Thursday, August 09, 2007

MTV Blends Show, Viral Campaign for Interactive Experience

MTV Blends Show, Viral Campaign for Interactive Experience

When creating a viral marketing effort for its show "Yo Mamma," MTV wanted a viral effort that would not only stir up awareness for the show, but would also be able to stand on its own two feet. The goal, according to Gaurav Misra, VP of programming for MTV and VH1, was to create something "self-sustaining." Depending on the success of the online effort, content from the viral initiative is set to become an integral part of the T.V. show itself.

The result is an online contest called "Let's Bully." "Yo Mamma" is a reality show that features comedians who compete in trash-talk bouts. The Let's Bully contest mirrors the show's concept, allowing users to upload pictures of themselves or friends and personalize jokes that they can then send via email to their friends.

MTV tapped social marketing agency EVB, San Francisco to head up the personalized aspects of the effort. EVB is known for producing the viral wonder "Elf Yourself" for OfficeMax, which reached more than 11 million people in November 2006. Daniel Stein and Jason Zada of EVB summarized for Adweek four of the viral marketing credos they used in creating the Let's Bully contest:

1.) The experience should be quick and simple with no long introductions or complex websites. Think "less is more."
2.) Users should be treated to something unexpected.
3.) Let people personalize content and make it their own.
4.) Timing matters.

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