Far be it for me to give a shout-out to a large American corporation. But I am going to mention Coca Cola. Actually, they had nothing to do with this. It was Eepybird who created a series of ‘experiments’ with Diet Coke and Mentos. They recently won the first Webby Award for viral video as a result.
To date, this video has been watched 2.3m times. And the production is hardly high-budget. Even the mighty Coca Cola are benefiting from (though not paying for) low-budget viral marketing campaigns. Although Eepybird have made some cash from sponsorship and merchandising as a result of their videos – in addition to winning the award – they have not received anything from Coca Cola. Or Mentos. So I guess this is also a case of ‘fans’ becoming brand ambassadors, albeit in a less obvious way than George Lucas’s followers.
The important point is that viral marketing and social media level the playing field. Small businesses can compete with huge corporations. Small, independent publishers can compete with the big players.
Does this sound far-fetched? Well, how about Pan Mac’s Colour Changing Card Trick? In one month, that video has been watched 1.2m times – half as many times as the Diet Coke one has in a year, with a measurable impact on sales of Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives. It wasn’t expensive to produce.
You just need a good idea and a camera.