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Home > Media

A letter to the viral movie makers

An open letter to 'creative agencies' who make 'viral' video clips that they expect us to download and forward on, and then wonder why we don't bother...

Paul Carr

29 September 2003

Dear creative agencies who make viral video clips that they expect the rest of us to download/forward and then wonder why we don't bother,

Please fuck off. I mean it. Really. Just switch off your iMacs, take your digital video camera back to Dixons, walk out of your SOHO studios and don't turn back.

Viral marketing used to be a good thing. For a start, it used to be called 'word-of-mouth' and it used to reward the most creative and intelligent advertisers - or at least those that gave away the coolest free stuff - rather than those with the deepest pockets. If customers liked your campaign, they'd forward it to their friends. If they didn't they wouldn't. Simple.

But then you came along and ruined it all. You reasoned that if someone was prepared to forward you an mpeg of a dog in a microwave or a buxom woman cleaning her car using her breasts then they'd be equally prepared to forward any other piece of not-good-enough-for-TV horseshit that you hurled at them. Well you were wrong. No one cares about your touching story of a man opening his sunroof in a car wash rather than using Brylcreem wet-look gel. Why? Because it's just an advert. And people don't forward adverts. They might - if their corporate firewall doesn't get there first - chuckle at them before deleting them but that's about it.

So, what can I do to stop you polluting my inbox with all this un-forwardable crap? Nothing at all. I don't need to. In about six months your clients will realise they've been barking up the wrong tree and will desert you. You'll go bust. And I'll be happy.

Or you could sort your act out. Stop arsing about with video clips and come up with something worth sharing. Something that's actually viral. A list of reasons why men are like chocolate, for example. Or a voucher for free cinema tickets. Or a chain letter with a promise by Bill Gates to give me $20 for every person I forward it to.

Alternatively, if you absolutely can't bear to part with your D.V. cam, face the fact that if you're to have any success at all you're going to have to swallow your pride, sack your creative director and find yourself a woman with her tits out microwaving a dog.

Good luck.


Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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