Viral Marketing Gone Good

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 – Chances are you’ve already seen the Flash parody of the Woody Guthrie folk song, “This Land Is Your Land,” that’s been racing its way across the Internet this week at lightning-like speed.  My good friend, Michael Chinnici, emailed it to me a few days ago, and initially I didn’t think twice about it.  Spoofing President Bush and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, it’s amusing, sure.  But at first glance, I though it was just another joke du jour encumbering my Inbox.  However, on second thought, turns out this clip (produced by the Los Angeles-based animation studio, JibJab) is an instant classic, the perfect example of viral marketing gone good.  So good, in fact, that JibJab is getting so many hits on its Web site that its principals, brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, are practically crying “uncle” in their blog, The JibJab Times, writing:  “You people dang near blew the lid off our server yesterday!  Slow down!  There’s enough to go around for everyone.  We promise.”  Talk about a good problem to have on your hands!  Coincidentally, the phenomenal success of this satirical cartoon-cum-promotional vehicle for JibJab couldn’t be more consistent with Nate Elliot’s point in his recent article about viral marketing on The ClickZ Network, where he argues, “The real conduit for viral campaigns, when they are noticed, is the media.  Reporters get the message out, drive the interest and traffic.”  After all, in just the last few days alone, the brothers Spiridellis have made appearances on FOX News, CNBC‘s Squawk Box, The Today Show and who knows how many other television news shows, not to mention the countless articles that have been written about them across this great land.  The rub lies, of course, in how much all this fame will translate into fortune.

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