Another viral marketing campaign gone horribly wrong

I think local ads agencies have problem coming up with a decent viral marketing campaign. I’ve lost count of the number of failed viral marketing campaign. In fact, I don’t even recall a successful viral marketing campaign in Singapore. If you remember any, please let me know. I might have forgotten or missed it.
The latest viral marketing campaign that gone wrong is from an insurance company. It started out as a couple seeking encouragement and blessing from everyone on Facebook. The guy, Mark, is 23 years old and the gal, Audrey, is 47. They created a Facebook page and words of encouragements started pouring in.
“Live web streaming” was setup on the wedding day itself and the guy “met a road accident”. It was then revealed that this is just a viral marketing campaign. The Facebook profile photo was replaced by a message: “Unexpected Things Happen In Life. Be insured to have your loved ones assured”.
Firstly, well done to the agency for fooling everyone. Perhaps it is because we are too trusting on the social media space. Perhaps because we think true love can really happen between a 23 year old guy and a 47 year old gal. We should have done some checking before supporting. But then, how do we do such checks?
The reason why I’m so annoyed with this viral marketing is because it uses social media to mislead people into their marketing campaign. This will only create distrust on social media. What if there is really another couple out there that need encouragements? Will people still believe them? Or will everyone think it’s yet another stupid viral marketing campaign?
And what is the ads agency trying to achieve? When they are planning this viral campaign, did they think what will people react when it is revealed that the whole thing is a trick? Do they think people would happily sit there and laugh when they discovered that they wasted their time and prayers for a stupid marketing campaign?
Clearly the people behind this whole campaign didn’t know viral marketing.
It is frustrating to see marketers misuse social media. This is not the first time and this will not be the last time. Such campaign will only ruin the reputation of social media. We only got 1 social media. Don’t destroy the reputation of this platform.
I have no idea why ads agencies in Singapore think that viral campaign has to con/trick people into believing something. There’s many ways to make something viral. Try doing something amazing. Or start something trendy.
Up till now, we still don’t know the insurance company behind this campaign. Maybe they are afraid to reveal themselves because of the backslash. I don’t know which smart alex in the company approved the viral marketing campaign. He/she/they seem to forget that trust is the most important thing in the insurance industry. Will people still trust a insurance company that tried to con the entire Singapore into believing their viral marketing?
I don’t know which ads agency and insurance company is behind this stupid campaign. Perhaps they are clever enough not to let anyone know who is behind it. Cause I swear that I will boycott that insurance company forever. And I’ll persuade everyone around me to stop using the ad agency.


  1. “I have no idea why ads agencies in Singapore think that viral campaign has to con/trick people into believing something. There’s many ways to make something viral. Try doing something amazing. Or start something trendy.”
    You’re totally right. Marketeers need to be more creative and learn that a “twist at the end” is not the only trick in the book.
    Great read, gonna pass this on!

  2. I have a feeling that the whole campaign is staged by a group of independent insurance agents. They might want to “educate” their potential clients. At the same time, it is also a “good” opportunity to tell the public ” hey! I am in insurance biz!”
    Though it is not really smart to “mislead” the publc

  3. Neo: I don’t think so leh. From the planning, managing of Facebook page, getting actors and setting up of microsite, I don’t think its a group of independent insurance agents.

  4. Dk, maybe you can list some examples of successful overseas viral marketing campaigns. It’ll be a good reference and comparison between our local failed ones and the successful ones. I know a few but can’t seem to find the links to them now.

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