The 100 Year Old Virus

One of my colleagues, Bill Moller sent me a link to a posting: 2o Winning Elements of a Viral Campaign. At the top of the list were topics on humor, edginess and brevity. It’s funny because when I mentor public relations professionals, I always share the three things that usually gets publicity are connected to concepts like “first,” “biggest,” and “controversial.” Those are the elements that since the history of public relations began in the United States continue to work regardless if the medium is a newspaper or a new social medium.

When doing a search for “viral marketing” at YouTube, the video with highest number of hits is titled: Champion cardstacker builds capitol with 22,000 cards. While it’s an entertaining video, it did not help me directly see what viral marketing is all about. Actually the video titled How to Sell Soap:

This video was the first one that helped me see the value of viral marketing compared to traditional marketing. It took an everyday product like soap and brought into the latest trend with promoting products.

The PR laugh I find is that clear communications still wins in the end. The “sell soap” video is almost three years old and comes up number 15 based on views of video connected to a search for “viral marketing.” Since that time so much has been said on how to become an “instant” success with making your promotion for a product or service go viral online. Here’s a case where video creator was “first,” used “humor” and is one of the “biggest” hits when it comes to views, which is why I paid attention to it for this post. Three years in viral marketing is almost like 100 years in normal history.