Traditional forms of advertising such as TV and newspaper advertisements are becoming more saturated. Marketers need to find more alternative strategies to reach out to its target customers and drive awareness, one of which is Viral Marketing (VM) which has seen remarkable results through the increase of broadband access that facilitated easy access for commercial intent. Consumers are now well-acquired to technological advancement and can have relevant information research through the use of internet. The Hotmail story is a classic example of VM success story (Wilson 2000). There was a clickable link in every email that was sent out and it soon became a hit with over 12 million ...view middle of the document...
This is also known as Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM). The use of internet has the potential to reach and impact customers on worldwide scale compared to traditional WOM which produces significantly slower and lower results (Hennig-Thurau & Walsh 2003).
While recognizing that some viral videos may garner immense coverage on purely organic terms (eg Connie Talbot Britain’s Got Talent 2008 has garnered over 138 million views till date ) (Youtube 2008), there are however many successful VM campaigns that are paid-for advertisement used to capture customers’ attention.
eWOM provides brands the opportunity to gain exponential growth in exposure. Consider Volvo’s Epic Split advertisement starring Jean-Claude Van Damme who demonstrates the directional stability of its latest steering by splitting between two reversing trucks. It garnered more than 70 million views in less than 3 months (Youtube 2014). Other successful VM campaigns include Virgin America’s Safety Video (Youtube 2013) and The T-Mobile Dance (Youtube 2009), while many unsuccessful VM campaigns disappear into obscurity.
Watts et al (2006) argued that virality of marketing campaign may be of random occurrence. However, there are certain characteristics that increase its exposure to a wider audience. This essay will examine the accuracy of the topic statement through various academic models which looks into the emotional response associated with a video that is linked to its virality, and the significance of seeding strategy in a VM campaign.
Electronic Word-Of-Mouth and Viral Marketing
VM can be defined as a marketing message shared through eWOM that has the possibility for rampant exposure of information (Cruz & Fill 2008). Traditional WOM is described as being unpaid, informal physical face-to-face communication between two or more people (Petrescu & Korgaonkar 2011). The main contrast between eWOM and traditional WOM is the different platforms utilized. eWOM operates via online social media platforms while the latter through face-to-face physical contact (Westbrook 1987).
A distinct attribute eWOM possess different from traditional WOM is its ability to acquire wider communication from consumers all around the world through internet (Hennig-Thurau & Walsh 2003). In comparison with traditional WOM, eWOM reduces social anxiety associated with physical interpersonal communication resulting in more convincing and honest opinions. These candid opinions function as influence networks, and are powerful means to influence and generate interests amongst peers (Krishnamurthy 2001). For this essay, eWOM will be referred to as WOM.
Social networking sites provide a platform for effective distribution of marketing information for VM campaigns to achieve greater scope (Helm 2000).Despite the extensive use of VM, there are still limited successful cases due to its ambiguity associated with its success (Ferguson 2008). De Bruyn and Lilien (2008) viewed it as more of an art than science where there...