“The Virus” Virus

A Brazilian radio station, Mix FM, has taken the term “going viral” to a whole new level by releasing their own form of a virus on Facebook. The video campaign was based around the growing number of HIV cases in Brazil, seeking to educate teens about safe sex practises and the realities of unprotected sex.

The viral video campaign demonstrates just how easy it is to catch – and unknowingly spread – HIV and AIDs. The messaging in the video aims to let teens know that they should never let their guards down when it comes to sexual activity.

Utilizing a common Facebook spam tactic, the radio show created two videos – one of a sexy man and the other of a hot woman – and then posted them to the radio station’s Facebook Fan Page. After viewing the short video, it is re-posted on your own wall for all your friends to view, without you even knowing. At the end of the video, there is a message that outlines what had just happened. The results for the reach of the video were impressive, having over a million people reached. Facebook shut down the gone viral video before the day was over, further showing just how many people this message got to.

The correlation between the spread of this viral video and the spread of a virus like HIV is clear, and quite clever from a communications perspective. Mix FM definitely used smart marketing to get their message out there.

This is a great example of how not-for-profits, health care providers, and community outreach programs can utilize and benefit from viral marketing campaigns.

How effective do you think a viral video like this is?

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