We’ve seen it all before. Susan Boyle, the Mentos + Diet Coke experiment, the Star Wars kid, and MEP Daniel Hannan – they’re excellent examples of concepts going viral, propelling their protagonists and or content to international ‘fame’ in a matter of days.

Now it has happened again, but this time on Amazon.com. In the last few weeks, sales of a kitschy t-shirt depicting three wolves and a moon have shot up 2,300 %(!) after comments on the online retailer’s website went viral. Amazon user ‘Bee-Dot-Govern’ posted the first review of the t-shirt stating “Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women” but “cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed”. This comment helped generate another 454 reviews, many of them ironic, and these have in turn been read by 5,831 readers (figures at the time of writing) effectively making the shirt go viral.

Viral marketing is for many marketers the Holy Grail (making something go viral is easier said than done though). It’s high time MEPs and MEP candidates start thinking about their electorate in a different manner. Just as marketers try to identify individuals with a high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create viral messages tailored to this segment of consumers in the hope of giving their messages a higher probability of being passed along, so should MEPs.

Generation Z is growing up quickly and politicians will pay dearly if they ignore these digital-natives. It’s time to re-think the traditional campaign poster…

– Emil

(UPDATE 18/06/09: Presently the number of reviews have risen to 1,094 and the number of  people having seen the reviews to 10,754)

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