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clever viral marketing


Companies are doing all sorts of stuff nowadays to get people’s attention. I saw this posted on a friend’s blog and clicked out of curiosity.

It’s the Pomegranate Phone.

I’m not the type to spend a lot of time on a website but I confess I did linger a bit and click around just out of curiosity (and incredulity… and because I am a self-confessed technogeek… and also because I love my iPhone and wonder what could possibly be better).

What makes this effective? It’s a clever integration of many elements that make viral marketing effective (in my opinion):

  • humor
  • a “what’s this about?” draw
  • great design
  • multimedia — flash, video
  • a “coolness”factor
  • easy way to share with people (in the menu — can’t miss it)
  • unique concept — haven’t run across ideas like this very often
  • a way to not be obvious as to why this site exists in the first place
  • a tie into the REAL reason for the website

Since I’m always thinking about how the church can better communicate with our culture, I wonder how can these elements be implemented into our efforts to share the good news of Christ to people? Our church is just on the start of expanding technology usage for communication beyond the standard phone, email, and standard website… there are all sorts of cool tools out there for us to explore!

I wonder what your experience and thoughts are as you poke around this website?

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  • Reply David (Marketing Integrity)

    Angela, I cam across your post through Twitter search.

    You are right, the church does need to get more creative with its marketing and implementation of technology.

    This pomegranate phone campaign created a lot of controversy (it was done by Tourism Nova Scotia, the province I live in). All the comments you made about it were what the campaign managers intended. At the same time, many people were very offended when they found out that this was not a real phone and they felt tricked by the campaign. Also there was a lot of chatter about the cost of this site as a tourism generation tool.

    So, when applied to the church, I think we need to be creative and unique in telling our story to our communities, but we always have to keep authenticity in our approach. There are many non-churched people looking for a freshness to spirituality but we better make sure we stay true to the message and genuine in our communication. We never want them to feel that they were are being tricked or misled in being invited to connect with God!

    Thanks for making us think and for using this pomegranate phone campaign as a stimulus for that discussion.

    January 13, 2009 at 12:55 pm
    • Reply Angela Yee

      Great thoughts — thanks so much! I had never heard of the Pomegranate phone, perhaps because it originated from Nova Scotia, which is on the other side of the continent for us. 🙂 Was not aware of all the background… very interesting! I suppose for someone like me who is interested in technology it was so obvious to me that phone was not real that I wondered who would make that site or why they would do it. So at the end, it all made sense. But people who aren’t familiar could very well feel duped. Good thoughts on how that applies to churches as well — thanks for your input!

      January 13, 2009 at 7:02 pm

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