Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Spreadable Marketing, Not Viral.

In a New York bar last month, a (non-media) university friend of his asked the rest of the table to explain what Faris actually did - apart from use very long words that she didn't understand? We laughed, he pled guilty and we continued drinking.

This month, he's written an excellent post derived from his own thinking and his attendance of MIT's Future Of Entertainment conference. It gives us the simple language with which to clarify what viral marketing really is.

What we mean when something goes 'viral' is that LOTS OF PEOPLE CHOOSE TO PROPAGATE IT. It requires people to do something. Voluntarily. For their own reasons. It is not simply a new way to broadcast our messages through populations. It suggests we push, when in fact they pull

In other words, it's not interruptive advertising. As Henry Jenkins said at the conference, it's much more about gifting and

you don't put a catalog in a gift! That's gauche advertising. And viral advertising is basically this: "here's free media, give it into your friends as a gift, also it includes advertising!"

That doesn't work because, as Douglas Rushkoff said

"People don't engage with each other to exchange viruses; people exchange viruses as an excuse to engage with each other."

This is where marketing is going. This is where it has to go.


Blogger Robert said...

I think Faris is as brilliant as the next man, but I think your praise for his "viral" post is abit extreme.

Sure it's good and as well written as all his stuff is, but it's nothing that hasn't been discussed before, which I am sure Faris would agree with because he's a top man.

What his post does show however, is how publically expressing a viewpoint - even a widely held one - is still beneficial to the development and prestige of a brand.

Just incase this has got lost in translation, this is not meant as a dig towards Faris or anyone else you talk about in this post - it's just a case of me wanting to keep people's feet upon the ground.

1:13 AM, November 26, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

I try to be positive and this is what I get! My belief is that this stuff is not as widely held (outside of the exalted circles in which you move) as you suggest.

No, of course, it's not entirely new but it's useful at times to feature a good summary and I like the arrival (to me anyway) of the term spreadable.

I also think that there's a lot more going on than that in the post and the transcripts of the conference that I read.

2:39 AM, November 26, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

But YOU know all about this stuff [being the genius you are] so the fact you called it 'brilliant' was rather upsetting. :)

3:06 AM, November 26, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

True, but I live in the delusional blogger's hope that other people might be reading and I'm not just keeping a diary!

And maybe I just felt it was "brilliant" in comparison to the posts I've been reading lately ;o)

Maybe important is a better adjective, but I decided against that because after all it's only blogging.

3:10 AM, November 26, 2008  
Blogger faris said...

hey dudes!

thanks. i'm definitely guilty.

and as i said i had started saying that a couple of years ago - but Jenkins and C3 crew have put together a more robust framework for the idea - and given it better language - that I happily have stolen and transferred on to garner some of its value, while hopefully adding some of my own...

or something ;)

Rob - making me pre-agree with you to ensure I retain my topman status - now that's brilliant my friend ;)

and happy thanks as they are saying over here...


6:47 AM, November 26, 2008  
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