Welcome to the Digital Viral Marketing Academy

Digital training workshops for your team

This viral marketing training classroom supported public access training programmes. These have now moved to in-company courses so if your team are interested then ask us about the details for you and your team.

Welcome to the Digital Viral Marketing Academy

This online learning resource is where you can discuss the issues from your Academy and download the outputs of our workshops.
Your Academy Director and lead tutor is Danny Meadows-Klue: Danny@DigitalStrategyConsulting.com

Welcome to the Digital Training Academy

Danny_sm_colour.jpgWelcome to your Digital Training Academy: a great way to boost your knowledge and skills, helping you and your team get the most from digital marketing, publishing and communications.

All of us here at Digital hope you'll enjoy your Digital Training Academy, but we also hope you'll instantly be able to achieve more in your firm.

Find out how Digital Training Academy works

Digital Viral Marketing Academy Classroom

Here is the place you can discuss issues with your tutor and other Academy participants

Is there something you did not understand on the Academy? Is there a new point you would like to make? Are there any new issues that you have discovered now you are applying your knowledge? Use this space to make your comments and to ask your questions.

Try to include the title of the Academy Lesson that your question relates to (if there is one). Putting this at the start will help other participants find the topics they are interested in.

The classroom is open for three weeks following your Academy

What rocks and flops in online advertising?

In this space we're listing things from the Academy that we feel 'Rock' in online advertising, and things that, if we're honest, 'Flop'. By helping our clients harness the rocks and steer away from the flops they'll produce more powerful communication and enjoy even better results. Remember, it's still a new media for many people and this can help marketers make smarter decisions...

Add your comments here


The latest viral from Nokia shows how one consumer electronics brand is achieving cut-through in a crowded market.

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Getting viral marketing to work effectively for your brand

Digital Viral & Buzz Marketing Academy (Advanced)
Writing your viral marketing plan

23rd June 2008 | London

Why do some campaigns gain a life of their own on the web and others never get talked about? Why do some marketing budgets stretch much further than others on the web? Why do some firms fail to unlock the value of their existing websites, content and messaging? Viral and buzz marketing are powerful sets of tools and in the right hands they can transform a web marketing presence. In the early days of the web, viral was confined to emails and video clips, but today’s rich landscape includes the range of social media, widgets and rethinking the design of your own website. Digital marketing veteran Danny Meadows-Klue leads this intensive Digital Training Academy (advanced level) which includes a marketing planning workshop that will help you turn these ideas into a structured plan for your business. If you’ve always wanted to learn how viral marketing works, then this is just what you’ve been looking for.

Materials: Materials are restricted to participants.
Bookings: To apply for a place email our events team.

Continue reading "Getting viral marketing to work effectively for your brand" »

Tea Partay: Diageo

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Consumer package goods firms are often seen as being conservative when it comes to internet marketing. The Tea Partay viral video was one of those ground-breaking creative executions that triggered a stepchange in the way the sector saw itself and the possibilities of marketing drinks on the web. Created for Diageo, it wasn’t long before millions of downloads had taken place and the entertainment content was getting the big buzz on YouTube. Today may be well past the campaign’s target end date but it’s still getting audiences and traffic: take a look – it’s not hard to see why.

Shift happens: Did you know?

We’re living in exponential times. Created by a North American teacher, the Did You Know video is a marvellous way to explain to kids how society is changing and the scale of media and technology change. Sometimes in the digital media industry we are so close to the change and the technologies that we fail to appreciate the scale of the change happening around us. This little video is a great reminder of the scale of change.


FitchLive | Army recruitment | Content creation and event amplification

ArmyOnEverest.jpgWhen the Army planned their assault on the West Ridge of Everest in 2006, there was an opportunity to engage young potential recruits by letting that story be told. Climbed only once in 30 years, only one group had ever made it to the top. PCIFitch were supplying the raw materials from the field back into the mainstream media as well as the web. The intention was to touch audiences through streams on the web, podcast downloads, iTunes and the broadest range of touchpoints. Over a million viewers enjoyed streamed content, blogs were posted to the site from the mountain and to feed into the recruitment processes, schools were targeted with lesson plans created for teachers and games for their students. Integration included downloadable posters and images, text alerts and more than a dozen different channels. The campaign went on to win the “Best digital campaign of 2006” at the Campaign awards. When we interviewed Peter Cowie, Managing partner at FitchLive who were behind the work, said “great work comes from the chemistry of the teams working together. The effect of the campaign included attracting 1m people, 30,000 of whom claimed they were ‘interested’ in joining the army. 3,500 are likely to be recruited as a direct result of the campaign”. For Peter it’s clear that “the future of advertising is about using all of these new channels together”.


