Viral marketing is a marketing technique used by businesses of all sizes. It includes word of mouth, but in the internet world it mainly refers to using social networking sites to increase brand awareness or increase sales in the internet world. With growing number of Internet user every year across the world and its wide spread usage in almost all the fields including common people sharing message make internet and its usage as a medium to spread like viral fever.
In traditional marketing funnel a consumer recommends large number of products/service to limited or same group of peoples. As a result the recommendation the network becomes limited to local group of people who are immediately reachable. While in viral marketing, a consumer recommends the product to few groups and that few groups will recommend the same product next large group and this will keep multiplying at the every recommendation. The pictorial representation of traditional marketing and viral marketing is as follows;
The awareness about the song Kolaveri moved from a mini group to large group with the help of social media.
Viral Marketing Characteristics and Kolaveri
The basic premise of viral marketing is its ability to circulate freely on the Internet along with the author’s URL. The content must be of sufficient quality and the original author will forward/shares it to its recipients for free or as a pre-arranged joint venture payment. The whole exercise should be cheaper and effective to generate greater sales for a period of time.
Kolaveri team used a simple video clip which broke the entire formal video album concept. The video clip recorded in the studio actor Danush singing the song and has no film lights, professional camera. It has the required quality and the sharing of the content was free of cost. Overall the entire exercise was without any cost.
Six Principles of Viral Marketing and Kolaveri
Kolaveri adhered the six principles of Viral Marketing and details ares as follows;
- Gives away valuable products or services — Kolaveri did give a valuable product
- Effortless transfer to others — It was an effortless transfer
- Easy scalability — It multiplied without killing the host
- Exploits common motivations and behaviors — Exploited human behavior and emotion
- Utilizes existing communication networks — Used the existing network and did not create even a new website/blog to promote it
- Takes advantage of others’ resources — Definitely worked on other’s infrastructure like a parasite
The most important trick of the viral marketing is to create a very strong emotion. The song used words that are used by young people everyday. ‘Soupboys’(those who failed in love),‘bouw-u’(rejection) and ‘life reverse gear’ were part of South Indians slangs.
Three Phases of Viral Marketing and Kolaveri
The three phases in Viral Marketing are Initial Phase (initial surge), Plateau (community conversation around a campaign) and Long tail Phase (huge amount of referrers created). Kolaveri exhibited the initial surge in the first few days, followed by the wide discussion in the social networking groups and later it reached the Long tail.
The following data from the Google Insight Search reflects the fact that Kolaveri had undergone all the three phases.
There was an initial surge in keyword interest index. The first five days the index was hovering in the range of 1–5 which was the initial launch boost which had shown abnormal movement and reached 100 in the next ten days. This truly revealed “community conversation” around a campaign, in blogs, community forums, social networks, etc. As of now a search in Google exhibits more than 2,06,000 references in the internet with 191,000 documents with the title Kolaveri.
Viral Marketing Type and Kolaveri
There are different types of Viral Marketing adopted — Pass Along (Information is passed on from person to person in due course of conversation), Incentivized (reward as a motive), Undercover (buzz/stealth marketing), Edgy Gossip (create controversy by challenging the borders of taste or appropriateness) and User Managed Database (using own lists of contacts using a database)
Kolaveri has spread using the Pass along type of a viral marketing and it worked out very well. Even before it was launched officially but people found it very different from other traditional movie videos and started sharing the links to their known one and it passed on to many viewers with in short span of time.
Dhanush known for his boy-next-door image sang the song as an innocent, heartbroken lover. And it worked well. As Dhanush said the song was meant for the common people and it was not intended for Pan India promotion. According to him it was a mistake — something not intentional. But it turned out to be a positive mistake and he realized later that nothing could stop the viral marketing once product assumes all characteristics needed for viral marketing