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Watching A Lot of Viral Videos (for Higher Education... I Swear)

Posted by 40deuce on 4:45 AM in ,
How many viral videos have you seen in your life?
Just this year?
How many have you forwarded to other people?
How many of those were made by a big company?
How many did you know were?

One of the best things about the internet is that we have the ability to share anything we think is cool/interesting/funny/though-provoking/sad/etc. with all of our friends with just the click of a button. One of the things we love to share are videos that we find. These are usually what are referred to as "viral videos".

Viral videos are videos that get spread around the internet at a very rapid rate. They spread like a virus, hence the name viral video. Here's a quick definition from Wikipedia:
"A viral video is a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or Instant messaging, blogs and other media sharing websites. Viral videos are often humorous in nature and include televised comedy sketches such as Saturday Night Live's Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box; amateur video clips like Star Wars Kid, the Numa Numavideos, The Dancing Cadet, The Evolution of Dance, the "Benny Lava" video; and web-only productions such as I Got a Crush... on Obama. Some "eyewitness" events have also been caught on video and have "gone viral," including the Battle at Kruger."

As the definition states, there are many sources from which viral videos start, but today I want to look at ones that come from companies.

I got the idea when someone in class was talking about a bunch of roller-skating babies and told me to look it up on youtube. Turns out it's an online ad for Evian Water as part as their "Live Young" campaign. This is it:

Which then reminded me of all the other strange viral videos people have sent me. This is one of the latest ones, it's a clever campaign in the US:

These videos made me think of all the videos I've seen over time, and it's interesting to think of how many have come from a company. While the "Think Before You Speak" campaign clearly has a message in it, not all of them do. For instance, the roller-skating babies could have been anything until the Evian logo came up at the end. There are a ton of different ways that companies use the concept of a viral video, and today I want to look at some of them (with fun examples of course).

Some companies make ads for TV that are longer than the average 30 second commercial, so they show a shortened version on the tube and upload the full version to the internet to be passed around.

Here's a popular one from Cabury Chocolate:

This one is from Sprint (a US phone company):

Some companies make videos specifically as advertisements for the internet which could be due to constraints of mainstream media such as time or subject material.

Here's an example from Agent Provocateur:

This is a clever one from Honda that was too long for TV:

Trojan has a line of ads that were not meant for TV called "The Trojan Games". Here's one of them:

Here's one where Pepsi took an already popular internet phenomenon and built on it. Pepsi took the man behind the "Chocolate Rain" video and used him to make a remix for their new Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper:

Some companies make videos that are made to look like amateur videos that were uploaded to the net, but then stick their name at the end. There are a lot of examples of this.

Check out this one from Quicksilver:

Nike has a whole line of the amateur looking commercials that feature famous athletes putting on Nike apparel before doing something amazing:

There is also a series of videos called "Will It Blend" where it looks like home made videos of a guy throwing stuff in a blender, but really the man is the owner of the company that makes the blender and if you pay attention you see the name of that company all over the video:

Other companies will pay to have their products featured in other peoples online videos. One of the most talked about examples of this was with a vlogger named Lonely Girl 15 who was supposedly keeping a video diary of her life, which turned out to be completely scripted. The episode that wound up revealing this was because of the product placement. Watch for it in this video around the 3:30 time mark:

After she eats the gum, you can even hear her say, "Whoa! That's sour!" which was the slogan of the Ice Breakers Sour Gum.

Of course, companies favorites are the ones they don't even make themselves. The best example of this was done by two video makers who go by the name of Eepy Bird. This duo makes videos of cool and fun science experiments. They started doing some videos of them dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke, which quickly became viral over the net. Copy cats started springing up everywhere. Both Coke and Mentos, whom had nothing to do with Eepy Bird at the time, caught the video and sent the guys a large quantity of their candy hoping they'd use them for more videos, because the more videos Eepy Bird made, the more copycats they'd having using the same product.

Here's the original video they made:

And, here's one they made once they had a little free product to play with:

These are just a few examples of how companies are using viral videos to get their products onto your computer. Surely there will be more to come, since this form of online advertising seems to work a lot better than giant flashy banners.

Leave some comments and tell me:
What do you think of big company made viral videos??
Do you think there should be any ethics behind it?
Or even, what's your favorite company made viral video? (leave a link too if you can)

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Is It Worth It To Become A Facebook Fan?

Posted by 40deuce on 5:53 AM in , , ,

A few days ago I had an idea for a post where I was going to comment negatively on a web 2.0 tactic being used by American broadcaster NBC. Thankfully I didn't write that post right away. After having a couple of days to think about it, I'm not as against the tactic as I once thought. I'm also not sure that I am for it. Let me tell you the story and you can tell me what you think...

I was reading an article on Ain't It Cool News about a new show for NBC's fall lineup called "Community". You can read the article here. The article was saying that this new show is going to be a hit and that NBC is giving audiences a chance to watch the premiere episode on their facebook fan page.

- A quick note on what a facebook fan page is for those that don't know. A facebook fan page is a page within the social community where users can join to show they like something such as a band, tv show, company, product, etc. On the fan page users can talk and interact with other fans of the same thing. The owners of the page can also share content with all their fans to create more interaction between the "whatever" and it's fans. -

In order to view the pilot episode of the show you would first have to become a "fan" of the show. Now here's my problem: How could anyone say they are a fan of the show if they've never seen it before???

