Home > Advertising, business > The PCR song (or “What is viral advertising?”)

The PCR song (or “What is viral advertising?”)

January 12, 2008

OK this is just frakkin’ brilliant.  Be sure to stick around for the chorus:

I often hear people use the term “Viral advertising” without knowing what it means.  Well folks, this is viral advertising at its best.  The basic idea is, you have to pay for the distribution of every idea.  Media networks insist on being paid in money.  But social networks will accept payment in humor, or beauty or excitement.  Make the ad interesting enough and people will pass it along to their friends, which boosts its perceived credibility anyway.

This company, BioRad, has a thermal-cycling PCR platform to sell.  Even though it can do some really exciting things, it’s a challenge to advertise.  They only have ‘x’ number of available advertising dollars, so they could:

  • Buy an ad in a professional journal, with a picture of the product line and a bit of text.  The ad would be ignored.

  • Buy access to a database of people who use this kind of technology (listen to the song and you’ll know who that is) and send them a mass mailing.  The mailing would be ignored.
  • Buy airtime on broadcast networks.  That would be a complete waste of money.
  • Spend ALL the money producing this hilarious song, and forget about distribution.  The humor essentially pays off science nerds everywhere to pass it from email to blog to “Hey, come listen to this!”

BioRad isn’t the only manufacturer of this kind of equipment.  But when people are building a crime lab or writing a grant application, what company do you suppose they’ll remember?  (From Greg Laden and as he notes, practically everybody else on the internet.)

Categories: Advertising, business
  1. January 12, 2008 at 16:08 | #1

    “PCR… When you need to find out who the daddy is…”
    Fucking hilarious!

    Very good point about viral advertising. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for other companies to figure out the usefulness of it. I guess change is a hard and scary thing.

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