in Virals

Viral marketing’s dark side

Tim Malbon of Daily Social has recently posted an excellent article on how viral marketing, especially via the medium of YouTube can backfire for brands and their marketing executives.

As Malbon reports, someone within the marketing department of the supermarket chain “Somerfield” decided (probably in a brain storm) to allow their employees to use Youtube as a sort of viral marketing platform, or, as Malbon puts it, “a social media experiment” – but it went wrong because for the last 8 months or so, the bored nightshift Somerfield employees have been uploading subversive content to the Youtube website – much to the embarrassment to the company.

Viral marketing is getting bigger all the time – politicians, marketing gurus and big firms are all trying to use the social aspect of Youtube to market their products, often using funny commercials – or presenting a human face to a lifeless corporate body. I think Youtube and it’s rivals are great for small time businesses trying to get their name out there, but trying to ad-hoc a marketing message via a platform where you know it will be abused is just asking for trouble.

Daily Social: War on Brands