WSJ Explains Complexities of Viral Video

The Wall Street Journal‘s Emily Steel has a piece today on Trident’s viral video campaign (subscription required), featuring the fake show Thats Not Fake. (Confused yet?)

Ms. Steel lays out the company’s effort from conception through execution and measurement. As a primer for executing campaigns that include a viral component, its definitely worth the read. But as she points out, “for every Internet sensation, many more fall short of the mark, showing how hard it is to predict what will capture consumers’ imaginations.” The campaign, unfortunately, missed its mark. She cites a few industry experts:

Digital marketing experts point to a few stumbles by the Trident campaign…. its idea of promoting fake videos on the Web site of a fake TV show drew attention to doubts about the Internet’s credibility, undermining the brand’s message.

True enough. But I think there’s something more obvious, but something she’s simply can’t say as a reporter. Its just not funny. It doesn’t make me want to forward it to anyone.

See for yourself:

The execution was flawless. The production value was excellent (and not a liability as some suggested in her article). The content was simply lacking.

I’ve said very often that when you sit down “to create a viral video,” you’ve already made your first mistake. Viral is the reward, not the tactic. Sorry, Trident. Keep tryin’, though!