Viral Marketing On The Cheap

    December 4, 2008

Marketers everywhere face problems including mute buttons, ad-blocking software, and steep prices.  Advertising that folks actually like and spread on their own is pretty special, then, and so Barry Schwartz recently discussed Blendtec’s "Will It Blend?" campaign in the context of viral marketing.

RustyBrick‘s Schwartz talked to our own Mike McDonald following a PubCon keynote presentation given by George Wright, Blendtec‘s vice president of marketing and sales.  During the presentation, Wright fed a rake handle into one of his blenders, and in case you haven’t seen or heard, iPods, iPhones, and all other sorts of things have met similar fates.

Drastic?  Perhaps.  But in the beginning, it was also cheap – the campaign started with a budget of about 50 bucks.  And as Schwartz said, the Blendtec guys were just asking, "How do I demonstrate to everybody out there that my blender’s actually better than yours?"

The technical details didn’t matter.  "The real thing for him was actually to get the name Blendtec out there, so when somebody thinks ‘blender,’ they’re thinking Blendtec," Schwartz continued.

So bring on the small budgets, and just be sure to add an ample dose of "fun to watch" and "community interaction."  Schwartz made a point of highlighting the views and comments Blendtec’s YouTube videos have received.

All of this has even led to recognition on some corporate levels.  The Food Network, from which Blendtec originally couldn’t get a response, has now reached out to him.  Other companies, after having their products tossed into blenders, are even including the videos in their own campaigns.

As for the financial effects, Blendtec’s sales are up about 700 percent.  Viral marketing is undeniably a powerful thing.