Snow globe freebie makes history

Snow globe freebie makes history
One of the things I love about the Web is its unpredictability. Just ask any marketer who’s tried to apply typical reach/frequency rules to selling on the Web. Now comes this wonderful story of so-called viral marketing involving the holiday greeting found inside a snow globe. You’ve probably seen it. It’s a nice flash scene inside a snow globe, but when you follow the instructions and shake it, all hell breaks loose inside. According to a story in Media Daily News, the animation began 3 years ago as a Christmas greeting for employees, clients and friends of Internet marketing company e‑tractions. Last year, somebody found it in the company’s archives and sent it to friends. 20,000 people viewed it that year. So this year, the company decided to see how far it could go.

Since the company doesn’t do any direct marketing on behalf of themselves, e‑tractions instead formed a sponsor relationship with Targeted Media Solutions (TMS), a New York-based direct marketing company. TMS hosts the Flash greeting, and once users close out of the greeting card, an ad pops up. The ad is a promotion for Columbia House; users that join can get 5 DVDs for 49 cents each plus free shipping. e‑tractions also added some links at the bottom of this year’s card, one of which links viewers back to e‑traction’s website and another which collects email addresses of people that want to view next year’s greeting upon completion.
The results were amazing. More than 10 million people have seen the greeting this year, and more than 100,000 people have registered to receive updates about next year’s greeting and to receive the finished product.

While a lot could be said here about the power of viral marketing, I think the real lesson here is that the snow globe greeting was clever and well done, a quality piece of content. I passed it on to friends in my address book. Quality content will always gather an audience. Moreover — as the snow globe lesson proves — people will feel good about passing it along to their friends. Welcome to life in Postmodern America.

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