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Adopting viral content to your brand

Published February 12, 2015 at 6:41 am


Companies need to be careful when trying to capitalize on anything “viral.” Online consumers are increasingly sophisticated when it comes to how they process information and consume different kinds of data distributed online, and can tell when something feels too “salesy.” That’s why some major brands have turned to popular forms of online entertainment to try and improve their image.

In a piece on AdWeek, Michelle Castillo looked at the way YouTube videos that were already popular have been incorporated into the official marketing used by major brands. It gives the example of the Bad Lip Reading series, which superimposes new words into the mouths of videos of famous people and has gained millions of views. McDonald’s and the NFL participated in a joint spot that deliberately made use of this trend to spotlight their products.

Another example from YouTube is the short music video series Epic Rap Battles of History, normally just a comedy channel on the website which notably hosted a sponsor in 2013. One of the videos featured several references to the then-newly released video game “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,” and gave that title a boost woven into the content of the video itself.

AdWeek quotes Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer from Maker Studios, on the way that authentic material is going to increasingly distinguish internet marketing campaigns by promoting a more natural, content-centric feel. McPherson discussed the topic at the recent Interactive Advertising Bureau Annual Leadership Meeting.

“This generation doesn’t dislike brands,” she said, speaking of Millennial customers. “What they don’t like is advertising.” She went on to address the idea of distinguishing “native content” from other types, saying that, in the future, “native content will give way to just content. I think we’ll retire that term and just have content.”

To make sure that a decentralized marketing campaign is successful, brands should develop material that is perfectly designed to catch modern users’ attention and then focus on disseminating it throughout the web on different popular channels.

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