Our newspapers have made shock headlines into an art form and the Internet brings the marketing guys an increasing versatile method of delivering new shock and controversial messages. The Internet is much more targeted at specific groups than newspapers and brings the reader the option to rapidly and directly become involved with the conversation.
Sam Lawrence, a seasoned marketing campaigner, has provided a great shock message example by comparing Social Enterprise Software to the transformation innovation from 35mm to digital photography. Lawrence sees IBM, Microsoft and Oracle as the 35mm film ‘Goliath’ against his firm Jive as ‘David’. Retrospect is a fine thing and right now the analogy is stretching innovation imagination a little too far, however marketers have no time for non-existent future facts. This short low budget blog post certainly seems to have got tongues wagging with both IBM and Microsoft employees debating on Sam Lawrence’s blog comments. Lawrence’s timing is impeccable with Microsoft failing to muscle in on the Google Ad funded party through the Yahoo acquisition.
A particularly shocking and well timed piece of marketing was from Volkswagen with the ‘tough’ polo ad. ‘It was not’ an Ad the urban legend suggests. This viral Ad was at a time of heightened terrorist tension and if you click the link you can imagine how much of a stir the Ad created.
Even Harvard are getting into the viral YouTube act with Gary Hamel’s unashamed short and punchy book pitch proclaiming that we are using an out of date 19th century management structure in business today. You don’t find many books being advertised so effectively on YouTube. Hamel’s shock statement is based at a time when our western economies are working out how to maintain GDP’s through knowledge worker innovation. I’m sure Hemel’s marketing has helped put him into first place of the most influential thinkers.
The internet is a gorilla marketers dream offering a low cost and very effective way of at getting people to talk about shock messages. The choice to respond to these messages gives the reader a feeling of involvement, even if they don’t respond, and here lies the power of the ever increasing and evolving Internet marketing machine.