Tag Archives: New York Times

Viral Marketing: Have You Caught the Bug?

I watched Yogi Bear cartoons when I was a kid. And I laughed. Really, I did. But then I saw it was being made into a live-action-mixed-with-animation movie. In 3-D. And I sighed. Ah, that my childhood should come to this.

Today I saw animator Edmund Earle’s parody. And I realized, I’m grown now. I can appreciate Yogi and Boo Boo in a clip styled after the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It made me smile. But I wouldn’t let the kids see this. They’re probably not ready.

Now, this isn’t the kind of viral marketing you necessarily want for your company. According to an article in the New York Times, Warner Brothers, which is producing the 3-D movie but doesn’t have anything to do with the parody, is “monitoring the situation.” That said, it is a way to get the word out, even to adults who are sad to see real people acting like cartoons and cartoons trying to look like real bears.

“Going viral” was something that used to happen via e-mail, but now you find out about these things on Facebook and Twitter and probably still via e-mail if you don’t have a Facebook account. Before it was something marketers didn’t expect, now they hope … and call it “buzz” when it happens. Find out the brands with the year’s top ads, which all owe their places because people spread the word electronically. But what makes one video more likely to go viral than another? They’re often funny, usually “edgy” by someone’s standards, often there’s innuendo.

But here’s my personal favorite. It’s been around for a while, but I laugh whenever I see it. And it proves that two negatives (Walmart and clowns) do make a positive. What’s your favorite?

Would a Smartphone Make Me Smarter?

That’s the question I asked myself this week. And looking around, everyone has an opinion about it—although most sources I found said it all depended on how a smartphone is used. Duh.

But then I thought about how much I depend on a calculator to do my math for me or my cell phone to remember phone numbers and I wondered . . . If I had a smartphone, would I stop retaining information because it was so easy to look things up? Does that make me dumber?

There’s also the problem of how much a smartphone can distract parents, for example, from what their kids are doing—which makes them look stupid, even if they’re not. And there’s an increasing problem with how technology is preventing kids from learning. I found this New York Times report on the conflict that often arises between teens learning from technology vs. being distracted by it:

VIDEO: Fast Times at Woodside High