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’.
Exercise for academy participants:
1. Watch the video
2. Consider the context: Who is in control of the message and its dissemination?
3. Consider the implications: If messaging is out of control, then how can brands protect themselves?
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