Microsoft Makes a Splash

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 ad is pretty cool. In it, a gentleman tests out a very unique (and rather large) water slide with great success.

But is the ad itself a success? Certainly by the numbers it is – over 1.6 million views in a bit over a week. But it took several days before viewers were told who, exactly, the film is an ad for. As it turns out, it’s an ad for Microsoft’s project planning software, but there’s no obvious brand connection there. So did Microsoft really reach all 1.6 million viewers? The ad is targeted to the German market, but the company probably could have leveraged a few more sales by supporting more languages on the associated website, too.

On the other hand, it is a cool video, and its picked up a lot of attention and blog coverage. So maybe it’s doing what it needs to do.

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