Armando Liussi

When city´s pulse froze: viral marketing

Friday, May 8th, 2009 - Ref. BW-v02

This text is an abstract of a longer one, at least in its concept. The original text treats a case of successful business, in new markets´ development. Then, we will approach to a communicative methodology that takes deep roots in the corporate culture: the viral diffusion, the viral marketing.

To put us into situation, we will introduce the related article. We said that this is a case of success, on an internationalization process of an Italian company, related to lingerie sector, and moreover in panty hoses (where became a market leader). After a deep internal analysis and markets, we were concentrated in critical mass creation in media, attaching related markets (high consumption, trendies, referrals), and when the company changed from a textile company to a fashion brands´ company. Changing the company’s culture from a local to a global one, from Italy to the world.

Freezing Buenos Aires

At the first stage, we decide to develop those highly stable markets of lingerie´s consumers in Latin America, with prior brand recognition (through local importers). That’s why Argentina was chosen-and specially Buenos Aires- as the starting point to media development: a city with a strong consumer culture and a reference point in the region.

We decide to manage an integrated team (on strategical and operational units) working on the legal aspects and logistics (warehouses, distribution network´s qualities) the first unit and -the second one- on the marketing plan and launching, with particular emphasis on distribution channels for the entire region (Argentina, Uruguay And Chile).

Virales BW: Paralizando Buenos Aires

BW Virals: Freezing Buenos Aires

Since this process had emerged in Italy, the landing (the start up in Buenos Aires) began during the southern summer (with no seasonality), allowing the immediate execution after this season. This plan contained a viral cutting edge action, designed to be run within the first cold days; considering that the demand of this garment depends on seasons and weather, being very influenced by trends, fashion changes and urban culture.

The process began in viral when it was involved in the distribution network, the media, as well as to a segment called urbanites (key actors in the urban scene as artists, performers, images´ hunters). This pilot plan-known as 360º marketing action- was meant the goal of landing in this city as the spearhead of the entire process of internationalization, which would be replicated on following European and American cities and as feedback analyses for future actions to the Italian cities and therefore, as the basis for new urban viral process.

To reach the target horizon marked by the customer, we had to globalize the viral message making it easy-to-adopt to different audiences and for different age segments, because from the very conception of the virus, its spread would be highly horizontal. For this reason we focus on the derivative claim of its trademark: the surprise. This concept was perfectly paired with the virus concept which enabled a truly consistent campaign.

Strategy: simply, touch and go

This resulted in an urban festival with very high media coverage, based on the sudden exposure of certain stylish urban spaces, involving more than a dozen vans and thousands of red balloons (brand corporate color) with an exemplary communication deployment, reaching media and urbanites with warnings of just 20 minutes in advance.

The anxiety shown by people and media to be on these scenarios was that around noon, that media not related to the campaign began to cover the event. Towards the end of the first event, the response had been overwhelmingly successful, with a high degree of regional positives reviews on the web.

This action was the cornerstone of the campaign and also served as the landing entry door in the region as viral as it had fulfilled its mission: to reproduce and spread itself over and over again.

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