Viral Marketing and Online Bingo

Viral marketing refers to a variety of techniques using existing social networks such as Facebook to increase brand awareness. Many viral marketing campaigns have been designed to create the impression of a word of mouth enthusiasm for a product or service. Other viral marketing techniques include the use of video sharing sites like YouTube. ‘Viral videos’ have been a highly successful technique used by many major companies throughout the world. Today a large portion of the global population searches for products online and many young affluent people do all of their shopping online. A viral video posted on YouTube titled “I Got a Crush—on Obama” was an effective campaign tool during the 2008 presidential elections. Viral videos are usually subtle and the marketer hopes the videos will be passed from person to person spontaneously.

Viral marketing has been adopted by the online bingo industry. Viral marketing is a quick, efficient and lot cost method of increasing brand awareness. Since advertising for any form of online gambling is illegal in the United States online bingo sites can create entertaining videos and post them on video sharing sites without violating US laws. In the UK where advertising for online bingo sites is legal many people have complained about the number of online bingo ads broadcast on commercial cable stations. Viral videos are a more subtle way for online bingo operators to get their message to the public. One viral video produced in the United Kingdom shows a man on a busy street shouting bingo calls to stunned passersby. At the end of the video the would be bingo caller ends up lying on the sidewalk after trying to hug a less than amused pedestrian. The specific bingo site is never mentioned but at the end of the video a close up shows the online bingo site’s logo.

Many marketing and advertising experts say that viral marketing is the future of advertising. Many people consider television advertising to be excessive and intrusive but viral videos are viewed by choice. Videos viewed by choice make the viewer more likely to have a positive view of the product or service being virally marketed. A few years ago the office supply chain Office Max sent a man to several businesses in New York to try to purchase various items with pennies. The videos were a success and Office Max credited the viral video for an increase in business. For online bingo operators viral marketing is an extremely cost effective way to increase brand awareness.

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