At Social Media Marketing Las Vegas Peter VanRynsdam did a talk on “How NOT to go Viral”.
I heard a few interesting stories of viral youtube videos that turned out to be sneaky marketing ploys by companies:
Sydney Cinderella Jacket Man – woman met a man at a cafe, didn’t get his number, does a youtube video to find him, she shows he left his jacket behind, says its a beautiful jacket, has silk lining etc. The video went viral on youtube but was exposed as a viral marketing stunt for the jacket
All I Want for Xmas is a PSP – 9 yr old put a rap video why he should get a PSP. Was all a stunt by sony
Peter says faking it can work but rather than fooling people and being dishonest its works better when they go way over the top. A good example was:
NFL Fantasy File by NFL.com and Reebok – featured many videos of NFL stars doing amazing things in order to get picked, such as Laurence Maroney running up and jumping through a car, in the window one side and out the other. The videos easily got over 20 millions views and thousands of comments from people debating whether the impossible stunts were fake.