Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Viral Marketing and User Generated Materials

Viral Marketing and User Generated Materials

Raphael Ayson

The purpose of this essay is o analyse two videos that are within the categories of viral marketing and user generated material, including the key similarities and differences between them and also their effectiveness. Notably, an interactive video is user controlled, in terms of the ability to pause, rewind, forward, stop and replay. These videos are 'interactive' as they are used on popular websites such as,, and windows live or yahoo homepages for example.

Viral marketing is the term used for online advertising or campaigns to promote or sell a company's product and service. This form of advertising is very effective because of the vast amount of online users. In relation to this, it is estimated that the average person online watches approximately six and a half hours of online videos a week - making it an effective oppurtunity for companies to promote.

The first viral marketing video I will be talking about is the 2011 advert for the brand 'Fosters' ( In this video, a distinctive British man placed in a holiday environment, poolside, is on his mobile phone with two distinctive Australian men who appear to be telephone advice gurus. The British man tells the two Australians that his male friend has just asked him to rub sun-block on him and then asks them what he should do. They respond with the question ''Is he wearing skivvys or tighty-whiteys?''. The British man tells them yes and they then tell him ''Do not make direct eye contact but keep your eyes open so you know where your hands are at all times, make sure you put on a lot so you don't have to apply a second coat.'' This response is said in a serious yet humourous manner and the British man ends the conversation by saying ''cheers mate'', then hangs up the phone and turns to his friend and tells him he has to change his clothes.The second viral marketing video is an advert for a ladies fragrance, 'Dior, J'adore', ( In this video, a celebrity female struts through rooms in what appears to be a mansion. Whilst doing so, she is taking each piece of clothing off, including jewellery, in a fierce and sensual mmanner. The fragrance bottle is then shown with its name, J'adore, to end the advertisement.

Between these two videos, similarities are evident. Firstly, they both have been already aired on television to promote further, as not all interactive videos are aired onto television - being exclusive clips for the internet. Another similarity is the product image being shown towards the end of the advert, both lasting for approximately the same amount of time of three seconds. Both videos are successful in targeting their aimed audience due to the gender and social classes of the actors and actresses used.

Moreover, there are many differences between the two videos. One is that the target audiences are different. Fosters appears to be aimed at 18-45 year old men whereas Dior is aimed towards women of young to middle-ages. Additionally, the contrast between social classes are made apparant and they both differ. The mansion in Dior portrays a rich, luxurious and upper class atmosphere whereas the holiday poolside environment is significantly a working class environment. The costumes also add to this apparant contrast between social classes as the celebrity in Dior wears a diamond necklace and silk clothing in comparison to the casual vests and swimming trunks worn by the actors in the Fosters advert.

The Fosters adversiement appears of a budgeted quality whereas the Dior advert is clearly expensive, due to the fact a celebrity is being used to promote the product in comparison to the unknown actors used in the Fosters advert. Both are effective in promoting their product despite being complete contrasts.

User generated videos are associated with videos that are not made by copmanies, but a general internet user, amateur to filiming and editing. These are also web-based, uploaded on to sites such as earlier mentioned in the essay. Commonly, user profiles are made in order to upload these videos, creating a 'channel' or 'profile' and the users hav the option to privatise their video or make it available for any person to view. Some videos are made in order to promote themselves, such as an artist or musician, but this is not classed as official advertising.

The first user generated video that will be explained is taken from 'Wiz Khalifa's YouTube Video Blog' channel, called 'Daytoday season 4 episode 10' ( In this video, rap artist Wiz Khalifa is on his European tour, starting in London then Amsterdam and finally Germany. During this space of time, Wiz is shown smoking marijuana whilst doing radio interviews and photoshoots. Other footage includes Wiz with his crew fooling around and performing his music. These are shown in short clips that totals to a ten-minute long video summarising his month long tour.

The next video is from an acoustic band called 'Boyce Avenue' who performs their rendition of Ne-Yo's commercial song, Closer ( The video starts with a blank screen introducing the band's name in text form followed by the song title. Straight afterwards the performance begins with the lead singer shown playing his guitar. This carries on until the end of the song and is filmed in different shots, appearing to be taken with five different cameras.

The similarities between both videos is that they feauture musicians with their performances. Additionally, they are both showcased as music videos and both have been filmed in various shots and angles, rather than a one angled shot. Furthermore, these videos are similar in the terms that both artists are self-promoting their selves through the videos.

Differences between the two videos include the duration, where Wiz Khalifa's video lasts for approximately six minutes longer than the Boyce Avenue video. However, these contrasts are effective in their own way as the length of the videos intend the video's purpose. Additionally, another difference is that Wiz Khalifa's video has a documentary approach whereas random clips and shots in comparison to the more planned and organiced Boyce Avenue video. Both have different target audience in terms of the genre of music which is made apparant.

Boyce Avenue's and Wiz Khalifas filming both appear to be of a budgeted quality. This shows how user generated material online can be as poweful as viral marketing. Both these videos are successful in reaching their target audience and have the appropriate length suited to their purposes.

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