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