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I don’t usually like online videos – in fact, I almost never click on a video link. For me, most videos are a waste of time. But today, I saw one that is absolutely fantastic. Not only is it extremely well done, it’s fall-off-your-chair funny (at least, it was for me). With music even symphony musicians love (that is, when they’re not falling off their chairs laughing).

It’s also an excellent example of viral marketing. What is viral marketing? It’s an advertisement that is so good, so fun, so special in some way, that people can’t wait to share it with their friends. Then their friends share it, and it’s shared again, using email and text and phone and Facebook, until the “you gotta see this” has multiplied like a virus. That’s viral marketing: word-of-mouth in the internet, cell phone, tell-me-now information age.

This ad was made to go viral, and it worked. It was created for television, but was intentionally released on the internet two weeks before it’s TV debut. The ad was so popular on the internet that the company actually decreased their television advertising spend so it would not be over-exposed. As for effectiveness (how much product did it sell?), I don’t know… but if I drank beer, I’d buy a bottle of the brand they’re hawking as a reward, assuming I could find it in my corner of the world, which I somewhat doubt. We only have vampires here*.

And if this video is old news to you, my apologies. I’m often late to the party, and this is obviously no exception. It seems this was released in the summer of 2005. But since I first saw it yesterday, it’s new to me. Maybe it will be to you. If not, it’s worth seeing again. :)

Now, enjoy (and make sure you have the sound on): It’s a Big Ad

COMING NEXT WEEK: Font choices for selling

During the month of October, I’ll be doing another website makeover (I did the first website makeover back in April). This time, we’ll go into a little more depth, so the makeover will be stretched out over 4 weeks. Week 1 will be about text and readability issues: What to do to make your website most easily read by your users, and also what to do to improve comprehension. And maybe a couple of other related issues.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Google AdWords through new eyes

We’ve hired a new employee, Mr. John Earl Sullivan, and he’s going to be contributing articles here. He’s new to internet marketing, and so I’ve asked him to document his learning curve. We’ll start by following along as he learns about using Google AdWords. Watch this space for more information.

SUPPORTING DRIVEL: How I found the “Big Ad”

I was skimming an old (but gold) marketing book, looking for info I’ll use in next week’s article. I came across an “ad” illustrating the effectiveness of everyday language, and it was so good, I just had to share. I read it aloud to our new employee (who has the misfortune of having his desk near mine), and after he chuckled, he dug up the link to the “It’s a Big Ad” video to show me. He said that when he was performing “Carmina Burana” a few years ago, the “Big Ad” was popular with the musicians. I’ll bet!

* I live in Port Angeles, Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest (USA). It is one of the most beautiful places on earth – and it is also where the “Twilight” series of books/movies is set, which features vampires. Although, I must say that I haven’t seen any vampires other than on movie posters and in store displays. But then again, I live in Port Angeles, not Forks.