Blackberry Versus Apple

Viral Marketing: Also known as Word of Mouth Advertising. Any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, thus creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Just like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, even to millions.

This week’s viral videos show what can happen when your brand gets out of your control.

A few weeks ago, this ad showed up on YouTube and started spreading rapidly.

I’m sure the subtext is clear.

A few weeks later, this response showed up:

You rarely see two companies going up against each other so blatantly (although Apple’s done it before, with its Mac vs. PC series of ads). The video have ignited a lot of angry discussions online from fans of each brand. But RIM (makers of the Blackberry) and Apple apparently had nothing to do with these videos.

The pro-Blackberry ad comes from Guava, a New York production house. It was produced on-spec, and was rejected by RIM. The pro-Apple ad seems to have been made by a fan in response. These ultra-aggressive ads are bringing the companies a lot of attention, but you have to wonder whether RIM and Apple would prefer to stay in control of their advertising messages.

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