The ‘Viral’ trap. But first, dancing babies.

Before you read anything, watch this absolutely awesome viral commercial.

Evian, a European brand I have never heard of before, previously held the Guinness World Record for the most viral video commercial of all time and this was the follow up released in 2013, which has 123 million views, outshining their previous success. After seeing this great commercial I can easily see why, the video is hilarious and puts you in a good mood just from watching it. But what it fails to do is actually sell their product.


Viral success is not the same as sales success. After the original commercial, Roller Babies. was released in 2009, sales of the water brand actually declined. In the year the Evian ‘Roller Babies’ video went viral and attracted 50 million views, the brand lost market share and sales plummeted by a whopping 25 per cent, according to Forbes. Proving that sometimes the best form of advertising isn’t necessarily the best form of advertising.

The problem that Evian and many other viral sensations have is that they do little to back up their viral marketing efforts. With digital marketing being the tool of the future, and viral videos being one of the best ways to create a buzz, it incredibly important to integrate it back to the organisations IMC strategy.

Digital media will always be more effective when used as part of an integrated approach. People should be able to recognize a product in whichever media platform they are seeing it. Evian managed to be successful on YouTube platform, but failed to be coherent and consistent among other their other media platforms. This also applies to offline content, it needs to complement what is being seen online and provide seamless continuity for the customer no matter what platform their product is viewed in. It is important not to fall into the ‘viral trap’ or you’ll only ever be seen as another Harlem Shake.




One thought on “The ‘Viral’ trap. But first, dancing babies.

  1. Hi Dave. I really like the way you introduce what viral marketing is, it is brief and easy to follow.
    The Evian campaign is very entertaining and a good example of a viral campaign, I have seen it a few times on my Facebook timeline.
    Your emphasis on the difference in the success of viral and sales is a good point. I also believe this point where viral is more important than short-term sales, as it not only provide exposure but also reminds and convince consumers of their brand; this would have a long-term impact.
    The content is informative too, as you provide your proof with research.
    It would be great if you mention more on IMC’s role in the success of the Evian campaign.
    Overall, it is simple and easy to understand. Thanks for the interesting read.


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