Naureen Aqueel

Return of the viral wars!

Posted on: July 7, 2009

An edited version of this article was published in CIO Pakistan magazine, July 2009.

Competition between brands can take to wars in ad campaigns, with each company coming up with ads to counter and hit back at the other. Almost every reader who is even a minimal netizen will understand what is being referred to in the context of the recent ad war between two of Pakistan’s top telecom companies.

Termed as ‘Ufone and Zong’s Cold War’ across forums in cyberspace, this counter ad campaign at first by Ufone, and then Zong, employed viral marketing techniques, spreading like wildfire through social networks like Facebook, Digg and Twitter.

Originally posted on YouTube, the Ufone reply to Zong’s ad campaign proved very popular with people enjoying a good laugh as it was posted across profiles on Facebook and through Twitter, Digg and various other blogs. No sooner did the popularity of that ad increase, did Zong come up with its own response and that too a viral one, originally posted on YouTube.

If anything, this campaign added a new dimension to advertising—all you need is creativity (though some may differ) and you can have a low cost ad spread through the cyberdom, reaching and entertaining audiences, without ever having to air it on mainstream TV channels.

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