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The Success and Fails of a Viral Marketing Campaign

By Rizwan Ahmad - 28 November 2013 No Comments
Creative marketing ideas can stand or fall as the result of a very basic factor: simplicity. No matter how creative or inspired the best ideas may seem, those that make the grade all have one thing in common; they are, ultimately, incredibly simple. Campaigns that try to be too clever shoot themselves in the foot. Your demographic doesn't want to have to decipher what you’re trying to tell them – they want to see it in plain and simple language.

SEE ALSO: Tips for Selling Your Furniture on Ebay
The Success and Fails of a Viral Marketing Campaign
Image Credit: zeebri

Mining the Vein
One of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time was launched by the Thresher chain of off-licenses. The idea behind it was remarkably simple, yet tapped into its consumers’ most basic desire; the desire to bag a bargain. It also mined the joy that consumers get when they feel they are ‘getting one over’ on a vendor.

In December of 2006, a voucher was leaked from the company, offering a 40% discount on wine and champagne bought online. However, the neat little trick was that, apparently, the voucher was only intended for suppliers. In reality, this was part of the Threshers marketing campaign; a way of getting the word to spread about a particular deal.

Bagging a Bargain
Consumers snapped the deal up, believing that they were getting a bargain that they weren’t supposed to. The deal itself was nothing new and nothing they hadn’t offered before, but the perception that the deal was somehow illicit or intended for industry-members only, fired up the public interest. To give it a further fillip, the company released a number of statements, suggesting they were worried about how much the voucher would eat into their profits:

The company admits it is slightly concerned about the popularity of the offer”.

However, that Christmas, Threshers made more profit and attracted more publicity than they had done in the whole year, as consumers shared and shared and shared the voucher through public and social media.

Don’t Get Too Complicated

On the flip-side, Ebay’s ‘Windorphins’ campaign is proof that even the big boys can get it wrong.

Ebay was looking for a way to engage its existing users and to attract new ones. It focused on the idea that the thing that separates Ebay from conventional consumerism is the rush of feeling that consumers get when they win an auction. Not only do they get what they want, but it comes with a feel-good factor too. So far, so good.
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is contributed by JonJon Yeung and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,


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