You have found the cure to viral February!

How Belly Flops, “shoot ‘em games” and blogs boost Brand.

So you watched the Employee Abuse video, played ATTACK OF SENSELESS ADVERTISING! and now you’re here at our blog. Why? Because of viral marketing, that’s why. What is viral marketing, you say? It’s brand awareness driven and spread by word-of-mouth: when a friend recommends a doctor, for instance. In the case of Madison+Main sending you videos of belly flops and flash games with crazy advertising mascots, it’s all a part of that groovy new advertising dance they’re doin’ these days.

What is New Media?

Now, what is new media? We get that question a lot. The short answer is anything that isn’t old media.

New media is relatively broad term that refers to an emergent group of e-marketing techniques (using the web, cell phones, guerilla marketing and whatever they invent next). It’s a message on your Blackberry, a video on YouTube, a MySpace for your company, AIM, Google, web banners, text messaging, et cetera.

At its core New Media is, most importantly, interactive. Most traditional media isn’t. The only interactive thing about an ad in the newspaper is maybe the interaction of cutting out a coupon. (When was the last time you cut out a coupon for 10% off dog food?)

It’s not necessarily the cure for any static marketing plan, but it should be an important part. And, no, it’s not free, but nothing’s free these days…so quit complaining. Plus, to do to it right you gotta put a little umph into it. You’ve got to know who your audience is—the internet/mobile e-mail/text messaging/mobile web market is much more than just those teenagers and 20-somethings loitering at the movie theatre, believe it or not. And you’ve got to make it something that people can interact with.

Viral February

In our viral February experiment, many of you asked which M+M employee had the pool, when Madison+Main was going to have a pool party, if Mark’s stomach still hurt, or if Mark got paid for his “talent.” Those of you who played the flash game and, especially, those who e-mailed us your high score: you interacted with us at Madison+Main. Many of you passed the video along to your friends and family. In other words you interacted with us at Madison+Main and you spread the message. (Speaking of, congrats to Mark Lange for a high score of 107…with one finger behind his back! Word is that our very own Taylor Malbon scored a 113, but I haven’t seen the proof for that.) And now that you’re here, reading our blog: you’re interacting with us at Madison+Main. Isn’t this a nice conversation we’re having?

Maybe you’ve received an e-mail from a coworker with a funny video, picture, or web comic. Or, maybe you’ve received an e-mail from your mother *sigh* with some long list of instructions for protecting yourself in a mall parking lot. Admit it: you at least open the e-mail, and sometimes you even take the time to open the attachment, watch the movie or read the safety tips. And if it’s really funny, really important, or really heart-wrenching, you just might forward it to a buddy, co-worker or family member.

The next time someone asks if you have any contacts at an ad agency, Madison+Main is very likely to come to mind. Okay, maybe it will come to mind after The Martin Agency, but let’s face it…you don’t have a $10,000,000 to spend on advertising. And the next time you hear the phrase New Media, it’s quite probable that you’ll think of us.
So, while you caught our viral marketing “bug,” we cured you. Clever, huh? That’s what we in the biz call “generating some serious brand awareness.”

….and the results for M+M

So, for February ’08, we at Madison+Main took our own advice, “went viral” and the results were amazing!

We only sent out 100 emails and MadisonMain.com had 669 more page views for the first two weeks of February than it did for the same period in January. The site traffic increase is an average of 374 more hits for each Monday and with the game release on Monday 11th, our site hit all-time set page view records! Most in 2 and 1/2 years.

Our “belly flop” video had 1,000 views in the first 10 days…517 on YouTube alone!

We know that our flash game “attack of senseless advertising” is a hit with you too, since most of you played it twice. The games been played 115 more times than the link that we provided was clicked! Thanks, by the way.

And now you know why we’ve been bugging you every Monday morning this month: we’ve spread our viral marketing campaign to you, just to give you the cure. It sounds pretty mischievous, we know. But, really, we just hope that a) you had fun and b) you’ll keep us in mind the next time you, a friend, or a family member isn’t generating any business from three-inch ads in the Times-Dispatch. Ouch.

– David Saunders