Why This "Kolaveri Di"
"A Viral Marketing Strategy"

Mr. Dani Jacob Prakash.S
MBA (HR & Marketing)
M.I.E.T Engineering College


What makes some marketing campaigns so immensely big and well known when they are marketed through social media or with a viral approach? How can a company reach out to customers through viral marketing and how can they make use of today's social media to achieve it? In this article we will try to understand and further explore what a campaign have to accomplish in order to achieve a viral spread, using a descriptive model which uses a number of factors and terms necessary in order to properly analyze viral marketing campaigns. This model as it stands today is at its first steps towards being a tool for producers to incorporate in their analytic research and design process when creating viral campaigns

KEY WORDS: Viral marketing, Social Media, Word-Of Mouth, Communication Channels, Advertising, Communication Strategy, Media Strategy.


Marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message.


Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly. If the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles.

At the height of B2C it seemed as if every startup had a viral component to its strategy, or at least claimed to have one. However, relatively few marketing viruses achieve success on a scale similar to Hotmail, widely cited as the first example of viral marketing.

Viral marketing may take the form of:

* Video clips
* Interactive Flash games
* Adver games
* EBooks
* Brand able software
* Images
* Text messages

A Perfect Example of Viral Marketing.

Why This Kolaveri Di?....- is an Tamil song from the soundtrack of the upcoming Tamil film 3, which is due to be released in 2012. Written and sung by actor Dhanush, the song was composed by music director Anirudh Ravichander.

A down tempo dance gaana-ballad song, "Why This Kolaveri Di" has been described as "genre bending" by critics, built around an ancient South Indian folk rhythm. Its instrumentation consists of nadaswaram, shehnai, saxophone, urumee and thavil drums, acoustic guitar and keyboards mixed with electronic synths and scratches. The vocals utilize the singing style of Tamil folk culture. Lyrically, the song revolves around the film's main protagonist being dumped by his girlfriend; the song is sung by the character in a drunken state, with many of the lines nonsensical.

The song was officially released on 16 November 2011, and it instantly became viral on social networking sites for its quirky "Tanglish" (portmanteau word of Tamil and English) lyrics. Soon, the song became the most searched YouTube video in India and an internet phenomenon across Asia. Within a few weeks, YouTube honored the video with a Recently Most Popular Gold Medal Award for receiving a large number of hits in a short time.

What is this Kolaveri Kolaveri??????

* Kolaveri means "murderousrage" i.e. 'sudden and tremendous anger against someone'

* "Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Di" It means "Why are you so angry with me??" These are words of a boy whose love has been rejected by the girl whom he loves so much and from the heart.

* Lyrics of this song track have words from Tamil and English general slangs used in India. This 4:08 minute sound track and backgrounds core is composed by Anirudh Ravichand.

How did Kolaveri Di go Viral?

Soon after the song was leaked, Sony Music India wanted to make the most of the advantage. Jack in the Box is the digital agency responsible for making the video go viral. According to Ninja Magic.in, the company aimed to market the video on YouTube, Facebook & Twitter.

Let's first talk about how the company managed to market the video on Facebook. Sony Music India's South page has about 200k fans. And most of them are Tamils. So, posting about the video on Facebook page attracted viewers, comments, likes & shares. In turn, YouTube views of the video started going up.

Promotional Strategies of Kolaveri Di:

"Song is officially released on 18 November. Then it spread like a fire through social networking sites. Within first week of release, it received 1.3 million views on YouTube, more than 1 million shares on facebook . This is the first Tamil song to be premiered on MTV India. On 30th November, Song has crossed 10 crore hits on YouTube. International Time Magazine, Huffington Post and BBC has published report of this song."

What makes this song so popular? It happens to be because the song connects with the youth of the country. The song is about a guy who has been dumped by his girlfriend. The theme is interesting and so are the lyrics. The lyrics are written such that the words used are particularly irrational. Moreover the words and the slang with which the song has been sung is too typical for the tamilians. Those who have had any encounter with any Tamil friends will understand this. The slang used by them in speaking English is too different from others. That is what make this song unique.

The song indeed has a good music too. It has been composed by a relative new comer anirudh.The song is sung by Tamil actor dhanush. The movie in which the song will feature in is called 3 and is produced by aishwarya. There is a common factor that connects these 3 persons and that is the legend rajnikanth himself. Anirudh happens to be his nephew, dhanush is his son-in-law and aishwarya is his daughter.

Honestly at first, people were sharing the video on Facebook, Almost everyone was sharing the video as their status updates.