I wanted to go on a whole rant about how a communication professional should use their skills to persuade someone to become a fan of something, not use a quick promise of something to get someone to sign on. I was going to relate it to the credit card companies that offer you a cheap shirt at a sporting event in exchange for you signing up for a card.

The more I stewed over it though, the more I started to think that if they offered the show to just anyone to view, the chance of someone become a fan after watching greatly dropped. Not because the show is bad, but just because you don't have to be a facebook fan of something to still like it. If people weren't going to become a fan of the show it would have defeated the purpose of NBC putting resources into creating the page.

Then, earlier today I came across an article entitled "10 Practical Tips for Facebook Fan Pages". If you read the article you will notice that tip #3 is "Give Your Audience A Reason To Become A Fan" which says, "A Facebook fan page is the perfect place to reward fans because they have specifically chosen to associate themselves with your brand in front of all their friends." It goes on to give an example of how companies can reward their fans. Rewards like exclusive content.

This again made me think that NBC did a proper job with their fan page. Although they were coercing people into becoming a fan of something they knew nothing about, they were offering something exclusive to the people that did.

In the end, I'm happy I didn't make this post right away, because I now have a completely different feeling towards the subject.

What do you think though about the whole situation? Should people become fans of things on facebook just to receive exclusives? Is it right for companies to make people sign up for something to receive something special? Do facebook fan pages even mean anything in the grand scheme of things?? Please comment and let me know.

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How Important Do You Think Social Media Is To A Communication Professional??

I know that I said this blog would look at how communication professionals are using web 2.0, but before I really start posting on the hows, I thought I'd start with a post about the why. Meaning, how important this new version of the internet is.

I actually decided to do this post before another one I had planned because of two interesting pieces of information I had passed along to me this week revolving around the importance of social media in the current world and to communication professionals. Both of these items take the "buzz" about web 2.0 and turn it into factual numbers.

First is a video called "The Social Media Revolution". This video has been making it's way around the internet this week and is extremely interesting. The video uses real numbers to show just how quickly web 2.0 has been adopted by people world-wide and how integrated it has become in our lives.

Check it out:

The second thing I saw this week was a study that a friend and (sort of) colleague passed my way that shows how US companies are adapting to the rise of web 2.0. This study shows that companies are starting to realize the potential that web 2.0 has at reaching their audiences and consumers.

Some of the interesting findings are:
  • Social networking is currently the second most employed tactic by companies after email marketing - especially in smaller sized companies
  • A majority of companies prioritize social networking higher than their own website content management
  • Social networking, blogging, podcasting, RSS and microblogging skills and knowledge are looked at as high priority items for job applicants to have in the communications field
  • Most aspects of web strategies are handled by public relations professionals

However, the study also points out that while web 2.0 and social medias have become very important, there is still a large problem with being able to actually evaluate the ROI (return on investment) that these mediums are yielding.

Feel free to view the entire study (it's not that long, I promise) here:

Now that you can hopefully see how important web 2.0 is to a current day communications professional, the subsequent entries in this blog will look at how they are currently using it.

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Welcome to My Blog

Posted by 40deuce on 3:41 AM
I'm a bit of a computer geek. I know it, and I'm fine with it.
I'm also in public relations.

That's why I'd like to combine the two for this blog on how people in public relations are using web 2.0 as strategies and tactics.

I find it really interesting to watch all the new ideas that are coming out from PR and marketing people as to how to engage their audiences through this new online world. Web 2.0 is very different than how the web was a few years ago, and organizations need to understand that and find ways to make it work for them.

Some of you may be scratching your head as to what exactly web 2.0 means. Here's the brief definition I've taken from Wikipedia as it's very simple:

"Web 2.0" refers to the second generation of web development and web design that facilitates information sharing and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The advent of Web 2.0 led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and web applications. Examples include social-networking sites, video-sharing sites,wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies."

In short, the web 1.0 was one way communication. Someone would put something up on the net and many people read/view it. In the case of web 2.0 someone can put something up on the net and other people can interact with it in one way or another. Some of the best examples that ordinary people would know are sites like YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia. On sites like these one user will put something up for the world to see and other users can comment, share and in cases like Wikipedia, change. The best part of this movement is that most of it is free to anyone with internet access.

This was something I was interested in before I came down to Australia. I want to get into the PR field with a strong grasp on the subject of web 2.0 as I feel it's the future of public relations. Since I needed to create a blog for my Strategic Communications class, I figured why not do it on something I'm already interested in?

Thanks for coming and checking my new blog out, and feel free to comment on anything I say in any of my future posts.

I also have a few other blogs currently running (I told you I was a geek) if you'd care to check them out:

- A-D-D ON PAPER is my main blog. I write here about anything that's on my mind at the time. Sometimes it's of a professional nature, sometimes it's not.
- GET HEP TO THIS is a blog where I post stuff I find cool and want to share with other people. It could be music, funny videos, cool webpages, products, anything really.
- MY TRAVEL BLOG is a blog I set up before I came down to Australia so I could share my adventures with my friends and family back home.

Anyways, I'm going to finish this post up with a couple of videos that may help with your understanding of web 2.0 a little more:

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