Successful Branding in Covert Virals : Communication Strategy and Communication Channel Synergy
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to see what implications the new communication channel of Covert Virals has on acknowledged communication strategies and whether or not these strategies are still viable within Covert Virals.
Background: The term Covert Viral has been given to pieces of advertisement, spread through the medium of electronic word of mouth over social networks, which are designed to look user made. With the defense mechanisms towards traditional advertisements in mind, and the extensive growth of the social networks, it is of high interest to understand how traditional branding strategies work in this new communication channel.
Method: To answer our research questions, and thereby conclude our purpose, we have used quantitative data which was collected through the use of non-random sampling. This was analyzed within the SPSS statistics software, using both descriptive and inferential statistics.
Conclusion: The implications this communication channel brings to traditional branding strategies has been divided into two categories, Brand Awareness strategy implications, and Brand Attitude strategy implications. Within Brand Awareness strategies it was found that Covert Virals were unfit to execute brand recall strategies. However, Brand recognition strategies were found to still apply, with a possible negative backlash of advertising for a competitor‟s brand. Within Brand Attitude Strategies, we found that a new restriction has been placed on the traditional strategies. This restriction is the obligatory use of emotional branding. Furthermore, this emotional branding must be constructed in such a way so that it caters to both the viral intent of the advertisement, and the branding intent.
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