Fighting for kisses

The latest advertiser generated video to get that viral effect is this adult animation from Wilkinson Swords that pits baby and guy head to head in romantic warfare. A cracking production with just the right kind of high end values that make it both clickable and forwardable. This one has a real neat fusion of blockbuster cinema tone of voice and sassy Pixar style art direction. Watch for the bandwagon; many more to come...

Fight for those kisses | BMWFilms did it first | Dove: Evolution or Revolution?

BMW films: When brands become media

The multi award-winning BMW Films project was one of those rare moments when an advertising campaign is so powerful it succeeds in changing the medium it works within. High budget, all-action and with blockbusting stars like Madonna under the stewardship of A-list directors like Ang Lee, the movies were an instant cult success. They showcased the best in movie-making, and delivered it in the context of a message of brand associatiosn BMW had carefully crafted. By creating compelling media they generated their own self-selecting audiences without the need of heavyweight media spend.

Continue reading "BMW films: When brands become media" »

More from BMW Films: Ambush, still clocking up clicks

thehire%20200p.JPGIn 'Ambush' (Dir John Frankenheimer), Clive Owen plays a driver who gets a passenger with some rather dangerous extra baggage. Written by Andrew Kevin Walker, it’s a classic in short movies with a powerful story, a compelling thread and in spite of the length, strong character development. The hero? The BMW of course.

Continue reading "More from BMW Films: Ambush, still clocking up clicks" »

Exercise: Dove - new models for advertising

Since 2000, the Dove brand has been an online pioneer. Their work with the IAB and MSN in North America created landmark research in optimising the media budgets in a campaign between the web and TV. In 2007 their integrated marketing work in the "Campaign for real beauty" saw the brand repositioned as it triggered a massive wave of discussion and debate about what beauty is all about. Dove's ownership of the space, and the extensive reach of their viral messaging, is a great model for other brands to consider. This video clip was at the heart of the effort and it is an excellent example of how the web could be used by a consumer brand to build community, debate and discussion. It’s also creating challenges for regulators who are considering how online advertising works.

Watch also Dove Evolution Parody 1 | Dove Evolution Parody 2

Continue reading "Exercise: Dove - new models for advertising" »

Exercise: Digital marketing - dialogue, not monologue please

The digital networked society is a great leveller. The relationship between brands and consumers has shifted. The structure of communications has undergone this massive leap. While the smart thinking in marketing is leaping to embrace a whole new way of doing things, much of the practice in marketing still clings to the past. That's why it wasn't just gutsy, but a strategically brilliant move for Microsoft to use a television style commercial to make the point for them. It's a TV style commercial that challenges the conventional way of marketing thinking. It's from a firm promoting internet advertising, and it's being seen mainly as a viral. We've been using it here at the Digital Training Academy since it launched.

Continue reading "Exercise: Digital marketing - dialogue, not monologue please" »

Exercise: Apple and iRack - parody or flattery? But the message gets spread...

Many marketers fear a loss of control when it comes to the digital spaces. The music industry was the first to feel the crunch at the hard end of piracy in the mid nineties, and since then, pretty much every sector has had to learn that in these new places marketers cannot control the message the way they have in the past. Arguably the risks are there regardless of whether the brand is making an effort in digital marketing, but remember that customers have loud voices and some will have no qualms about speaking their mind. A tiny minority may also have the tools to create content, or take content from other media and make it widely accessible; hence the viral effect... This North American comedy sketch was aired about the same time as Apple launched the iPhone. It's a great sketch, but through the web it's had the kind of super-distribution that many brands could never even dare dream of. At the Digital Training Academy we want your learning to be fun, so take a look at this link on YouTube, enjoy the film, and then reflect on the implications.

Continue reading "Exercise: Apple and iRack - parody or flattery? But the message gets spread..." »

Exercise: Politicians get the viral treatment - Tony bows out, with a nod to the Google generation

The marketing industry has seized on the idea of virals, but the most infectious communications typically don't have a commercial brand attached to them. From the early days when lists of jokes whizzed around on email, it was clear that having a laugh with friends was set to be of the simplest of drivers for getting messages passed on. Those plain text jokes have evolved in their form and structure to use all the tools of digital content production that are available to heavyweight web publishers, and this video clip - released within a few days of Tony Blair stepping down from the UK Government is a great example of the sort of material that has raised the bar. It's a sort of political swansong to the tune of ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ from The Clash and quickly floated up the charts in the wonderful world of YouTube. Somewhere in the instrumental we're sure there’s a nod ‘to the Google generation’ and how ‘today’s technology is profoundly empowering’.

video%20icon.jpgWatch also: Bush gets the same treatment with 'Imagine'

Continue reading "Exercise: Politicians get the viral treatment - Tony bows out, with a nod to the Google generation" »

The story of an iPhone, a blender and some funky branding

How do you make kitchen electricals sexy? Take some heavyweight appliances, a heap of schoolboy mischief, a chef in a white coat, a sprinkle of viral marketing and a splash of social media; then pour the contents into a blender and watch the ingredients bond together to create the perfect recipe for viral marketing. WillItBlend has become legendary in less than six months. It’s made Tom a superstar, transformed a parochial firm into a global brand and boosted sales of $800 smoothie makers. Few firms have the nerve, vision, guts or raw creativity to try this; but when you get the formula right, the results taste awesome.

