a good idea and a camera

Far be it for me to give a shout-out to a large American corporation. But I am going to mention Coca Cola. Actually, they had nothing to do with this. It was Eepybird who created a series of ‘experiments’ with Diet Coke and Mentos. They recently won the first Webby Award for viral video as a result.


To date, this video has been watched 2.3m times. And the production is hardly high-budget. Even the mighty Coca Cola are benefiting from (though not paying for) low-budget viral marketing campaigns. Although Eepybird have made some cash from sponsorship and merchandising as a result of their videos – in addition to winning the award – they have not received anything from Coca Cola. Or Mentos. So I guess this is also a case of ‘fans’ becoming brand ambassadors, albeit in a less obvious way than George Lucas’s followers.
The important point is that viral marketing and social media level the playing field. Small businesses can compete with huge corporations. Small, independent publishers can compete with the big players.
Does this sound far-fetched? Well, how about Pan Mac’s Colour Changing Card Trick? In one month, that video has been watched 1.2m times – half as many times as the Diet Coke one has in a year, with a measurable impact on sales of Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives. It wasn’t expensive to produce.
You just need a good idea and a camera.

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Jon Reed

Jon Reed is the founder of Publishing Talk, which helps new and emerging authors write, publish and sell books. Advice is available via the blog and our masterclasses and membership programme. Jon has worked in the publishing industry for 25 years: 10 as a publisher, and 15 as a social media consultant working with publishers. He is also an author and screenwriter. His books include Get Up to Speed With Online Marketing (2e, Pearson Business, 2013). Jon lectures on social media at Birkbeck, University of London, and offers social media training to publishers and others. He is also director of social media strategy for digital agency Pilao Labs. More...