Can a buzz sell?

Taking a video or a buzz viral may not be as difficult as ensuring a sale for the product that the viral video/buzz was trying to promote. The outrageous content in the video/act may take it viral. But if there's a marketer behind the video, he'd still sweat to get consumers to buy.

A case is question is the romantic comedy (movie) 'I love you, Beth Cooper'.

Last month, 18-year-old Kenya Mejia closed her valedictory address at Los Angeles's Alexander Hamilton High School on a startling note: publicly professing a secret passion for a classmate. The commotion Ms. Mejia created was actually part of a ploy cooked up by marketing executives and consultants for Twentieth Century Fox, the Hollywood studio whose headquarters is less than two miles from Hamilton High. The goal of the plot, which included a marketing company called the Intelligence Group and at least one other contractor, was to create a "viral" buzz online for the romantic comedy "I Love You, Beth Cooper."

Did the buzz ensure spiralling audiences for the movie?

Unfortunately for the studio, lightning didn't strike. "I Love You, Beth Cooper" has been a bomb in an otherwise buoyant summer movie season. The movie, which cost an estimated $19 million to make, took in $13.4 million domestically its first three weeks in release, according to Even Ms. Mejia hasn't seen it.

The lesson in this is simple. Getting a communique to spread, via the viral route, brings with it large doses of awareness among consumers. But its no guarantee for a sale. Its like creative advertising. Yeah, consumers are talking about it. But are they buying the brand in question?

I thought the Zoo Zoos were cute. But right now, I am hunting for a Docomo connection. And I can't scarcely remember anything about the Dokomo deal from a communique. In fact I haven't even seen one. Yet I have visited stores that have told me there's a stockout on the Dokomo package. Its not cute advertising that's worked for Docomo, its great pricing, and communiques about that price.


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