Rude Elf

Rude ElfIt’s the eve of December so time for the virals to start getting fast and furious. When this funky execution from the folks at ValueClick landed in in-boxes at lunchtime, it was enough to deflate the sceptics who are convinced viral can’t sell products. It’s a nice twist on the usual Christmas List and the packaging is strong enough to get cut-through. More Elfs, more presents, more secret santas to come.



McCain Potato ParadeProving that food brands can get in on the act too

Potato Parade

Digital Social Media Academy: graduation day

18 October 2007

Congrats today to all of the participants in this three month orientation level Digital Social Media Academy: Lizzy Ewer, Erica Pease, Judy Piatkus, Caroline Lenton, Pauline Rowson, Mithu Mukherjee, Nicola Beauman, Katie Johnson, Helen Griffiths, Alec Gregory, Simon Clegg, Emma Dowling, Thomas Caldwell, Sam Enthoven, Leda Sammarco. This Digital Social Media Academy includes an intensive romp through the beautiful, baffling world of blogging, creating online communities, harnessing social networks and a big dose of viral marketing. Graduates left armed with three sets of digital marketing plans for their own businesses, and all confirmed that they now feel much more confident and skilled in tackling digital marketing. The Digital Social Media Academy was first devised in 2003 and includes the practical use of blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace in consumer and business marketing for both large and small firms

Setting marketing objectives

10_rules_john_hegarty.jpgThe nature of the business objectives an advertiser has doesn’t change if they are advertising online vs offline. The web is just part of the media mix, and although it can satisfy more marketing needs than any other media, it’s still important to be precise about what the needs are.

The closer that media sales and media planning teams can get to the true marketing objectives, the more effectively they can do their job of designing the right campaign strategy, crafting the right media schedule and selecting the right formats.

Types of objectives
To recap, marketing objectives typically fall into three categories
• Brand objectives
• Acquisition objectives
• Retention objectives

Continue reading "Setting marketing objectives" »

Some pre-Academy reading

Pre_ac_readingAhead of all our Digital Training Academies we're keen to get you thinking about the issues and getting up to speed on the research and the state of the industry. That's why we're sending out two of our Digital insight reports that you can read through before the Academy begins. The first explores online advertising spend to confirm the size of the market and the scale it's grown to so far. The second looks at the bright ideas that marketers have discovered to help them get more from their online advertisnig media space. They should be a simple and fast read, but they each make points that we'll be touching on in the Digital Media Planning Academy. If you have any questions, then post them here...



The digital rollercoaster: landmarks in digital development

rollercoster%20100.jpg Internet communications have become a routine part of the daily lives of most people in the technically advanced countries of Asia, Western Europe and North America. As part of this, online marketing has already become a mainstream part of the media mix. These facts and landmarks we collated for participants on the Digital Training Academies are a summary of the internet and marketing development Academy lectures and are intended to present a few highlights of the immense changes created through this industry.

Download Digital Rollercoaster Report

Extra resources, links and sites to visit

Jargon_busting Jargon

Let's get jargon busting!

Great online creative
Check out the creative showcase Danny helped set up in the UK

Counting and analytics
Learn more about how to count and what counts

Digital Book Club

Bookclub Download an up to date reading list of accessible texts we feel will help you get the most from digital marketing. At the Academy we're constantly assessing new material and contributing to books and articles.

Visit The Book Club

Digital Training Academy and its founder

Dannymeadowsklue_2 Knowledge and training are critical for online marketers. Get it right and the internet becomes the most powerful marketing tool there's ever been, but getting it right is not straight forward. That's why I helped set up the Internet Advertising Bureau in 1997, and why I moved on from being its Chief Executive in 2005 to set up the Digital Training Academy. Thousands of marketers need to learn these new skills, so what the Digital Training Academy does is bring together senior industry figures to help them get there. Our team has been training marketers since 2001, and now through the forty academy courses, we have great ways to get your team on the fast track.

If you'd like some more background about some of the things I've done in the internet marketing and publishing industries then there's a biography in our press centre.

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