Viral marketing…what is it? Viral marketing/advertising (or social media) is the promotion of information or products that other people are compelled to give to other friends, colleagues and family. By definition, viral marketing is a way to promote a service or product exponentially…you tell ten friends…and they tell ten friends…and you get the idea.
When executed correctly, marketers in all industries are finding viral marketing/advertising to be a huge success in gaining both brand awareness and media coverage for their products. Skin care marketing and advertising is no exception.
On the Wings of a Dove
Take Dove’s “Evolution” video campaign, for example. By posting this video (which gives viewers a time-lapsed look at a woman being “made up” and then morphed using PhotoShop)
on YouTube, the company has enjoyed over four million viewings. The spot (and the entire “Campaign for Real Beauty”) is also winning some of the most prestigious advertising awards in the world. The viral marketing ad had increased the traffic to Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” website dramatically – even three times more than they received from their previous Super bowl commercial!
And the best part about it? It was done without a penny of paid media…brilliant! As of now, Dove’s “Evolution” video is the largest online buzz generator in the beauty and skin care products market. But the campaign is not just generating “buzz” from skin care marketing and advertising professionals alone; they are receiving accolades from real consumers for representing something different from typical skin care marketing they have come to expect. By focusing on the “real” aspect of beauty vs. the distorted perception of beauty, Dove has successfully set its brand apart from its competition.
Will Viral Marketing Work for You?
Sure, viral marketing is working great for this skin care giant, but will it work for the average skin care marketer? Viral marketing can be complex, for sure…and no one really understands how it works so well online. The success of the larger skin care companies (like Dove) is making it harder to attain for the not-so-well-known brands.
The “word of mouth/mouse” campaigns can work well…very well. But they can also come back in a bad way to harm your brand, like the majority of them do. Skin care marketing professionals are advised to simply avoid common blunders, unleash the animal and pray.
A Pause for the Cause
Another factor contributing to the success of Dove’s “Evolution” campaign is that it raises money for a good cause: the Dove “Self-Esteem Fund”. This program is designed to educate and inspire girls on the wider view of beauty. A skin care marketing promotion that also supports a good cause only helps to broaden its reach to potential customers.
This is also the case with the Estee Lauder Company, who announced the rollout of an online marketing/advertising campaign to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The content of the campaign is created around the “Share a Survivor Story, Inspire the World” theme. To assist in its efforts to spread the word, Estee Lauder has teamed up with other giants in the skin care products arena and will release its campaign on Facebook and MySpace, for starters.
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!
First it was the pony express, then the telegraph, and then the phone…now the computer has brought us to viral marketing…or “social media”. And its quickly becoming an integral part of many skin care marketing and advertising campaigns. As the internet continues to expand the boundaries of how fast and broadly we can deliver multimedia (photos, videos, etc.), the more it continues to become a part of everyone’s life. So skin care marketers…beware…jump on board or get left behind!