"Viral" marketing was a bit of a buzz word over the past few years that seems to have gone out of fashion in 07 - but the concept of viral is exciting because it's the ultimate zero budget concept. That is, you send out something (a promotion, an offer, news of a sale, a movie/joke/story) to a set group and then people pass it on for you. And it continues to spread...like a virus. So your original message to 100 people could end up reaching 10,000 people.
A good viral campaign isnt easy to come up with. The original (and future) recipients have to think it's exicting enough to pass on, such that their friends or colleagues wont be annoyed to receive it. So a really compelling offer - or a very funny message - is what's needed.
I just received a great offer passed on by a friend - and it was so good I wondered if it was real. So after a long investigation (well, actually, after clicking on a couple of links) I confirmed that Krispy Kreme WERE in fact giving away a half dozen donuts on the day after the election.
They've even tied in database building element, some topical marketing by linking it to the federal election, a cause related element by asking for a gold coin donation to the Salvos and some amusing creative. This little promo really ticks all my boxes! (They've also got some safety nets built in - see the preferred store and the "up to 6 donuts" to help them cover their tushies).
So Krispy Kreme have done it again - for the cost of some clever creative and I'm assuming several thousand donuts - they'll be gaining both a customer database and store traffic, at what I'm sure will be a very low cost per unit.
If I had a zero budget gold star, I'd slap it on them right now!