To promote its new Tendercrisp sandwich, Burger King launched a website that allowed users to give commands to the “subservient chicken,” a man in a chicken costume. In an era when most people leave websites within eight seconds of visiting, many of Burger King's 15 million first-week visitors to the subservient chicken page spent six minutes or more engaging with the content.
It is hard to know when a marketing campaign has truly been successful but with viral marketing campaigns it is more so. Even if you receive lots of free publicity and traffic to your website, if the aim of the campaign was to increase sales and this hasn’t been achieved then the success of the campaign is questionable. Today success metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are hugely important in marketing departments, and setting these metrics needs to happen in the planning phase. Track these figures regularly in the days after the campaign goes live to really understand the success behind your campaign. This can help you optimize your activities in real-time so you can get the most out of your efforts.
The reason to make use or virality, the ease in spreading and sharing, is however a double-edged sword. We cannot forget that in this type of campaign, a large part of the control falls into the hands of the users, and we risk the message being misinterpreted or parodied. On the other hand, a successful viral campaign can work miracles for your brand’s results.
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