Viral Marketing, a Double-edged Sword
Viral Marketing, the power of word of mouth through the internet, social media, influencing electronic word of mouth. Similarly to traditional practices, it is the word of mouth marketing that spreads from one person to another.
Viral Marketing can go one way or another hence, the title, a double-edged sword. But, how so? Today, I will share the pros and cons of viral marketing.
Pros of Viral Marketing
This is what most companies are leveraging it on. I mean, who doesn’t want a product/service to go viral and generate absurd profits?
- Free marketing which leads to significantly lower advertising cost
- Media Awareness
- Lead Generation
One example of such pros in viral marketing is in the case of Vans, an apparel company in 2016.
Vans went viral over 2 teenagers running rampant on Snapchat with the joke “Damn Daniel”. It is reported that Vans went viral with 20% increase in B2C sales as well as 30% increase in online sales.
Cons of Viral Marketing
These are some of the cons that may be overlooked, especially if a brand is too focused on the pros.
- Unknown Source
- Lesser control dependent on the severity
- Fake news
- Irritating to viewers
Games advertisements are such, specifically mobile games advertisements.
One good example is AFK Arena, with plenty of fake gameplay and promised game progression in their advertisements (according to reddit users). It is also reported that AFK Arena advertise on multiple platform which have caused irritation to casual social media users.
Another prime example of Cons of Viral Marketing is in the case of Funny or Die Hoverboard Ad.
Looks like something from “Back to the Future”, this advertisement that went viral cause a spread of fake news to plenty of teenagers. Stripping dreams away from them. They have since made a public apology for the video.
Viral marketing can help businesses to reduce advertising cost by a TONNE! However, from the examples as shown above, if it is not thought through carefully, it could damage a brand’s reputation by a mile. Before I end off today’s blog, here is a question for you. Is viral marketing dependent on luck? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section! :)
Gaille, B., 2016. 19 Pros and Cons of Viral Marketing. [online] BrandonGaille.com. Available at: <https://brandongaille.com/19-pros-and-cons-of-viral-marketing/> [Accessed 27 February 2022].
Van Winkle, D., 2014. Funny or Die Behind Hoverboard Hoax | The Mary Sue. [online] The Mary Sue. Available at: <https://www.themarysue.com/hoverboard-hoax-funny-or-die/> [Accessed 27 February 2022].
Glover, M., 2021. Word of Mouth Marketing in 2021: Effective Strategies + Examples. [online] The BigCommerce Blog. Available at: <https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/word-of-mouth-marketing/#what-is-word-of-mouth-marketing> [Accessed 27 February 2022].
Dewey, C., 2016. The dark side of going viral that no one talks about. [online] The Independent. Available at: <https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/damn-daniel-how-the-latest-meme-shows-the-dark-side-of-going-viral-a6909421.html> [Accessed 27 February 2022].
Reddit.com. 2019. [online] Available at: <https://www.reddit.com/r/AndroidGaming/comments/bvhtqr/whats_the_most_annoying_ingame_ad_have_you_seen/> [Accessed 27 February 2022].