Viral Marketing Tactics


By Paula M Burke

For companies looking to energize their brand awareness a holistic and refreshing approach to simple and unique content plays out in viral video marketing. Viral marketing is the rapid sharing of an idea that contains a marketing message about buying a product or service (Yeoman, 2014).

Let us take a look back on Super Bowl Sunday just three weeks ago. Many of us between making great wings and dips to game watching caught some of the most eclectic cast of characters. Some of these funny ads include the puppy monkeybaby, mini hulk vs. ant-man, love of a truck and then a whole host of celebrity sightings. Viral marketing  generates a mental buzz that spreads to many viewers to reach back to the video for entertainment and product appeal. It is playful and organic in its content keeping viewers engaged and sharing in the hashtag connections. The marketing initiatives offer a cheeky humor that does not always promote the product exclusively but the story tells the tale.

To illustrate this example take a peek again at the very funny video called #baldwinbowl promoting the Amazon Echo, an intelligent personal assistant in a crafty video showing the power of voice technology and its gravity to interaction. By having the Amazon Echo have a name that is called Alexa adds a personalization to the product. Trends suggest that voice recognition technology is growing in popularity as many smart phone users can access Cortana or Siri to information. To date, the Amazon  Echo video is ranked first place on the Viral Video Chart powered by Visible Measures. The content is relevant as it features the football great, Dan Marino and the iconic actor Alec Baldwin.

Web traffic for the video as of the week of February 17 is pretty viral at 24,234,224 views and ranking number one (Madov, 2016). Sharing of the video identifies itself through its twitter hashtag #BaldwinBowl. Amazon paid $5 million for a 30 second spot. What Twitter offers is a superior connection to curate the brand. What makes this ad crafty is the integration of other brands to make a “snack stadium” so Alexa would promote the brands such as ordering pizza from Dominos or picking out songs from Spotify (Halas, 2016).

For many businesses out there, 5 million dollars an ad space on Superbowl Sunday is pretty cost prohibitive. What viral marketing does for organizations is reduce the cost of advertising as YouTube videos are available 24/7. As marketers we have to design a high quality relevant content campaign that can reach the lion-share of consumers looking for competitive products and services. Here is the bottomline, consumers will adopt viral marketing as more trustworthy as they enjoy the connections to family and friends and tweeting is easy to do and readily accessible.

What are the top five tactics to create an engaging viral campaign great?

  • Keep the content creative, simplistic and design driven with keywords.
  • Empower people to cultivate brand promise.
  • Motivate through emotion that leads to a path of virality (Hardwick, 2015).
  • Promote your brand through social sharing widgets and hashtags.
  • Sustain and share your content through coverage harnessing Pinterest social pin buttons posting quality images of the product or service.

Fotolia_68000511_XS.jpgTo support the memorable YouTube videos, social media sharing through Twitter hashtagging is a win-win for Amazon and other brands. Consumers crave searchable options that are highly social. It is a big world out there, the average viewership audience for Super Bowl 50 arrived in at 111.9 million ranking in third place for all time high history (Palotta & Stelter, 2016). Viral marketing continues to make us laugh, make us share, share, share and most of all,  inspire us to buy the brand.


Hardwick, J. (2015, December 10). 4 rules for a video to go viral. Retrieved from

Halas, D. (2016, February 7). Amazon Echo’s super bowl ad spot hash tagged #BaldwinBowl. Retrieved from

Madov, N. (2016, February 17). Super Bowl ads still going strong in the viral video chart… with three exceptions. Retrieved from

Pallotta, F., Stelter, B. (2016, February 8). Super Bowl 50 audience is third largest in TV history. Retrieved from

Yeoman, M. (2014, June 24). 5 key viral marketing tactics proven to work. Retrieved from



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