Virals Spreading Rapidly

Brandweek: A study out this week by interactive marketing agency Sharpe Partners shows that 89% of adult Internet users in the U.S. share content with others via e-mail. And while jokes and cartoons make up 88% of the forwarded material, a full 24% of business and personal finance information is also shared.
“We knew a lot of people were sharing content, but even we didn’t expect it to be so pervasive,” Kathy Sharpe, CEO of Sharpe Partners, said in a statement. “The real challenge for interactive marketing agencies is developing content that these people will want to consistently share with a wide, yet focused circle of acquaintances.”
Sharpe’s study found that for companies interested in launching a viral marketing program, adding overt brand messages only slightly reduces the likelihood that the content will be shared. Fifty-six percent of the respondents are less or slightly less likely to forward such content, whereas 43% said they are more or slightly more likely to send on marketing-related messages. Only 5% refused to share content that contains a clear brand message.
“While subtlety is often the key for branded content in a successful viral marketing campaign,” noted Sharpe, “it appears that overt branding will do little harm to the efficacy of the campaign.”
[IN RELATED NEWS] is a new site dedicated to cataloging said “virals.”



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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.