Vote for Mr Splashy Pants

Spalshypants200 We all debate whether you can intentionally create something that "goes viral". Drew was asking the same question earlier.

My view, for what it is worth, is that we can (and probably should) design our marketing to be virally-enabled. That is, we should make it easy for others to pick up our idea and make it their own — via links, embedding options, voting/ranking and send-to-friend options etc. BUT it is important to remember that "viral" is not about the brand … it is actually about the users — about me and you. If I forward a "viral" piece I will do so, because it says something to you about ME. It provides me with SOCIAL CURRENCY.

So, in this instance, when I ask you all to Vote for Mr Splashy Pants, this is what is happening:

  • I am linking to Nat who brought it to my attention. This means that I hope that she checks her Technorati profile and sees that I am linking to her. Then she can respond and engage in conversation (hi Nat!)
  • I am hoping that you good folks are going to click through to check Nat’s story because it is much better than mine
  • I am also using Nat’s cute pic which has a nice call to action … reminding you, dear reader, to help promote Greenpeace’s efforts to save the whales (and if you "right mouse click" on the picture, you can save it and republish it on your blog — nice one, thanks!).
  • Hopefully you love the silliness of the name of the whale and want to promote this to the world in an effort to fight the barbarity of whale slaughter with the power of cuteness while adding to your karma credits (remember, when you write this on your blog you will also receive additional karma credit transfers from others to you — after all, you are encouraging the good in all of us)
  • As this effort accelerates, your sense of belonging improves, and provides you with a story to tell other (I was there, talking about Mr Splashy Pants, when he was only a baby beluga).

Most importantly in this process, the "value" of social currency cannot be dictated (by a brand or organisation). This is more organic. And sure you can plan for it, design for it and even hope for it, but I think "viral" is like comedy — all in the timing.

And speaking of timing … you can only vote until DECEMBER 7, 2007 (at 17:00 Amsterdam time). Oh, see that — three calls to action in the one post. Lovely.

UPDATE: Mr T pities the fool who doesn’t vote for Mr Splashy Pants. Got to love T.

5 thoughts on “Vote for Mr Splashy Pants

  1. Hi Gavin,
    I did vote for Mr. Splashy Pants, and you guys will be happy to hear that name is currently the front runner at 79% (Humphrey runs a distant 2nd at just 3%.)
    As we all know, the name we are given can have an impact on our experience in the world, how we view ourselves and folks’ first impression of us. We should all feel good that we’re giving one of these humpback whales a great start in this season of his life with a name like Mr. Splashy Pants. I wish my parent had been that creative ;-).

  2. The Meaning Of The Web In 3 Words: Mr. Splashy Pants

    Lately I’ve been pondering 3 seemingly unrelated internet-y things: How addictive my fave site Cute Overload is (truly, I cannot stay away from it. It’s like an adorable form or crack or something) What makes content turn viral on the

  3. Well I made it here eventually… Thanks! A friend of mine just won a competition to get the most friends in her facebook group, your post kind of reminded me of it – you’re half writing to get people to joint he group, your half writing to talk about how cool it is that you can write and actually do something.
    It appears that the whaling fleet has set off and the Aussie and NZ militaries are fighting to see who can have the most ships and boats out monitoring them. Part of me thinks the whales are the lucky ones because they are so awe inspiring, humans can’t help but want to keep them around. It’s much easier running a campaign to save mr Splashy Pants than it is to save the NZ Weta or something equally as small and insect like.
    Thanks for the post, lets hope that this is the year that international pressure works.

  4. Japanese whale fishing is completely lawful.
    And is completely scientific.
    In addition, it is a Japanese gastronomic culture to eat whales.
    You should refrain from the act of denying the culture of another country.
    watch this video.
    To the person who wants to know why Japan hunts whales
    [DragonBall] Freezer VS Japanese whaling;_ylt=Ap_0uUICejnG3TGasvh8ePvsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080204060044AAgG9Cy
    Why do the media of australia tell a lie and censorship?
    if doubt me? Post my comment this URL.,23599,23155612-5007146,00.html

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