I love this stunt for a "nudie site" (i can't use the P word my host blocks pages with that word) where they posted photos of what was said to be a lost camera. A facebook group gained 15,000 users before being quickly shut down. Full article here.
Supervirals.com (terrible name made worse by the logo) is a new venture that allows brands to brief out "viral video" in exchange for prizes. They've signed up mambo, Krispy Kreme and Nudie juice so far.
They describe themselves better than I can so this is form their FAQ section
"SuperVirals is a new creative platform where you can win big prizes by creating and uploading original ideas for sponsor brands. Which means it's also the place to see the best new viral content on the web!"
The briefs are open enough to allow creative freedom but my cynical view on the world won't be banking on this taking off. It just feels too labored?. But I've been wrong many times before. I think 1% (read here) sums it up well.
I haven't hear much from Telstra's WotNext site but it still seems to be going so that's one thing. They also have Project Joystick which is asking for game ideas.
All comps require the user to sign over all IP with their winning entry. I guess this matter little to the general public but matters a lot to people who actually have talent.
What I love best about these type of promos is you can instantly gauge its success. By using Youtube videos as a clue delivery service one only needs to check the view stats on said videos and you'll know how many people are playing. Day 4's clue (we're up to Day 5 now) is sitting on 800 views. The first videos are at 7,000. (see below)
Maybe people do what I did and just Google the questions and cheat?
It looks great but its tiny type and super long UI is annoying as is Flash's limitations with copying and pasting text but that's not the agencies fault. Also I would have liked to have done more than just find answers and past it into a message window. Mini games or anything would have been a nice change.
What's interesting is Google didn't charge Sony for the privilege of hosting the game as it saw the benefit as mutual. Without Google's support this would have made the whole thing a lot harder to pull together.
Updated: (Sorry I had my agency's wrong)
The level of complexity for this game is quite easy compared to Red's ARG game out there called Ethanhaaswasright.com And yes I can't get past the 2nd puzzle!!! (it's shitting me)
Update 2: I was completely wrong (like most other people) Ethan Haas Was Right is actually for Alpha Omega a new RPG. More info here.
Thanks B!X you tried to set me right but I didn't listen.
Memes vs Viral:
The way to think of a meme vs viral is like this. Viral is something advertising agencies create to try and sell a product and if popular will stay around for a few months.
A meme is something that changes the way people talk and will end up being mentioned on Family Guy or The Simpsons.
Another fancy word for Viral
If the word VIRAL feels overused and has lost its meaning then try using MEME. It hasn't hit the mainstream yet and if you explain it as I have it's like a Viral on steroids then when someone else pitches to do a Viral your ideas will sem better.
Note: You say it mehm not ME ME.
Here's a couple new ones which I saw last week which have yet to catch on as much as the previous examples
If the Algorithm dance seems slightly odd what's even more odd are these Inmates from the Phillipines dancing to it
Or the same inmates reenacting Thriller.
Advertising Funded Memes:
It's interesting to note that very few of these memes actually helped any product get sold. Almost none were created by advertising agencies. Aside from Ford's Hurra Torpedo but they just latched onto an obscure band that already existed.
OK Go's career was saved with their treadmill film clip, Blair Witch and Snakes on a Plane would be forgotten if it not for the web. SNL is probably more popular now thanks to Youtube than it has ever been. (Narnia Rap and Dick in a Box)
Aside from these, very few were actually created with the purpose of selling something and I think that's because these things grow organically. When something is forced it rarely sees success.