Question Of The Day: Is It Just Me…

or do most of the viral/microsite/buzzworthy things get most of their traction because of ad industry publications and blogs?
I’m wondering because of the Converse discussion, and it occurred to me that I’d never hear about 95% of the viral stuff unless I read it on a blog or in Adweek or something.
Seems that intra-industry PR fuels the perception that this stuff is successful. Are all these viral things just a big ad industry circle jerk? If you didn’t work in advertising or marketing, would you hear about these viral/buzz-type efforts?
Maybe I just need some new, hipper friends.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Ditto with out RSS feeds I’d probably miss 99% of these “successful” viral campaigns.

  2. it's not just you says:

    completely agree. you guys are almost pawns, being used to help peddle stuff like the dreadful converse videos.

  3. LOL. We’re not pedaling. We’re giving you the opportunity to say it’s shit.

  4. … You’re just now realizing this?
    Not only is the vast majority of this stuff industry navel gazing, but the same 20 navel gazers comment on all the blogs and suck what precious little air there was left in the conversation.

  5. Duane,
    You ought to try Twitter, if you want to see a major league air suck.

  6. Duane, if that question was intended back at me, I’m not just realizing it now. Just trying to confirm what I’ve been suspecting for a while. I often like to throw open-ended questions at our dear readers…

  7. duane,
    navel-gazing is nothing new in advertising, or any other creative industry. of course we have distorted notion of our own importance. that goes with the territory.
    nobody else is interested in us or what we do. so we have to do it ourselves. but it’s harmless. nobody gets hurt.

  8. All blogospheres are just circle jerks for whichever interest it is that it centers around. That’s Web 2.0. Duh.
    It’s the interrelationships between them that’s really interesting. For example, I read about this campaign through my industry stuff (I’m a marketing research analyst), and passed it along to my other blogging circles (, who in turn blogged about it.
    But, yeah, half the crap I read about in here are just the talk of that particular industry. It doesn’t make an impact on average joe America. Every industry is consumed with making themselves Oh and Ah.

  9. IMHO, yeah, most of these “viral/microsite/buzzworthy things” are declared amazing by ad folk only. It’s all a novelty at best to the general public, and I’ve yet to overhear anyone talking about any of these things in public during the course of daily, non-online life. Yes, it’s a big circle jerk. Yes, so is the entire industry. And yes, Duane is cooler than all of us.

  10. Easy now, suede. I can’t be cooler than any of you –- I’m in the same damn industry. In fact, I’m a lot less cool, because I work mainly on “traditional” advertising, and not web 9.0 stuff. So you have to see my snark through the lens of that chip resting on my shoulder.
    That said, I also have a healthy respect for the fact that “viral SEO web 2.x twitterability” is all still new and growing and over-hyped (and occasionally failing) and mostly meaningless to the average American, who is still pretty excited about instant messaging.
    I just get so tired of reading about how Tumbler is the new Twitter which was the new viral whatever blah blah blahhhhh. Not a reflection of those who make it or use it or blog about it. If anything, it’s a reflection of the never-ending reflecting on all of it.
    Crawling back into hole now.

  11. veedub wrote: nobody else is interested in us or what we do. so we have to do it ourselves. but it’s harmless. nobody gets hurt.
    i don’t know, dude. some of this stuff is pretty painful.

  12. HJ,
    ha! true. but we love it.

  13. You’re right, it is a big “circle jerk.” But it’s better to be jerking than to be jerked upon.

  14. Hey duane, shoulder chip noted. And no offense intended. I just thought your comment was a little tough on Danny G. I don’t think the fact you’re not a Web 9.0 dude matters. Then again, I’m not one either, so what do I know?

  15. Danny: Most of it is navel-gazing, but every so often a fish gets out of the pond.
    I mean all those ad sites with 500K+ hits can’t just be from ad people.
    My suspicion is that we know about it much earlier than the non-ad community.
    There’s also ways to “seed” these things outside of adland. Which has varying degrees of success.