Good Ideas; The New Viral

Photo credit: Valentina Degiorgis

Many have heard me rant about my hatred of the term "viral" (yes, I hate it in both a marketing context as well as a health context). While I think the power of the interactive space is incredible in its ability to spread ideas around the world, I feel that the lazy marketer has displaced the term "good" with "viral".

I recently came across a press release that made me smile. The press release was about a poetry contest run by a diamond company called A&W Diamonds whose specialty is loose diamonds for sale online. I have never heard of this company before (that does not mean they are not well known, I guess I am just not "in market") but I imagine they don't have a multi-million dollar marketing budget (again, I could be wrong).

So what does one do when they don't have the money to hire a big fancy agency to create them "some killer viral" campaign (that sounds so dirty, huh?).

They come up with a good, smart idea!

Being a seller of diamonds, I imagine that Valentine's day is a big time of the year for A&W. Due to this A&W went ahead and created a poetry contest. Here were the rules;

The Poem Competition:
Write a romantic Valentine’s Day poem using the phrase "Heart Diamonds" or "Heart Diamond"
and you can win a beautiful Heart Shaped Loose Diamond!!!

Pretty simple if you ask me.

By the looks of things the company received hundreds responses. What is more important, I bet that each respondent told an average of 3 people about this contest, and each of those three probably told one person (10 relationships or 5MM impressions anyone?)

A&W then produced a press release about this contest, and here I am writing about it (this may lead to a hundred more impressions).

So what is the ROI here?

Well, all of this cost A&W one Heart Shaped Loose Diamond. I don't know what that costs but if it is under $10, 000 I would say they have done a pretty good job!

You can see the winner of the contest here, but my winner is a variation on an old time classic;

roses are red violets are blue, your heart belongs to who?

Carol Craig, 01/17/2008

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