TV watching, moviegoing and music listening all took a backseat to the
internet for Americans under 25 this year. So it's no surprise the
viral video has made such a strong impact on the ad industry in recent
Leo Burnett Worldwide, Contagious magazine and Campfire
Media hosted "Wildfire: Ideas That Spread and Sell," a veritable film
festival for the emerging genre at Tribeca Cinemas yesterday, featuring
clips and stats about key moments in viral history from 2006.
YouTube's 'magic number'
For a traditional ad campaign, generating millions of dollars in retail
sales of the product is the No. 1 goal. For a viral campaign, 1 million
YouTube views is the "magic number," said Paul Kemp-Robertson,
editorial director at Contagious.
Smirnoff's "Tea Partay" spot, for example, garnered 1.3 million YouTube
views in its first two months. The clip was a dead-on spoof of hip-hop
videos, featuring an all-rapping, sweater-and-polo-clad cast of
Martha's Vineyard WASPs.
It is out-of-the-box, irreverent approaches to marketing that are
catching on with consumers and generating the most of what drives
today's ad campaigns: word-of-mouth. "The beauty is if you understand
the audience, you're guaranteed to see them responding," Mr.
Kemp-Robertson said. "People enjoy content when it's speaking to them."
Success with the under-25 set
Recent examples from ABC
Family's "Schooled" promo, McDonald's sundial billboard in Chicago and
Australia's Lynx Jet campaign for Unilever's Jet body spray were all
huge successes aimed at the under-25 set. Adidas' recent series of
"Adicolor" shorts has also generated internet interest, including
director Roman Coppola's animated "Red."