Find The Viral Strand In The Brand’s DNA (Or Don’t Do A Viral)

From Ad Age:

How much buzz does it take to sell Milwaukee’s Best? Apparently a lot more than 3 million hits on YouTube and 197 blog mentions.
Proving that viral sensations don’t always immediately translate into sensational sales, the bargain beer’s video of its “Beer Cannon” that fires cans of Milwaukee’s Best Light to destroy such unmanly targets such as china dishes, house plants and fruit has inspired discussion but not much consumption.
Sales of Milwaukee’s Best fell 11% in supermarkets for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9, according to Information Resources Inc., and sales of Best Light dropped 7.5%.

One thing I always say to emerging copywriters, account people, clients, etc. is puns are no good because they draw attention to themselves, not to the product or service being marketed. This same problem also exists in today’s viral and buzz marketing efforts. Brands are so busy thinking of ways to launch a viral, they sometimes forget the fundementals. What brands truly want is for consumers to talk about their product, not their advertising.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.