Monday, May 23, 2011

A Blog Post about Cat Food and Advertising?!

Today's post is about Purina Friskies cat food. 5HYY2ZGJQ2F3 Strange you say. I completely agree. The reason for this you ask? Well, let's just say I was momentarily caught up in that that strange online phenomena of coming across repeated and multiple calls to action to watch some silly video. The fact that these videos find their way into a few social sites I religiously use certainly helps their cause.

Hence, I confess I succumbed and ended up watching this Purina Friskies video which the brand rolled out to promote three iPad-based games for kitties — Cat Fishing, Tasty Treasures Hunt and Party Mix-Up! The video at the end of this post shows cats “playing” the games. In case you think this is a joke, Friskies is quite serious. The games were created using HTML5/CSS3 and they work on other tablet formats, like Android, too. 

The spread of viral videos is not a new of course. It basically exploded onto the scene once Youtube and its amateur users figured out their groove. Now as we all know, creating something viral has gone corporate and there are many brands which are dying to figure out the secret formula and are investing in studying the social science and the 'how to' portion of this endeavor. 

However what a lot of this study and research shows is that there really is no true science or sure fire way to create something viral. That aspect still seems to be part of the magic in it all. However, from studying it there are certain things you can do which will increase the potential for your next video making its way around the net and of course capturing many 'likes' and accompanying buzz along the way. 

From what I have seen and read there are many things to address however for the sake of this blog I will keep it rather simple:

Be direct and don't waste time.
People have a short attention span online, so keeping your video short is the best tactic. By all means have a long version of the Viral that the most engaged viewers can seek out, but use a concise version to take to the masses. A minute is a good target to aim for.

Be entertaining / interesting
If your content interests people, they’re far more likely to keep watching and ultimately engage with your brand. Seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many people will create a ‘viral’ that is actually just a dry sales message. Whilst this approach can work for TV advertising, online viewers will just stop watching if they aren’t engaged. Online video campaigns generally work better for branding campaigns rather than explaining your newest product’s features.

Start with a BANG!
Get your key message across in the first 10 seconds of the video. People will make up their mind pretty quickly if they are gonna keep watching, so its key to grab their attention from the start. You should also plan for a drop out towards the end of the video.

Leverage the Love
If people have enjoyed your video they will be more open to engaging with other marketing content. Include a call to action at the end of your video – drive traffic to your FB page, YT channel or website. 

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