Friday, October 5, 2007

Viruses Infecting the News

Viruses are everywhere and they infect nearly everything. Just from the 12 hours of lecture we've had, we've heard of viruses infecting vertebrate, invertebrate, bacteria, fungi, and more. Viruses even infect computers.

But did you ever think viruses can plague the news? No, it's not a new bioterrorism threat. It's the use of VIRAL MARKETING to spread awareness of a certain brand or event. This type of marketing depends on people voluntarily passing information along, in a replicative manner. Funny YouTube videos, hidden material on websites, games, or images are the vectors for viral marketing on the internet.

When people like a product or service, they tell their friends about it. And if those people like the service, they tell their friends. This might be a long stretch, but if a virus is successful in penetrating a host and making copies of itself, it wants to tell everyone. So baby viruses break open and infect other cells (essentially telling other host cells about the virus). Viruses are the perfect analogy for this type of "contagious" marketing prevalent today.

Check out this Dove (the soap brand) video called Onslaught that named as #1 in their Top 20 Viral videos.

Who said you can't learn anything from YouTube.


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