Marketing that using single media would most likely to fail because they could not gain interest from the audience while using a couple of multiple media channels to deliver a strong message could be more effective and providing a higher chances to reach audiences and thus more possible to build a stronger awareness. In today’s world that consists of so many alternatives marketing options other than the traditional ways like print advertising and direct marketing, the most frequently seen option no doubt would be through internet. It is also one of the preferable methods used by marketers as it is cheap and can reach more audiences.
As seen in the case study of the road safety advertising in New Zealand that has gone viral, Become a Legend, the government ran a campaign to encourage especially young people to speak up to and stop people who are going to drive after drinking. This anti-drinking ad campaign in 2011 was specifically targeted on young Maori drivers as it was found that they are a big part of the problem. There was over 40% of all drink-driving crashes involve drivers under the age of 24, 82% of drinking drivers in all fatal or serious injury-related crashes from year 2008 to 2010 were male, and 34% of those were Maori (Fahy, B 2012). Being different from the past advertising technique which used fear appeal to communicate the message to road users, they decided to tweak the old style and make a change. ‘Legend’ used a more humorous appeal to bring out the message and this new strategy was unexpectedly successful. Apart from using the traditional media such as television, radio and billboards, they also used pub advertising such as bar posters, bar mats, mirror stickers and table talkers (NZ Transport Agency 2015).
In a measure of the effectiveness of this road safety campaign, ‘Legend’, the term “ghost chips” from the line “bro, you know I can’t grab your ghost chips” which was featured in it has become a hit gone viral as a joke on Facebook in which the commercial video being posted across hundreds of pages (Johnston, K 2011). This has proven that the new humorous technique used succeeded.
In addition, according to the NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency) national media manager, Andy Knackstedt, the ad had over a million views in Youtube in just under two weeks since its first aired, which was “huge by any measure” and it was also considered to be the fastest-ever growth for any ads in New Zealand (Backhouse, M 2011). Besides, it also won two awards which are 2012 Axis Awards: StopPress / ThinkTV TVC of the Year – People’s Choice Award and 2012 D&AD Awards: Yellow Pencil – Integrated & Earned Media category (NZ On Screen n.d.).
As a conclusion, this road safety advertising campaign has indeed achieved succeed and being very effective, considering the wide number of audiences it reached and how viral it has gone in so many different medias, of course not to mention the awards winning of the commercial. However, the successfulness of an advertising campaign does not necessary promise any behaviourial changes but as seen in this case study, it has successfully created an impact and topic.
Viral marketing is a marketing strategy or technique that induces web-users to pass on a marketing message to other users, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s visibility, exposure and influence. It acts like viruses where it takes advantage of rapid multiplication to blast a message to thousands and millions.