Dear Dr Tinman: Please help me go viral!
Welcome to the tenth edition of Dr Tinman’s Ignorant Remedies for the Aching Soul. I am Dr Tinman, life-doctor and former star of the Bulgarian version of Being Lara Bingle.
Apologies, dear friends and treasured fools, for missing last week’s edition. I hope most of you were able to sort through your issues by referring to my latest book, Objection! Dr Tinman’s Guide to Surviving a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit.
But enough about class actions and allegations of misdiagnosing “flu-like symptoms” as gangrene. We are here, as always, to cure your incompetence and inability to stay afloat in the terrifying whirlpool of disappointment we call life, with a good dose of common sense (and leeches).
Like all viewers of The Voice, you have lost your faith in humanity and are likely in desperate need of guidance.
And so, we move to this week’s question.
Dear Dr Tinman,
I was recently appointed head of social media at a (relatively) large company. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the Internet (I think I only got the job because I used the words “connectivity”, “interactions”, “likes”, “Twitter” and “hashtags” in my cover letter). My bosses recently tasked me with putting together a “viral video campaign” to accompany the launch of a new product. What should I do?
You have nothing to fear (except fear itself and giant, face-consuming spiders). By lying on your resume, you have already demonstrated that you possess the main quality required to effectively use social media - the ability to exaggerate, lie and create entirely new personalities in the pursuit of tawdry self-promotion. Already, you appear to be on the right track.
You could begin by purchasing my book, Like! Dr Tinman’s Guide to Social Media, which was described by reviewers as: “A collection of completely unrelated, made-up ‘buzzwords’ (such as ‘interactivity metrics streaming’) written in red comic sans against a blue backdrop, pictures of Alec Baldwin with the word ‘Twitter’ photoshopped over them and broken links to MySpace”.
If, however, you lack the funds to visit “the Amazon” and buy a copy from what I can only assume are a series of book stalls operated by local loggers, then you may want to read on. A friend of mine, who is a middle-aged executive for a large firm, recently found out what a viral campaign was by shouting “what is a viral campaign?” at anyone who was under the age of 30 and holding an iPhone. Apparently, it is a marketing drive that is almost organically spread, with viewers of video elements forwarding “links” to friends and friends of friends.
Science is yet to discover why young people forward these links. It could be a genetic defect or it could be some sort of neurological disorder - we just don’t know. What we do know is that shareholders are happy when people aged between 18 and 35 share things on their Facebooks, MSN Messengers and Wi fi connections - even if it doesn’t result in increased sales of any specific product.
Here’s how you can achieve this. When pitching your idea to your superior, be sure to wear trendy, thick-rimmed glasses, a pair of chinos, and maintain a small amount of stubble (maybe even wear a pair of orange basketball shoes in an ironic manner, to really ram home just how youthful you are). Display your presentation on an iPad (for maximum Gen Y appeal) and use the word “meme” at least three times. Mention how rich Mark Zuckerberg is and how you’re a similar age to him (give or take 10 years).
Then, hit them with the big idea for the video. Maybe there’s a car driving along a highway in the distance and your eyes slowly track it, then BAM! some guy in a scary mask jumps out of the corner and freaks you out. Or maybe you get someone relatively cheap, like Brendan Fevola or that guy who was on Rove that time, to say some funny lines about young people stuff or whatever while a bunch of cats do things in the background and that Foster the People song that everyone likes plays in the background.
Or (and this one’s pretty good), perhaps there’s like a montage of people coming home from the airport with heaps of luggage and their dogs get really happy because they missed them and then you don’t say what the product is but end with a link to the company Facebook page.
Then your boss will ask you how much revenue the thing is likely to generate, and you’ll look him or her square in the eye and say: “A million likes”. They will probably “high-five” you and ask you to “retweet” every single positive thing strangers say on the Internet because that’s not annoying and will make people agree with those people that they’ve never met.
Then, as you walk out of the office, do a thumbs up sign and say: “I hope you’re ready to see at least a million more of these!” And your boss will nod in that cool way rappers sometimes do and say something like: “Pull this one off, kid, and you’ll get the Jensen account”.
Consider yourself promoted, Social.
Kindest of warm regards,
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