Someone recently forwarded me the very well-executed viral video campaign by AARP.
1. It’s personal
2. It’s genuinely surprising
3. It’s easy to forward
4. It’s easy to forward to lots of people
5. It has a call to action
A call to action is the point of the viral campaign, such as selling product or, in this case, getting people to sign a petition. The difference between a viral stunt and a measurable word of mouth marketing campaign is a clear marketing objective that can be tracked.
I would also add two more features needed for vial success achieved here. First, for anything to be viral, it has to be entertaining. Just like OfficeMax’s Elf Yourself campaign last holiday season, in addition to it being very personal, it was also entertaining. AARP‘s video does the same here.
Second, AARP answers the crucial, “what’s in it for me?” question. The ability to personalize the video, as Andy points out, definitely reaches the “me” component. Everybody likes to see themselves – picture or name – made public for something positive. AARP allows the user to do this very easily.
What about AARP’s strategic public affairs purpose to this video? While I think the video is a good tool to encourage people to vote, it hardly presents AARP’s positions on important issues. But, the video does get a lot of people engaged with the brand and while leaving their emails behind.
From this election and described in my previous post, we know the value of a network or community. AARP, through this video, is able to increase the all-important email list, so when a crucial moment comes where they need you to contact your member of congress, they have massive outreach potential. By the way, the fun and easy use of this viral video definitely builds brand equity with AARP, making the next time they ask the public for their support, more likely to acquiesce.