Time Warner Cable (TWC) is looking to take a page from Britney Spears and Paris Hilton with a new viral video marketing strategy called Fame Star. The new marketing strategy allows customers to create fictional biopic videos of themselves, chronicling their rise to fame, and subsequent fall. It’s a play on the Hollywood pop culture scene, represented by popular tabloid “journalism” outlets like Access Hollywood and People Magazine. Users can create their own videos and share them with friends and family. TWC is hoping for a huge “viral” hit that could potentially reach millions of consumers. TWC products and brands are referenced throughout each video. There are also direct marketing tools on the Fame Star site, including TWC comparisons to Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse.
It’s an interesting strategy – one that is representative of the times. Service providers are constantly evaluating and executing strategies that try to leverage web 2.0 and the “long tail” phenomena, with mixed success. It’s no secret that reaching consumers through traditional marketing and media buys is increasingly difficult. When viral campaigns catch fire, they can reach millions at a fraction of the cost of traditional media outreach. The truly successful ones are few and far between. Give TWC credit for trying. As the famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”