Questioning the effectiveness of viral videos
For someone who can’t get enough of that spectacular Phil Collins-drumming gorilla, it never dawned on me that the viral video – no matter how many times I linked myself or others to it – never once made me want to buy the product it was designed to promote.
No, no rampant primate performance of "In the Air Tonight" was enough to make me thirst for a Dairy Milk, which kind of causes me to re-evaluate the success of the spot.
And it turns out I’m not alone in my suspicions. On the heels of that Evian rollerskating babies ad becoming the most watched online commercial of all time, BrandWeek.com points out that the viral potency of the clip really did nothing to boost product sales.
Indeed, in spite of more than 100 million views and the honour of being made Time magazine’s No. 1 TV ad of the year, Evian’s CGI roller-tots actually preceded a sizeable 25 per cent average sales drop for the bottler in each of its 2009 quarters.
Now, those losses could be a recessionary recoil effect – with consumers choosing to downgrade from the premium water brand after widespread economic collapse – but they do call into question the effect of viral videos’ value in the first place.
Many sources are now questioning how best to measure the efficacy of online ads, and answers are slow to trickle in.
On the one hand, anything viewed by 100 million people can’t possibly be bad for business, and – at the very least – such an online prowess boosts search engine optimization and claims valuable Internet real estate for a product, one marketing director tells BrandWeek.
But if the sales aren’t there, at the end of the day, what do you have?
Supporters of viral video point to T-Mobile’s awesome “Life's for Sharing” ad, its ability to increase foot traffic in the U.K. and the 29 per cent sales bump it caused in a “lousy retail environment,” according to BrandWeek.
Yet for ever marked success in the viral game, there are countless ads that circulate the ‘net, drum up consumer interest but ultimately fall flat where bottom lines are concerned.
Again, this certainly isn’t a drawback for companies – the videos cost next-to-nothing and can get you Super Bowl-level exposure without the $3 million placement fee – we simply don’t know how to properly measure a viral ad’s effect just yet.
“A lot of these videos have nothing to do with the product and how you can drive sales,” Augustine Fou, author of the go-Digital blog, told BrandWeek. “People who defend them say they want engagement but that’s not enough.
“These days the bar is higher with so many analytics. (Businesses) expect more ROI (return on investment.)”
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Colin | Apr 1, 2021 11:52:43 AM
The question shouldn't be "how much money do viral ads generate" but "how do viral ads compare to traditional commercials".
The benefit of viral advertising is not that they have a higher viewer-to-customer conversion rate than other forms of marketing. It's that they are spread at relatively zero cost to a massive audience who will view the videos with full attention.
If a billboard or commercial for your product doesn't create many customers, a viral video won't be much different.
Of course, there's also the question of whether a video will go viral or not, but that's another matter entirely.
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Posted by: jackychain | Apr 1, 2021 12:03:07 PM
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Posted by: kejii | Apr 1, 2021 10:36:04 PM
Perhaps a viral video doesn't cause a bump for the large multi nationals. These guys need consistent targeted ads to their demographic to see real returns.
Personlly I think viral videos are a potential cash cow for the little guy. I see a lot of young people creating some pretty funy stuff and uploading it to Youtube. Sure, only 1/10th of 1 pecent of 1 in a million will go viral but for that one kid with a website address in the corner of his video and some appropriate revenue generating ads on that website...it's like a win at a slot machine at a casino.
Folks, if you upload a video to these sites, put a web address in the video with some ads on that site..just incase . You never know