The allure of viral marketing, its enough to make people walk miles to find a fake arcade, or dress up like a clown in public. But what is it exactly that draws us to follow something that in the long run is nothing more than a farce?
I still consider myself a rookie in the viral world, I didn’t really get caught up in it until the Cloverfield campaign, when the 1-18-08 website was discovered. Since then, I find myself searching on a daily basis for clever website names and subtle clues in posters for the next great find. I’m not saying that we all fell into this new and growing trend of advertising, but I do know that were all here because of our passion, dare I say addiction, to viral.
When I ask myself what could cause someone to research and devote time to essentially “fake” things for no real outcome, I have come to this conclusion:
I compare what the whole experience of participating in a viral campaign to visiting an amusement park, more to the likes of Universal Studios or Walt Disney World. Think about waiting to go on a ride, while waiting for most of the rides in either park, the park go out of the way to immerse you in the “world” of that ride. It basically takes the theme of the ride (may it be Jurassic Park or Peter Pan) and exploiting it to the max. At other parks, you wait on a concrete sidewalk, with bland metal railings. There are shrubs hiding you from the masses, until you get to a makeshift canopy with some zit-faced kid ordering you to your seat – and that’s your ride. But with the above mentioned places, in your line you actually enter Jurassic Park, or the Daily Bugle where Peter Parker works, literally walking by Spiderman’s desk. You get to enter that alternate world, enjoying its company and forgetting the troubles of life.
Viral campaigns, in my minds, are like theme rides. They allow you to escape yourself, right from the comfort of your own computer. You get to follow along as the Joker terrorizes Gotham – or translate Asian comics to get some sort of idea of whats going on with those oil rigs. This alone is more than enough reason to continue searching for obscure sites, and hoping the next big blockbuster will take advantage of this growing trend.
So what makes a campaign good to you? Is it as deep as I’m making it out to be? Leave a comment below.