Viral Marketing for Tourism

Viral Marketing for TourismViral marketing is essentially the “word of mouth” spread of a marketing message by an organisation through the use of some sort of media – typically it is shared through online social media such as You Tube, Facebook or Twitter, but it could also be text messages or email.  Using video or something interactive is the most common vehicle for the campaign and it must be entertaining.  It will be targeted at a particular market who are likely to share it with others because of it’s amusement value (not because of the brand or message).

Developing the right viral campaign is a bit of an art because you have to be careful not to make it too manufactured, it needs to be genuinely funny and the brand or message involved has to be visible but not dominating – potentially the more outrageous and cheeky it is the more success you will have.  People will either love it or hate it – but that’s OK, so long as it gets exposure.

How can tourism use it? Very creatively hopefully!   This is a superb way to create interest in a destination or particular tourism product in a different and memorable way.  A couple of current examples of viral marketing campaigns for New Zealand tourism organisations are:

Air New Zealand – Who Would You Spoon?

A funny video featuring comedian Di Henwood with the campaign centred on the Air New Zeland Facebook page.  They have even produced a Facebook application for the spooning campaign so fans can select some of their friends to spoon and enter a competition to win a weekend away…the marketing message for this campaign?  It’s all about their new Economy Skycouch which allows passengers to lie down during flight to sleep, and presumably spoon if travelling with a close friend…

Destination Northland – Northland For Dummies Aussies

A clever couple of videos have been produced and placed on YouTube with the star of the show being the likeable Bazza from Oz.  Targeted at Australians to visit Northland, these 2 videos (A language Guide and an Outdoor Guide) are being spread virally through You Tube, Facebook and Twitter.  Bazza has his own Facebook page and Twitter account so you can follow his travels through Northland.


5 Comments

  1. Michelle Ackers March 25, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    I see Destination Northland have now added more videos of Bazza on You Tube of his travels through Northland, very funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/northlandnz

  2. les probert April 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    A great example of viral marketing in the tourism sector is the recent Dave Carrol versus United airlines saga.

    With over 8.3 million youtube views to date (view “united breaks guitars”) its a great reason to make sure you don’t upset any of your clients, especially if they happen to be a talented musician!

    It all started when Dave and his country group Sons of Maxwell were travelling to Nebraska with United airlines who somehow managed to break Dave’s favourite guitar. Instead of sorting out Daves complaint the United Airlines buck passing started and Dave started to get seriously pissed off……….

    When he didn’t have his complaint recognized his revenge came by putting his complaint into a very catchy song and shooting a low budget video and posting it all on youtube.

    Viral marketing has now taken his complaint to the world…… its done United Airlines no favours but has really helped launch Dave’s career as a singer.

    Today anyone can post almost anything to a social media site and tell the world their story. A fantastic opportunity to present your business positively but it’s a double edged sword…….. Just ask United!

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