Viral Marketing

Raspberry Ketones Diet Recommended By Dr Oz Starts A Spam War

February 25  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

The Raspberry Ketones diet is was recently recommended by Dr. Oz and it has sent the diet pills to the top of Amazon’s best selling list. This has sent people scrambling online and to local health food stores to pick up a bottle of Raspberry Ketones in pill form in hopes to lose some weight. While there seems to be a fruit weight loss pandemic every year, you know that marketers are going to be all over it as soon as the show ended. I thought it would make for an interesting post to see how all the link spammers are bringing out the big guns in order to rank for the coveted keywords. I imagine Google will be seeing an onslaught of folks trying to rank for raspberry ketone and I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show.

raspberry ketone dr oz
The ranking war has already begun and all the usual tricks are coming into play. As usual, Google’s mantra of “Content is King” is utter BS. The links are already inflating web 2.0 properties and keyword heavy domains are popping up all over…even Youtube has over 100 raspberry ketone videos already pimping the berries once again. I imagine over a million spam links have been dropped to various places so let’s take a look at what’s already ranking for various keywords related to raspberry ketone products and hype words.

raspberry keytone
The first two results which I cut out from the first page results for the keyword “raspberry ketone” were of course Wikipedia and then the shopping results. I don’t imagine Wikipedia will hold the number one spot for long as the link juice is a flowing, so we’ll give it a week or two before checking back to see how the SERPs are doing. Naturally we’d see a ton of keyword domains flooding the marketing and doing quite well right off the get go. A quick look at the backlink history in the last week for pretty much all the domains ranking top 10 looks like this;

I imagine that link graph is going to spike a lot larger in the coming weeks and I’m quite interested in collecting the data from the top 20 ranking sites for the raspberry ketone keyword. If you dig down into the 3-6th pages of search results in Google you’ll find all the web 2.0 properties that are currently getting spammed to death in hopes of ranking well. I will be doing a follow up post at the end of March to see how it all played out and if the fad is still going strong. By the looks of Google Trends there is an insane amount of search volume going on right now and I expect this high to ride at least until the summer!

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Weetabix Cereal Dubstep Commercial

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October 1  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

Weetabix decided to take advantage of some Dubstep in their latest commercial and it’s due to pay off big time. It’s quite the elaborate commercial for a cereal, but it’ll definitely generate some buzz and a whole lot of links. I will admit that I kind of want a big bowl of Weetabix while listening to some Skream.


Alec Baldwin’s Schweddy Balls A Viral Hit

September 10  |  Viral Marketing  |   Simon

With all the hype trending around the release of the Nike Air Mags that Marty McFly wore in “Back to The Future II” after a 23 year wait, you might not have caught another viral product announced at the same time: Ben & Jerry’s “Schweddy Balls”.  This new flavour from Ben & Jerry’s, like with the Nike Air Mags, have come from fantasy to reality. If you’re not familiar with the Saturday Night Live skit Schweddy Balls is based on, check out the video below.


This combination of vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum with fudge covered rum and malt balls is another stellar example of viral marketing that was practically competing with the Nike Air Mags on Twitter. This limited edition flavour was able to virally leverage the SNL Schweddy Balls meme to completely cover all marketing costs.

Twitpic of Ben & Jerry's "Schweddy Balls"

@cherrygarcia's twitpic has 2119 tweets and 33,000 views

Twitpic Credit: @cherrygarcia

Let’s look at the social data from for the three days since Schweddy Balls was first mentioned.  The original article by Time announcing Schweddy Balls has been Facebook liked 867 times and Facebook shared a staggering 42k times. It has had 4560 direct tweets, 245 Diggs, 54 Stumbles and 74 +1’s.  The link has also racked up 4,457 social mentions. Ben & Jerry’s official Twitter account, @cherrygarcia, tweet linking to their Schweddy Balls page on their site received 1,899 retweets. The now famous fake family name “Schweddy” has 7,768 social mentions 7,768. Alec Baldwin (@alecbaldwin) has a massive following of 330,766 and his tweet of the Times post received 505 tweets plus 19 influential tweets alone.

Imagine the ROI of promoting a new flavor of ice cream through traditional channels like banner, print or TV ads, compared to inbound marketing tactics like blogs and social networks, and you just can imagine the money saved. All it took was a clever idea and the balls to actually put it into action. Yep, had to throw in a balls joke somewhere.

@alecbaldwin's "Schweddy Balls" tweet

Like with my previous post on the viral marketing hit of the Nike Air Mags, Schweddy Balls stands a premium example of successful viral marketing and leveraging inbound marketing. What was great about Marty McFly’s Nike sneakers was the proceeds go to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation. I think it would have been a smart and funny PR move by Ben & Jerry to have proceeds of the limited release of Schweddy Balls went to support prostate cancer, which gets much less attention than breast cancer but affects just as many men. Too bad they didn’t aim to do some social good like Nike, but both reap the benefits of viral brand building, which resonates in today’s marketplace so much stronger than traditional ads or commercials.

