Talking Viral Marketing On The Menu With Campfire’s Mike Monello


Today on the media- Morning Media Menu podcast, hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven welcomed Mike Monello, executive creative director of Campfire NYC, a marketing company that uses storytelling on behalf of brands.

Campfire is most well-known for its campaigns for Blair Witch Project (which Monello and another Campfire founder also produced) and the HBO show “True Blood.”

They discussed viral marketing and promotion and related projects and experiments that have popped up over the past several years, from Blair Witch to lonelygirl15. Asked Matt: “At what point does it become dangerous to deceive people?”

“It’s a thin line,” Monello said. “[lonelygirl15] certainly gets more of a pass because it wasn’t for a brand. Although what I thought was interesting is that as soon as people suspected it was fake there were two hunts going on. There was the hunt to find out who was doing it and why and then the other hunt was to find out what brand it could be for. I think that says a lot about people’s suspicions of advertising.”

Viral marketing can be a tricky gray area, especially when you make up characters and videos that seem real. With respect to that idea, Monello discussed the Denmark tourism board’s recent video which featured a woman purportedly looking for the long lost father of her child. “They didn’t seem to have a strategy about why it had to be real, because they didn’t have anywhere for it to go,” he said of the campaign.

Also discussed: what Campfire is working on next, like a technology-based home makeover show for Verizon.

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