I was blown away by the recent MoveOn.org customized video. Whether you are
for Obama or McCain, it seemed like a new level of sophistication in viral
marketing that is worth a serious look.
For those not in the US, MoveOn is a liberal organization that is supporting
Obama in the election.
In case you have not seen it yet, this is a video that is customized with
your name in the content of the video. It's intent is clearly viral; its
message is to "get out and vote."
You can see the video at www.cnnbcvideo.com but to really appreciate its
brilliance, you need to click on a link and email it to yourself. When you
do this it is customized throughout with your name.
cnnbcvideo.com is a microsite, for a faux news organization. If you click on
it without the customization, the video uses Hillary Clinton's name. But
when it's emailed to you, your name replaces hers. Every link on www.cnnbcvideo.com leads to the same page -- a form that encourages you to
fill in the names and emails of people you know, facilitating its viral
As far as I can see, the video is produced by merging an underlying video
with a computer modified graphic overlay so that the recipient's name is
integrated into the visual. This is all done through text, the audio does
not change. What is so impressive is the seamlessness of the integration of
the recipient's name. It's brilliantly done. The only place where I thought
it could have been improved was a clip from Bill O'Reilly where the font
seemed a bit too dark and the audio said "he" although I had customized the
video using a woman's name.
The customization was fast. When we sent the video to ourselves, we received
the customized video within a few seconds.
I wish that MoveOn had chosen to remove one scene in which a woman curses
(the audio is bleeped out). IMO this brings the video down a bit but perhaps
I'm just a bit stodgy.
What makes this viral effort so impressive is:
1. The quality of the customization which will really grab people
2. The usability of the site which will facilitate sending it to others
3. The fact that it will create discussion and interest which creates a
payoff for the user
I'm impressed and, regardless of your political views (or nationality), I
think it's worth seeing as an example of a powerful a social media marketing
Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ph.D.
CEO, Cognetics Corporation