Sunday, September 13, 2009

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is one of my personal favorite styles in marketing. It is fun, exciting, thought provoking, confusing and creates a buzz surrounding its subject through word of mouth and social networking. When planned correctly, it can be genius! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term 'viral marketing' here is a little background info found at

"The buzzwords viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses."

In the music world, a person or group of people may use this technique to buzz about a new album being released, a reunion tour, or anything that is marketable to the public.

About a year ago, Fall Out Boy's bassist, Pete Wentz, along with Crush Management and Decaydance lead a viral marketing campaign surrounding the announcement of their album being released. During this campaign there were countless threads posted on Throughout the campaign there were several puzzles for victims to find their way through, hoping to reach the purpose. Many others chimed into the campaign, pretending to be involved, simply for their own publicity.

Currently, there is a band conducting a viral campaign. It is still unknown who they are, but eventually the answer will be revealed. If you visit this website,, the page will display a message:

(exhibit A)

The letter is signed "PW" referring to Pete Wentz. Whoever this band is, they either want Pete's involvement or they are using him as a way to increase the number of victims who follow this campaign. Underneath the letter, you find two more things: a downloadable mp3 and a search box with the words "Please Medicate Me" contained inside.

When you download the mp3, the file is titled, "petehatesthepill." When the file is opened, the title of the track is, "The answer is in the pill."

Since I was late entering this campaign, a lot of questions have already been answered. To get to the next step of this campaign you need to type in the search box "Prosopagnosia." This term is a disorder for people who cannot recognize other peoples' faces. How this word was figured out, beats me. After you type it in, however, it leads you to a new website that mimics Pete Wentz's blog site. At a quick glance, one would assume it were Pete's blog, until they notice the url is different. The site, which is also similar to another site owned by Pete When this site opens, it displays the letter [viewed previously] several times. It also has a music player with two songs which have not been heard. Another difference about the fake blog is it is titled, "Change a boys life." Pete Wentz's actual blog is called "A Homeboy's life."

These songs are the purpose to the viral marketing campaign. The people conducting this want to reach out to as many people possible to listen to these songs, and talk about them. Already there is a buzz surrounding these songs, and so far no one even knows who they are. For a moment, people thought they were songs from The Cab'snew upcoming album. That was later confirmed to be incorrect.

This campaign is still occurring, and questions are still unanswered. To read Pete Wentz's point of view visit his blog. More information can also be found at Read threads from staff and comments from those who are also following along.

~Laurel Zevitz

EDIT: So after i posted this, I checked back on It appears that in the thread the band was announced to be Ashbury. We'll have to wait and see if there is more to their campaign.

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