Follow me on Twitter:@S_Gerard



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Marty McFly’s Nike sneakers have finally come Back From the Future

September 8  |  Viral Marketing  |   Simon

As a senior member of Gen Y, the 80s holds many of my fondest pop culture memories. The Back to the Future movies were huge hits when they were released and are still loved by millions today. I still remember seeing the original Back to the Future when it was first released to VHS. When the sequel came out, where Marty McFly travels to the future, my whole generation was blown away. No one can forget the flying DeLorean, the hoverboard, the 3D Jaws movie billboard to the self-tying Nike hi-tops that Marty McFly wears. With all this and so many other imaginative details, Director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg were able to send us all to the distant future: the year 2015. Now in 2011, Nike is finally releasing the same Nike’s Marty McFly wore to ride his hoverboard, after over 20 years of rumours and hype.

The legions of Back to The Future fans have always discussed and fantasized about when the hoverboard and the self-tying sneakers would become a reality. On September 6th, 2011 the Nike “Air Mags” finally came back from the future in a teaser Youtube video by user “DocEmmettBrown88”, for those who don’t know all their BTTF trivia, that’s the name of the scientist who invented the time traveling DeLorean.

The next day at around 3pm,, one of the leading authorities in the world of sneakers, received a special package from the future. Just like the scenes in the movies where Marty would receive messages from Doc Brown for another point in time, an iPod Shuffle had a special message from the Doc himself saying: “Welcome to Los Angeles. If my calculations are correct, over the next 24 hours you are about to see some SERIOUS SH*T!”. It included an invitation to: “IT’S ABOUT TIME…an unveiling that could change the course of time”, a special event in Hollywood tonight. I’m sure the NiceKicks staff are BTTF fans and I couldn’t imagine their excitement, I would have screamed and fainted for sure.

promo package for Nike's "Back to The Future" Air Mag sneakers

Doc Brown's metal wrap glasses from "Back to The Future II"The package contained Throwback Pepsi (the mid-80s formula), some 80s candy, such as Nerds and bubble gum tape. It also had the Back to The Future Trilogy and a pair of Doc Brown’s metal shield glasses he wore in the film.

While there have been a few Nike releases with a “Marty McFly” theme, none have been official or done the pair from the movie justice. Last August, NiceKicks reported that Nike had filed a patented for a pair of battery-operated self-tying shoe with LED lights. Many dismissed it as a hoax since rumours of this sneaker being made have always come up over the years.

80s candy, Throwback Pepsi and "Back to The Future" movies

Now we have confirmation that the dream is real, tonight at 8pm, the real-deal Marty McFly Air Mag sneakers will be unveiled. They will be the first rechargeable footwear from Nike, featuring a glowing LED panel and it actually auto-ties itself with a button… JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE!!!!

Nike's Air Mag sneaker from "Back to The Future"

1500 have been made, with 150 to go up for auction on eBay for 10 days, starting tonight. All proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease. In case you are not aware, Michael J. Fox who starred in BTTF, has Parkinsons which led to him starting this foundation. He will appear on David Letterman tonight, hopefully in his signature outfit from the movies. Leading up to this release, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki said they would match all donations to this foundation up until 2012, at a max of $50 million. With over 20 years of hype for this release, I’m sure it will be an all out 10-day bidding war for these sneakers, so it’s great to see Brin and Wojcicki stepped up to match all donations.

Marty McFly holding his Nike Air Mags in "Back to The Future II"

Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, said he wanted to translate all the built-up excitement for this sneaker and turn it into a positive action to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. A great PR move by Nike to help a great cause. The viral-ness of this sneaker has blown up across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere. This has covered all marketing costs, outside of the teaser video, release event and promo packages. And Nike and BTTF fans get a chance to fulfill a childhood dream while giving to charity. This ends up being a win-win-win situation, with Nike, charity and fans all benefiting. It also stands as another stellar example of viral marketing and leverage of inbound marketing techniques, brought to us by the geniuses at Nike. stats for "Back to The Future"

Hoverboard from "Back to The Future II"

Still waiting for the Hoverboard to come out...

Let’s take a look at some of the real-time stats from after 24 hours of NiceKicks’ post on receiving the promo package. The Back to The Future hashtag, #BTTF has been used just over 1000 times. “Back to The Future” has been mentioned 5,600 times, “Marty McFly” has been mentioned 2,800 times and “Nike Air Mag” mentioned 1,500 times. The post itself has had over 19,000 FB ‘likes’, 228 +1’s and 3683 retweets. The teaser Youtube video has received almost 185,00 views in two days. All this without the shoes even being released yet. Just imagine the ROI of promoting a pair of sneakers or a charity through traditional channels like banner, print or TV ads, compared to inbound marketing tactics of social networks and blogging. You can imagine the $$ saved.

We’ll see how long this topic trends with 10 days of auctioning. And I’ll also update if I’m incredibly lucky and win a bid… They would just make the perfect pair of (online)work shoes.

