Trend Alert: How Brands Are Leveraging Zoom Meetings for Viral Marketing Wins

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From fake Zoom calls to mock meetings, The Big Smoke explores the rise of scripted surprises in online marketing and how many businesses are capitalizing on these creative storytelling methods to boost brand engagement.

As digital landscapes evolve, so too do consumer expectations regarding online interactions. Today’s audience craves more than just passive consumption; they seek deeper, more meaningful connections with brands. This shift has propelled marketers towards more new and exciting ways to grab our attention and keep us entertained.

Lately, they’ve hit upon something that’s both clever and surprisingly simple: scripted Zoom calls and mock meetings. This creative storytelling method isn’t just about pushing a product; it’s about telling a story that we can all relate to, often with a humorous twist. It not only entertains but also fosters a sense of relatability and inclusion, drawing consumers into a shared narrative with the brand.

The Showpo Stunt: How a Fake Meeting Became a Marketing Masterpiece

On the 31st of January, Australian online fashion retailer Showpo posted a seemingly real internal Zoom meeting featuring the company’s marketing team. During the meeting it was revealed, to the horror of the team (and viewers), that an intern had used the company card to book an AUD $16,000 trip to Bali for the entire marketing team by mistake.

The caption read, “Is someone getting fired or are we all going to Bali??? 💀 Head to our pinned post and you might just come with us 😅👀💕 #showpo”.

The video generated millions of views and interactions, sparking heated discussions among followers as to whether the video was real or not. Showpo marketers left cheeky, ambiguous comments to fan the flames as the video quickly became a viral sensation. 

The next day Showpo shared two more posts and it became increasingly apparent that the delightfully cringe-inducing Zoom vid had been completely scripted and was just a fun and clever way to promote a holiday giveaway – a trip to Bali for you and your best friend. 

After the competition was closed, Showpo further capitalized on the huge following their marketing stunt had generated by posting a cheeky, lighthearted post that revealed due to the viral video’s success, the entire Showpo marketing team had indeed gone to Bali to celebrate.

The video showed the team setting off on their adventure and the voiceover explained, “I think my CEO is going to fire me over spending 16 thousand dollars on flights to Bali for our marketing team. But before she does that I’m actually going to take the opportunity, as these flights are non refundable, to take the whole team on a trip.”

The narration also revealed that just one of the videos in this marketing melodrama had racked up a staggering 6.6 million views. That’s the equivalent of 11.2 million views across IG and Tiktok at $0.00014 per view. For a brand as big as Showpo, we’d say that’s a pretty good investment.

Scripted Surprises: Why These Dramatic Marketing Tactics Work

Along with fake Zoom meetings there are also a growing number of ads that are disguised as HR meetings that have gone sideways. These ads subtly promote a brand or product as something utterly unexpected unfolds.

One popular ad showcases what appears to be a regular meeting, where an employee is asking for an insanely high raise in line with his earnings from a tax return app (TaxZap). The meeting is then revealed to be a disciplinary meeting with HR where he is being reprimanded for inappropriate workplace behavior. The ad is so cringeworthy, many viewers truly believe the ad is a real meeting, which drove lots of likes and views for the brand in question. 

This approach resonates because it mirrors the dynamics of real human interactions – flawed, unpredictable and often humorous. By crafting scenarios that viewers can relate to or find amusing, brands create memorable experiences that stand out in a crowded digital space. These campaigns invite the audience to be part of the story, blurring the lines between marketing and entertainment. It’s a creative way to tell a story, leveraging the power of drama and suspense to captivate an audience’s attention.

Plot Twists That Miss: When Creativity Clashes with Credibility

The success of these marketing strategies completely hinges on execution. Audiences today are sharp, and while they appreciate clever marketing, they can quickly become disillusioned if these marketing attempts feel contrived or manipulative. Marketers need to remember that the audience are not fools and don’t like to be treated as such. 

When it comes to scripted success, authenticity is key – viewers need to be in on the joke. If a campaign comes off as trying too hard or if the narrative feels forced, it can backfire, drawing criticism instead of engagement. Additionally, choosing the right platform and understanding your key demographic is crucial. Campaigns that resonate on Instagram or TikTok will not have the same impact on LinkedIn. You need to know where your audience lives online and cater to them. You also need to ensure your audience is savvy enough to spot the satire. 

The Key to Success

The secret lies in striking the perfect balance between innovative storytelling and transparency. Brands must know their audience well enough to craft messages that resonate on a personal level while making it clear that, despite the realistic setup, the content is in jest. This approach not only respects the intelligence of the consumer, but also invites them to share in the fun, creating a communal brand experience. It’s about being bold in your storytelling, but also clear that it’s all in good spirits. Ultimately, the goal is to entertain and engage, not deceive.

Ready to Make Your Mark?  

In a world bombarded with streams of endless content, the challenge isn’t just to catch the eye, but to leave a lasting impression. By weaving narratives that captivate, amuse and resonate, brands can forge deeper connections with their audience. Ready to stand out in the crowd? The Big Smoke specializes in crafting authentic, engaging narratives that speak to the human experience and cut through the digital clutter.

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