There's been some discussion on my last post about SkyHigh Airlines concerning its marketing effectiveness. Coincidentally, I got this email from MarketingProfs in my inbox yesterday titled "Self-Propelling Viral Campaigns" that sheds some light on the subject.
Passed via peer to peer, "word of mouse" messages can help endorse a brand among like-minded consumers, thus spreading its influence. Because they're passed between individuals at a low distribution level (Bob sends a message to a handful of his mates, who in turn pass it to a handful of their mates), they can bypass spam filters with relative ease...
The success of a self-propelling, viral marketing campaign depends on creative execution and the quality of the initial seeding. To optimize message spread, content must be entertaining and engaging. The online audience will pass on advertainment, not ads. Content that's funny, topical, or sexy has best viral currency as it reflects well on the message sender, not the message originator.
SkyHigh Airline's site is certainly entertaining and engaging. We're blogging about it, so it's definitely viral. The only problem I see is that I had no idea it was sponsored by Alaska Airlines (thanks, Tom, for the tip). So I suppose a final checkpoint for a successful viral campaign is, "people actually know who sponsored it." It also helps if people understand that it's a joke.