If you watch news and are a bit interested in what’s out there on the web, you must have came across the ‘GSM induced Pop Corn Video’ in the last 2 weeks. And now you might also know that the Pop Corn video is in fact a viral video from a Bluetooth Headset solutions’ company to do some brand awareness/eMarketing.
Some basic facts I took from TV (not my own): working GSM raise temperature about 10°C, but to pop a corn you need at least 100°C …so 4 phones won’t make it happen except if you warm the corn before hand. But honestly when I first look at it I wondered how this could be possible. But it is so big and incredible, deep down you want to believe it without looking too much into it. And to be honest, we all know that putting a thingy on you ear that raise temperature about 10°C cannot be that safe for your brain…but GSM are soooo practical! And then you can see on YouTube lots of video made by others people to verify this or to play along on this and then it even makes it up to TV news!
That is what one could call a successful viral marketing campaign…but who really looked up at the company behind this campaign and remember its name??
Being in this business I am all for viral effect of any good creative ideas. And this is very creative!! But is it a ‘good’ idea to promote a company brand? This campaign surfs on the edge of rumors and fear distorting the truth. One part of me is ‘whoa what a creative idea to create buzz!’. But the biggest part of me is ‘New Marketers be aware of your responsibility’.
OK this campaign is a little thing and won’t blow up the world but it made me think. The Internet is a great tool of communication and sure we are facing an overload of information which is not going to decrease soon. To be heard one need to do things differently, to amaze to create buzz and viral effects. But where are going to be the limits for us eMarketers.
It took 30 years to radio in the US to reach 50 billion of listeners. It took 1 year only to the Internet to reach the same numbers of surfers. We have a fantastic communication tool at our disposal and regulation won’t be able to cover/regulate that magnitude especially as Internet has no physical borders. One way to control it will be to close it, or restrict it in the way China is trying to do so…and even there they are not really succeeding. And we certainly do NOT want that to happen.
Somehow it will come to companies and eMarketers to create their own ethics and code of conduct. The Internet gives us total free will…but it is up to us, each of us, individually and collectively to decide what are going to be the limits and how we are going to shape it for the best if we do not want to pollute and ruin this fantastic media.