Marketing Spotlight – Trying to go Viral (and Failing) – Delta

So, going through my editorial plans, I’ve decided to create a weekly “Marketing Spotlight” entry. These entries will vary from good to bad uses of marketing strategy, and kicking off the section will be an example of the bad.

In this week’s Marketing Spotlight, I’m highlighting the unfortunate flash mobs Delta airlines has been filming and posting online. Undoubtedly hoping for the videos to go viral, Delta is a prime example of companies trying too hard. Delta says the video was made for attendees at a conference last week, but I can’t help thinking they made it just for the hopes of creating something viral.

The beauty of the new social media world (and perhaps the downfall for many companies) is that it makes it entirely clear when a company is trying to hard to succeed. Between the obvious poor production of the video and the un-coordination of the dancers, it just feels like something the company threw together in hopes of “relating to their audience” and making something go viral.

This leads me to a few pointers for companies hoping to create a viral video:

1. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Viral videos don’t have to cost much, but if you’re a big company like Delta,, throw extra money into the video to make it a bit more professional. The poor quality made me think of the thin seating and small packets of peanuts on some of the Delta flights I’ve been on. The video should not remind me of this- it should enhance my opinion of Delta.

2. Market your product or service. If Delta did it right, they would have had their flash mobs in cities across the world where people could travel. Showing flight attendants in airports simply marked with a text overlay does not market the fact that you can travel exciting and exotic places with Delta.

3. Don’t make your viral video seem planned. The best viral videos are ones that companies never expected to make it big.