Two of my recent PC Plus features have gone online. First, a look at viral marketing:
The return of the Wispa is a classic example of canny viral marketing in action. In 2007, 93 Facebook groups spontaneously appeared, with 14,000 people demanding the return of the chocolate bar. When Iggy Pop played Glastonbury, crazed chocolate addicts stormed the stage with ‘Bring back the Wispa’ banners.
‘My goodness, what a surprise!’ said Cadbury’s. ‘Those stage invaders certainly weren’t actors, and those Facebook groups definitely weren’t the work of viral marketers! We had no intention of relaunching Wispa, but who are we to argue with the entire internet?’ We’re paraphrasing, but you get the idea.
Pranks that take an age to set up usually aren’t worth it. So, while it’s possible to grow grass in someone’s keyboard or go crazy with the toolbar buttons in Office 97, that’s an awful lot of effort for relatively little reward. We prefer more subtle tweaks: system tools turned to the dark side, software that appears to have a mind of its own and, of course, demonic PC possession.