The video was marketed on Twitter. The marketers of John in the Box created #why this Kolaveri di hash tag and started posting quirky lines like "Iceland has not heard #why this kolaveri di", "Not called for 2 days #why this Kolaveri di", etc., with the YouTube link to the video. This intrigued people on twitter who didn't understand what Kolaveri di meant. So these people started asking questions & clicking the YouTube link.

After the video went viral on Twitter, users were talking about Kolaveri Di via #Kolaveri hash tag. The topic trended for more than3 days on Twitter India. Even today people are tweeting about this song.

Soon the song gained popularity from South India to the whole of India and then across the world.

Kolaveri's 7 Viral Technique:

1. Give away information
to your customers and include back links to your site. You can post these books or special reports on eBook directories, give away sites and use JV partners to give to their list. Encourage people to pass the information along to their friends who have an interest in the topic. If your information is accurate and helpful you'll find many people be passing the book to friends.

2.  You can use a Tell-A-Friend script on your site. Essentially you give your customer and visitors a way to easily share your website. Depending upon your market you may find that offering an incentive to tell a friend or two will encourage more traffic. Incentives can be free information that is delivered directly after the tell-a-friend script has been executed. Assure your readers that you do not collect email addresses when they enter their friend's address. They are not opting their friend into your ezine.

3. Do you get funny video clips from friends and family? This is viral marketing. Although the clip may not be selling anything the concept of passing from person to person is viral. Now, putting your imagination to work, can you create an idea around your niche that would be interesting? Something that would be passed from person to person? All you need is a digital camera. Videos without the professional 'feel' lend themselves to authenticity. You only have to look at the popularity of reality TV to realize how much people like 'peeking' in on the lives of others.

4.  Are you trying to get your information out to your public quickly? You can generate an Internet Press Release to draw in your readers. This is a method that can have far reaching effects when done with creativity and panache. Bring your readers to your page and send them out with a video or ebook to share with their friends.

5.  Undercover marketing, done well, can be fun and intriguing. You create a mystery surrounding your niche. There are questions, mystique, a potential for danger and people keep coming back for more. It becomes fun and interesting. Your readers keep coming back for more and sending their friends to figure out the mystery. Yanik Silver has been doing this for sometimes with his Underground Marketing Seminar. He doesn't release the name of several of the speakers, the attendees are undercover agents and the information is highly confidential. The whole event is cloaked in mystery.

6.  Social network sites are here to stay. They often evolve around a particular topic. MySpace, the most popular network site, is a general forum where people discuss anything from monkeys to marriage. The information on these sites is searchable. You can easily develop a list of people interested in your topic or niche and release funny exciting information that they are encouraged to pass along to their friends.

7. Buzz marketing is creating a 'buzz' about a particular subject, video, website or writing. In 2001 Morgan Westerman discovered a poem in the public domain that he published to the Internet. It was a feel good poem that people started passing from friend to friend. Then the Twin Towers collapsed and people in the U.S. started searching for answers and encouragement.

Kolaveri for Future Managers:

* As per the ET, The soup song has turned an anthem for the future managers in the  country.

* All IIMs has accepted this song as the best examples of viral marketing. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) has included this song in the subject "Contemporary Film Industry :a business perspective"

* IIMA faculty Bharathan Kandaswamy has said, "I will discuss Kolaveri Di as part of a session on social media and online tools when my class starts in December.

Lessons in Viral Marketing

* Broadcast Yourself  "It is lot more than just AViral concept need not be Rocket Science…. Sometimes… It's  just a simple idea, captured right.

* Contagious" A good Viral is highly contagious. You don't need to promote it. A good viral spreads by itself.You Don't Have to Spend to Get Noticed To spread the wordout, you need not burn a hole in your pocket and promote things like crazy

* Gaining a good amount of attention on-line Will attract the other traditional media towards your story. The viral was covered in leading News Channels & Newspapers

An Online Viral can spillover offline…Gaining a good amount of attention on-line will attract the other traditional media .


What can you learn about Social Media Marketing from Kolaveri Di?

You need to define your social media marketing strategy properly. When you've a Facebook fan page which is liked by thousands of targeted users, your content/articles will be viewed by those. Sure your website will get more clicks. But, this is not enough. These readers should automatically share your content with their social friends. These readers should subscribe to your newsletters. These readers should buy your products.

This brings us to the main thing that is important, i.e. Content. If Kolaveri di wouldn't have funny lyrics & cool beats, there would have been a very few shares & likes. Why did the song get so many likes & shares on Facebook? Heck, because of the content. Remember if the content is good, you don't need to market it. It'll market itself.





Mr. Dani Jacob Prakash.S
MBA (HR & