Doritos are running a viral video contest in Canada with a prize of up to $250,000. A number of insights can be drawn from this campaign.
Doritos have implicitly acknowledged that there is no recipe for a viral campaign. The traditional advertising agency process inherently places a limit on creativity. The ad-agency usually presents a number of options for the client to choose from. The client chooses one or maybe two of these options to implement. One video has a slim chance of viral success in social media because it is hard to predict what might be successful. The Doritos campaign is effectively crowd-sourcing creativity, with the added bonus of free implementation.
This raises questions about the definition of viral. Something that ‘goes viral’ is usually started by one and shared by many. Online tools have the power to significantly increase sharing capacity. The winning video in the Doritos competition is the video with the most views, positive ratings and social sharing points. An investigation of the terms of the competition shows how accurately a social media campaign can be measured.
Doritos are using a point-system to determine a winner. The creator of the video with the most Viralocity Points wins $100,000. 10 million+ viralocity points gets the winner another $150,000. What is a Viralocity Point?
1. Every time a new and unique person (as counted by YouTube) views a video, the winner gets 5 points.
2. 5 points every time someone watches a video on Facebook.
3. Entrants receive 5 points for each External Youtube Embed.
4. Every time the video is shared from the competition website entrants receive 1 point.
5. Unique referals receive 1 point.
6. Every time somebody Retweets the unique bit.ly link the video gets 1 point.
7. Every time somebody signs in and Favourites a video on YouTube or on DoritosViralocity.ca, you get 5 points.
8. Points betewen 1-5 are awarded for each star-rating a video receives on the 5-star rating system
9. Every time someone Diggs a video it receives 1 point.
The most interesting part of this competition for our purposes is how Doritos is measuring the results of these attempts at a viral campaign. The breakdown of what actions actually earn points provides an analysis of the relative value of different social tools. Pepsico, the owner of the Doritos brand, chose Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Digg as the most important social platforms for a viral campaign. While Flickr is redundant next to Facebook’s own photo sharing application, Youtube and Facebook both have benefits for video sharing.
The competition rules, including the tie-breaking process, make it clear that Pepsico, and arguably many other large companies, value quality over quantity when it comes to viral campaigns. Total unique views is weighted heavily with the rating system and number of Diggs lowest.
The campaign provides an additional incentive for people to share their videos on Facebook. Facebook views are already included in the competition’s calculation of unique views. Facebook views are therefore weighted to receive double the points of an ordinary view of an entry video. This weighted is attributable to Facebook’s algorithm that controls news feed displays – the more people click – the more exposure Doritos’ brand receives.
The points-system used to find a winner also provides an excellent insight into the measurement of a viral campaign. You can see the entire competition rules here. Perhaps this will help you to start tracking ROI from social media in your organization.
This campaign should be taken as an acknowledgment of the transition towards advertising through social media. A viral video has the power to reach many millions of people online for relatively little expense. Credit is due to the ad agency for capitalizing on the opportunity that social media presents. Rather than continuing on the traditional path and releasing a single high-budget video, Doritos were able to encourage consumers do their creative work and implementation for them. It will be interesting to see if the winner receives more than 10 Million Doritos Viralocity Points.