Humor For Viral Marketing

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Houston Museum of Natural Science Went Viral

The Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) was one chosen to showcase the world-famous Exhibition for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. HMNS quickly realized that while the exhibit was expected to generate a great deal of interest, it didn’t have a lot of appeal for their core audience.  The success of the exhibition, therefore, would rest in how it was marketed.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science quickly called in Spur Digital to help reach the targeted demographic audience and generate interest in the Exhibit. HMNS was, also, hoping to acquire new patrons and members to further their future revenue.

Spur digital worked with HMNS to identify the target market for the campaign and developed an integrated online media plan to reach those audiences. The campaign featured an online contest that was marketed through targeted online media outlets including relevant Web sites, Search Engines and third party E-mail lists. Viral marketing was an important component of the campaign, so Spur developed an innovative strategy to get people to refer their friends.

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Identify Target Audience: Viral Marketing Campaignsusing humor to reach target audience worldwide

Spur identified the target audience as males 18 to 34 years old who were fans of action and fantasy films, frequent video game players and movie renters, tech-savvy who generally didn’t hang out at museums. Based on this information, Spur chose search engine advertisements that would accompany specific search words, dedicated e-mail advertisements, sponsored e-mail advertisements, banner ads on web sites targeted toward the desired audience, and e-mails to the HMNS list.

Did it work?  You bet!  The results were excellent. The impact of the viral marketing effort was astounding – over 23% of registrants that came originated from the Tell-A-Friend feature. The direct marketing efforts yielded impressive results as well. In total, the 12 week, locally-targeted online campaign yielded more than 2 million targeted impressions, 40,000 unique visits, almost 12,000 and 6,000 invitations sent by friends at a cost per action of less than $3.00. These contributed to the record attendance of almost 100,000 over 3 months.


Generate Interest & Appeal To Core Market Audience

a humoros story or funny joke sells

The Subservient Chicken

Created for Miami Advertising Agency Crispin Porter and Bogusky by The Barbarian Group, the Subservient Chicken is a viral marketing promotion of Burger King’s line of chicken sandwiches.

The campaign is based on a web site that features a person in a chicken costume. The actor performs a wide range of actions based on a user’s input, showing pre-recorded footage and appearing like an interactive webcam. The takes are literally the advertising slogan “Get chicken just the way you like it”.

There are more than a hundred commands the chicken will respond to, including:

  • Michael Jackson dance moves such as moonwalk
  • River dance
  • The elephant
  • Lay an egg
  • Walk like an Egyptian
  • Yoga
  • Rage
  • Spank
  • Taco Bell
  • Fight

When told to do anything the Subservient Chicken thinks is offensive, like perform sex acts or take off his mask, the chicken walks up to the camera and shakes a scolding chicken finger in disappointment.

If he is told to eat food from rival fast food places like McDonald’s he approaches the camera and places his finger down his throat but when told to eat Burger King he has a more positive response.

The chicken responds to the command “smoke crack” by smoking but when told to “smoke a bong” he waggles his finger scoldingly.

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Burger King’s Chicken Fights campaign was recently introduced. The two cockfighting chicken characters are modeled off this chicken.

There seems to be no end to the variations on the theme from Burger King. There has also been a lot of criticism leveled at the chain about the Subservient Chicken but for now it looks like Burger Kind is crying all the way to the bank.

Successful viral campaigns are not always in good taste… maybe that’s what makes them so tasty and take off so spectacularly.

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Robert Allanyou have to plant a seed before you can reap the rewards

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