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It was reported earlier this week that “Kitt”, the beloved Mustang GT500KR from the new Knight Rider Television series was stolen at a promotional event in Toronto Canada. E! News seemed to have the initial scoop while YouTube users were uploading first hand accounts of the events from cellphone videos. It all seemed very suspicious. I had to further my investigation — call me the Mythbuster of Viral Marketing.

I first checked to see who uploaded the video. It was fairly suspect that the user who uploaded the video was a new member to Youtube. Although not definitive evidence that this was a “fake” viral, it didn’t help.

Next I looked at the meta tags. These tags are usually not very good if a user isn’t familiar with meta data. Check even popular videos on Youtube. They are sparse and sometimes unrelated (Hot chicks making out, boobs, etc.) The tags on this persons Youtube video were as follows:

Now lets look closer at these Meta Keywords… They did have one random keyword in there — “girls” — but the rest are too perfect. They not only used quotes for an exact match keyword, hardly common knowledge among the everyday YouTube user, they used the keyword “E!”. E! huh? Even if E! was at the event I am not sure that an everyday YouTuber would have the insight to carefully select E! as a keyword.

Today we found out it was in fact a Viral Marketing campaign.

I wanted to add another screen shot of a comment from YouTube that read “Worst Viral EVER!” but it mysteriously disappeared. While I don’t agree with that statement, I think it could have have been executed better. Even if it still did the trick. Check out their statistics:

This campaign would be considered a success. It involved the media, firsthand accounts, social interaction, and everything else that makes for a great viral. But it also provides a great lesson to those who are trying to create successful viral campaigns. Many viral marketers will agree, the best motto of any viral marketer is “Try, Try Again.” Each viral campaign is just another social test. How can I make you think something that isn’t real IS real, all while trying to sell you a product? Each successful campaign should be examined with a discerning eye. Like history they shed light on mistakes as well as successes.

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