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Dec 13, 2019    Burn Book

Why Promoting Your Brand with Viral Sensations Is Lazy


We’ve said time and time again that good content marketing comes from having your finger on the pulse of all things socially and culturally relevant. To ride themes and coast on new trends that help you better align yourself with target audiences. Not only is it important to have this level of awareness, but it’s necessary in order to actually influence your customers in a meaningful way. However, the ways in which your advertising agency or content marketing group goes about interpreting and utilizing those trends and themes need to be done so carefully.

It’s easy to take a viral piece of content and reformat in a way that can promote your brand. And from a client’s point of view, it’s even easier to say yes to the idea because you already know that it was well-received by the general public. So it should work for your audience as well, right? Not necessarily.

The first problem with using viral content for your own marketing purposes has to do with the fact that it is no longer unique. Odds are, if the content is popular enough to call it viral, other brands and content marketing agencies are also going to reformat in one way or another. Maybe not in your direct environment, but somewhere in another market it’s being used to promote a message.

At Rock Candy Media, we can’t even imagine doing the same kind of content as another growth consultancy or digital marketing firm. Copying didn’t get us to where we are today as one of Austin’s top advertising agencies. But still, companies continue to do it.

Who Are the Culprits?

There are three recent themes that people have been utilizing tirelessly, getting to the point where they are actively camouflaging themselves from their customers because of such redundant content. The first has to do with everyone’s favorite-turned-hated TV show on HBO. When Game of Thrones enjoyed its reign as a staple of pop-culture, several brands flooded to ride the wave. Starting with Bud Light’s famous TV spot featuring “The Bud Knight.”

After this commercial went viral, content marketing agencies and branding firms began rushing to incorporate this medieval theme in their own content. Their reasoning had to do with the fact that people liked these themes in one form, so they will have to like it in another. Which when you say it out loud, sounds ridiculous. What you end up with is something that everyone else is doing, typical bandwagon marketing.

The next theme that people have been grossly abusing is a little green ‘mogwai’ looking fella that people have been trying to adopt. Baby Yoda, who did nothing to no one, has become a vehicle for numerous brands to promote their content. How dare they commercialize that innocent little dude. Whether he is holding a new energy drink out of Eastern Europe (Blastovia) or turning on the latest release by some Soundcloud rapper, people are riding the idea that everyone is obsessed with this magic alien so through some law of attraction they will have to like whatever they’re selling as well. Which just isn’t true.

The last piece of viral content worth mentioning is the Miami Art Basel banana. If you’re active on social media you’ve likely seen some product duct-taped to the wall in lieu of the banana. Yet another behavior of bandwagon marketers.

What Does RCM Do?

When you work with us, you’ll never get a meme or anything that closely resembles something another digital marketing firm or brand is putting out. Our content is as original as it is unfiltered – complete raw creativity and unique ideation.

Sound like something you want a piece of? Drop us a note and let’s have a conversation.

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