Tag Archives: YouTube

You Talking To Me?

The hundreds of millions of computer users who visit websites every day do so through a web browser. Since the first publicly released browser, Mosaic, in 1991, there have been a few contenders and many also-rans. Browsers have improved and certainly gotten more features.

The current market leader is still Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but it has been losing share to its chief rival Firefox. These days all browsers are free for the downloading, but do we need another one? How often have you awoken in the middle of the night, worried that your browser may be suboptimal?

Google seems to think so and last year launched its Chrome browser.

Google’s marketing support for Chrome has consisted primarily of quirky short videos on a channel of its popular YouTube portal. Google has extended its advertising to independent properties such as LinkedIn and plans to run ads on TV (via its own AdWords system of course).

These ads, which can resemble mini film festivals, finesse the venerable debate about features versus benefits by ignoring both. This is a campaign targeting early adapters. The message is neither emotional nor rational but, simply tries to associate coolness with the product. These short bursts of creativity evoke the feeling of an independent film competition. If viewers already understand and care about browser issues they may get it; if not it’s interesting eye candy. This if fine if appealing to a niche, but browsers are mass market products.


To date, Chrome remains a footnote. According to data compiled by Statcounter Chrome has a market share of about 1.5%. Like many Google products, it may be forever in Beta (never formally released). The game is still early and there is no shortage of budding filmmakers with edgy ideas.

Advances in computer browsers may be secondary to the main browser war – on the phone – where most of the world will be getting its Internet. Google also has an offering here – the Android browser.

Android’s YouTube promotion is classic technology messaging – watch my benefits or sometimes features or sometimes the engineers who develop Android. Nothing artsy here. This is a market strategically important to Google.

Do you need a new computer browser? Tough to tell based on Google’s marketing, but you might find Chrome’s half minute spot diverting.

Going Viral

As marketers, we usually have pay to say or show something. So we have budgets for advertising, promotion, PR, events, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could get others to do this for us. Not only would this amplify the reach or our message, it would increase its credibility. Those who spread our message are to some extent recommending us. Here’s where viral marketing comes it.

Viral marketing is not new (what in marketing is?), but new technologies make easier and can increase its impact. In addition to email, we have blogs, social networks, Tweets, and content sharing sites. They have the potential to launch an epidemic, which distributes our content farther and wider than we could, even if we had the budgets we wanted. It may be the latest embodiment of our eternal quest for the free lunch.

In its simplest form this means creating some communication so interesting, irritating, or attention grabbing that people will send it unsolicited and unpaid to friends and colleagues. If each recipient sends to multiple associates, you can get a hypergrowth, which resembles an epidemic hence the term viral.

Perhaps the best single example of a viral medium is YouTube. It is built to make sharing quick, easy, and free. Of course, this guarantees nothing. YouTube has not stated how many videos it hosts. Estimates are on the order of 100 million. If all you do is upload, an audience will probably not come.

Going viral is a long shot. As always, start with content. When creating something, whether for a local 30 second spot, a trade show, or a sales conference think about how it could be used or adapted as a viral communication. Reuse and mashups should be encouraged.

Marketing consultant and author David Meerman Scott cited the case of the Cadbury Gorilla http:// at the recent New Marketing Summit. David relates that Cadbury was able to reuse an existing commercial to the tune of over 3 million views on YouTube. The epidemic didn’t stop there. This video has spawned more than a dozen derivative videos, many of which have been viewed a substantial number of times. So there is a significant echo of the original message.

The video has no call to action – Cadbury can’t tell how many more chocolate bars it sold. The ROI is thus unknown. This could be a problem, but the cost of the program is negligible. In this case it amounts to the effort of monitoring viewership, links and references to the videos and to Cadbury itself.

To see what types of content are watching and more importantly sharing, consult video.google.com/videoranking

Not sure how viral fits your message and strategy or are generally uneasy about video production, you might wish to get started promoting something else. A number of firms are hosting contests. Draft a 30 to 60 second script or an idea on which to improvise and grab your home video camera. We hope to feature your video in an upcoming post.

Why the Sour Face Gerry?

Microsoft’s new $300 million campaign will be hard to miss. Don’t watch much TV, the ads will be on the net. You can catch them on web properties of MSN as well as YouTube.

The commercials star Gerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. As such they are newsworthy and get far more exposure than Microsoft has paid for. So far so good, but what is the message, the positioning or even the emotion Microsoft is trying to convey?

As humor, the spot is uneven. Some the dialog such as the parking lot scene where Gerry gushes a bit too reverently about mind melding of Gates’ “Jupiter sized brain” goes nowhere. In contrast to his campaign for American Express, Seinfeld seems a bit out of form.

Microsoft has long been identified with Gates, but the commercials come just as he is leaving active management of the company. Possibly it is an attempt to humanize Microsoft, often referred to by competitors and customers alike as “the evil empire”. The richest man in America is just as cheap as the rest of us, who buy shoes at a mall outlet.

Are you felling better about the Microsoft brand already?