Viral Marketing and Taking Advantage of The Publicity – The Buyer’s Journey 12

Not every piece of content can go viral, but what should you do if something your brand made does? Josh, Len, and Matt discuss viral marketing and capitalizing on free publicity and brand awareness while also throwing Vans shoes around like baseballs. We promise that makes more sense once you listen in.

To Throw or Not To Throw, That is The Question

Our viral marketing tale begins with Twitter user @ibelievthehype tweeting a video of her throwing a pair of Vans shoes. Her caption: “Did you know it doesn’t matter how you throw your vans they will land facing up”.

Apparently the internet didn’t know, but now they sure do.

And while recording today’s episode, we decided to take a crack at the #VansChallenge, too.

What’s it All Mean

So, why are we talking about the #VansChallenge, anyway? Well, there’s two reasons: 1. We think Vans should’ve capitalized on this free publicity. 2. Len thinks this might’ve just been another influencer marketing or viral marketing campaign.

It’s rare that things go viral. There is a constant stream of content being creating and distributed every second on the internet. From this article to your high school acquaintance’s wedding photos to the latest video from a hit YouTuber, the content train doesn’t stop. So, if you’re ever lucky enough to hit it big with something related to your brand going viral, it’s probably a good idea to capitalize on it. Tweet about it. Acknowledge it. Do something!

Vans kept quiet and let the craze go on. And perhaps that was the smartest move for them at the time. After all, acknowledging a trend could make it start dying down way sooner, or even feel like it was staged the whole time. Len, in fact, believes that this has the smell of an agency all over it. After all, it was discovered that only Vans sold within a recent time frame actually did the flip. So, if you want to participate but have an older shoe? Guess you have to buy a new one.

But frankly, I don’t believe it. If you look at @ibelievthehype‘s account, you’ll notice they recently deleted most of their tweets except for three (admittedly making it hard to see what other content they might’ve been pushing out). In addition, their @ is a reference to a Twenty-One Pilots song, as is their bio. Their other account @lanacutherlip seems to share memes sporadically. Their bios also lists fan accounts for Twenty-One Pilots and The Umbrella Academy. While both are popular for a specific demographic (women ages 13-21 who like alternative music), follower counts on both aren’t high. @ibelievthehype only as 295 followers, while @lanacutherlip only has slightly more than 3,200 (and those may have increased since the viral tweet).

You can make your own conclusion, but I just don’t think the likelihood of this occurring had anything to do with Vans paying anyone. My vote is for a random happenstance going viral.

Check out our next episode where we’ll discuss a news article covering the Awareness stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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