Intrigue Them, Don’t Terrify Them

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.

A good viral ad leaves viewers with questions they’re eager to answer. But those questions should be things like “Is this real?” or “Who’s behind this and where can I buy their products?” not “Is my life in danger?”

On the good side of that divide is this recent video. The ad picked up a lot of press attention early on, and was reported as being new work by “Colombian pop artist Bon Yurt.” In reality, it was made by yogurt company Bon Yurt to promote their products, and the ensuing confusion brought them a lot of positive press. The video itself is pretty fun, too.

On the dark side of the divide is Toyota, who is being sued by a woman who thought she was being harassed and stalked by an escaped prisoner thanks to a marketing stunt gone wrong.

Just another great reminder to never make your audience the butt of the joke.

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