UPDATE: The winning big on the first pair was $37,500 by British rapper Tinie Tempah, who also received a plutonium case to carry them in and was apparently promised a puppy by the auction’s host. And unfortunately, the sneakers do not auto-fasten, guess we’ll actually have to wait until 2015 like in the movie… But in other BTTF news, Coke-a-Cola has angel invested in The Hoverboard Program, which aims to bring us the hoverboard by 4:29pm on the 21st of October 2015, which is the exact date/time when Marty McFly arrived in the future. Its hard to say how serious this program is, they are hiring though. Just like with the legacy of the Nike Air Mags, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Follow me on Twitter:@S_Gerard

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Video Link Bait As Seen In The Wild

September 3  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

I often write about cool as a cat companies doing hot-as-a-dog things with their content. Everything from hotels getting 200,000 views on an imagine of their penthouse suite, to a Tacoma base auto shop getting 2 million views for a video interview. Video is a powerful link bait weapon and I hope these examples inspire you to utilise this platform more often. If you spread you good video to the right channels, really good things will happen which come in the form of brand buzz, links and social followers.

Before I get into the examples, there are a few things to keep in mind when venturing into this arena. Knowing your market is key, and this means knowing what forums, bloggers and media types are lurking out there. Having relationships built up with these people is only going to make life easier, and is crucial for your business to survive in this day and age. One thing is for sure, the Google rewards are plentiful from a well successful viral video marketing effort!

Photo Credit: Chris Duckett/

Case 1) DC Shoes + Ken Block = Epic WIN

This is how you do viral marketing plain and simple. While this is not exactly a low budget attempt, I’m pleased with how DC Shoes does everything. This is a company that went from being a small skate shoe company to a full blown extreme sports conglomerate. If you haven’t seen this video yet you’re in for the best 9 minutes of your life. You’ll notice the use of Epic Meal Time and other awesome stuff that makes this a sure fire success with nearly 8 million views already.

As for link bait? This one was an ace before it hit the interwebz. Using the intitle: operator shows nearly 200,000 mentions of this on external sites. This of course hit just about every car forum, blog and media outlet in the world and nabbed links not only for DC Shoes, but for Ford as well. All I can say is my hat is off to the production team who put this together, and of course to Ken Block for his bad ass driving skills.

Case 2) How To Sell Make Up Online

We’ve worked with a specific make up company before and one of the best results we got were from getting reviews and tutorials done. There are a ton of talented video bloggers on Youtube and you can really get some reach via this route. This video by Youtube user Michelle Phan has 18 million views for pete’s sake! This was sponsored by no companies but she lists every product used, as well did a bunch of the blogs who wrote about it. This is free exposure those companies are loving I’m sure.

Case 3) Viagra Gets Ballsy

I’m a huge fan of risky marketing, especially in the age of the Internet. There are not rules online and the crazier you go, the better the results are. No press is bad press in almost all situations, so Viagra made use of some cheeky marketing to get a lot of press. Link wise, all you need to do is grab the attention of and you’re going to get all the press you could ever want or need. The amount of money the parent company of Viagra makes is drops in a bucket compared to what it cost to put together this commercial. I imagine they knew ahead of time it would be banned and would make a great PR campaign.

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Microsoft’s Cloud Computing 70’s Commercial

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September 2  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

Well I think it has been a while since someone came out with a 70’s spoof commercial, we at least 6 months anywho. Microsoft is promoting their cloud computing services quite a bit lately and this is the latest jab. It’s a pretty good commercial I thought so might as well share it with you folks. I’m a sucker for commercials involving moustache ridden men driving around in a van that’s probably stock full of LSD….wait, that doesn’t sound right?!


Banned Dutch Hyundai Commercial

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August 21  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

This recent Hyundai commercial for the Dutch market got itself banned. So what happens when your marketing efforts have this effect? Go to the Internet where you’ll be thanked for an amusing/interesting/racy commercial. If your banned commercial is good enough. you’re no doubt going to fee the viral effect. I can see this one being a little too much for the young ones, but overall it’s a well done commercial that highlights the cars most unique feature.


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Iltech’s GTR R35 Markets Itself

August 18  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

As most of our followers will know I’m a huge motorsports fan, and I’m an even bigger Nissan GTR fan so writing about this was a joy! When it comes to attracting links, buzz and followers within your niche you have to do something unique right? Well in the tuner world the competition is fierce, so standing out is harder th an ever these days. The fine folks at Illtech Auto certainly have done a great job of making noise in just the right way…both on the web and with this monstrous beast of a machine.

So what’s a good lesson to learn from all this? Well them building this amazing car lead to them getting this video done which has nearly peaked to 1.6 million views! You couldn’t ask for better brand exposure, especially for this small tuning company. I took a look closer and this video hit a whole lot of forums and blogs, which in return generated a lot of natural delicious links. There’s not much more that I can write about except get inspired by this and know that one video done right can do you a lot of bloody good!

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