effective way to bypass people’s apathy, since it graps their attention by its strong emotional messages.
Every advertisement has a story to tell. The importance is how this story will get to people’s mind. It is estimated that an effective advertising is like virus, when it affects from one to another. Viral advertising is all about a good story that people will spread like wildfire through their online communities. It means that the content is so interesting that people are induced to share it.
Viral advertising is created by marketing strategies. It aims to exploit people’s natural interaction and make them spread the message voluntarily like wildfire – in order to build brand awareness, through the online community. Basically, it is word of mouth delivered and enhanced online.
Viral advertising, can propel any entire business, product or service to fame and give it long lasting power. Most importantly it is of low cost, or in some cases for free. ‘FREE’ is the most powerful word in the marketing world of our times, when advertising expenditure is being cut. A successful viral advertisement can ultimately lead prospects and buyers to Companies which this ultimately translates into more sales. It is fundamental to any company’s future success – creating exponential growth and rapid increase visibility.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Feedback | The company is able to control directly and rapidly the reactions of the consumers. Information about public impressions, interests or the amount of possitive or negative reviews is easily collected.
- Interaction | This is a direct, one to one communication or an Interpersonal communication that could even take the form of face to face interaction. This involves any individual on a personal level and engages them more fully than any other form of interaction. Especially because it is a voluntary interaction.
- Hypertext | Scales without much effort from small to large amount of information, hence making easier the browsing of each users details, page views, preferences and feedback.
- Spread | Viral strategies, such as viruses take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to even millions of people, who will interact and forward the message further.
- Existing relationships | Utilizes existing communication relationships with people. They will do all the work by voluntarily spreading favourable advertising messages to their friends.
- Inexpensive | The low cost of a viral advertising is a fact due to the use of already established free social communities, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and more, as well as other portals, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Msn and more. Furthermore message transmition is free.
- Effortless | It requires little effort in comparison to other types of paid advertising. The advertising message spreads with a click of a button, virally.
- It is not easy for marketers to forecast people’s responces and attitudes towards the viral message. So, they do not know for sure if the message will be liked or disliked to be transmitted.
- A message that carries a catchy title such as, “amazing home video” may result in forgeting the actual brand.
- Many viral advertisements end up to the recycle bin as spam.
- A not-so-nice advertising message can be avoided by zapping, but a not-so-nice viral advertising is rapidly deleted and even worse it gets heavily criticized.
- Sometimes the company wants to sell a product or service but the viral advertising mainly promotes their brand instead.This may results to low sales for the specific product or service.
- Comments cannot be controled and it is possible to create crisis situations because of negative word of mouth. Then additional efforts and costs are created to deal with the crisis risen.