Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Little Viral Marketing

Whenever I enjoy the writing of an author, a new show on television, or a film, I'll tell anyone who will listen to me all about it.

So this is my new favorite show on HBO. It is created by and stars the New Zealand comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords (Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie). In the show, Jermaine and Bret are in a struggling, two-man, digi-folk band and they're trying "to make a name for themselves in their adopted home of New York City."

My husband and I are huge fans of British/Australian/New Zealand all it's deadpan delivery splendor, and we were crying from laughing so hard. (But if you're not a fan of that kind of humor, in all it's quirkiness, then I don't want to oversell the laughing till you cry bit).

BUT!! The best part of this show: They break out into song!! Yep, it's a musical. They pick a style, such as Pet Shop Boys or Black Eyed Peas, and start singing in the middle of their conversations. I LOVE it.

Here's an example from the episode "Bret Gives up the Dream" :

This show is so different from everything else that is out there. Variety in writing is a good thing, don't you think? It doesn't matter if it's a novel, a show, or a movie. In the network world of Reality and C.S.I./Law and Order shows, it's refreshing to find a series that not only focuses on comedy writing, but takes it a step further with the music videos.

Now, that's worthy of a little word-of-mouth marketing, right? Oh, and before I forget...Speaking of marketing..."Flight of Conchords" and other shows that allow bloggers and MySpace users (ect.) to embed part of their programs on their blogs seem to have their fingers on the pulse of their marketing demographic. So, if you stumble upon a show that causes you to jump up and rejoice, then spread the word to keep it on the air. That's what they want. They want the campaign to catch on like a virus.

So, how about you? Have you seen this show? Do you have favorite book, show, film you want to talk about?


P.S. As fiction writers, how can we participate in viral marketing or create our own viral marketing campaigns? Do we need to become "Interactive" (trailers, videos, commercials)? Or is there another way? Any ideas? What have you done?

I know David Morrell is a master at viral marketing. For example, when the paperback of his novel, Creepers, was released in October of 2006, Morrell didn't tour (as he did for the release of the hardback version), but actual paperback copies of his book were sent out on a national tour. Copies of Creepers were tracked on a message board hosted by by readers who picked them up at coffee shops, donut shops, parks, train stations, and malls. Then the readers were able to log in and win prizes, such as an advance copy of Morrell's next release Scavenger. Oh, and they had recruited volunteers from several message boards to help them out at the various locations, so word spread quickly about the "Creepers Book Tour" and the contests.

I never did hear how well the marketing campaign worked for him. Although, I'm sure he did just fine, as he has such a loyal following.

Anyway, that's just one example of viral marketing for fiction writers. :-)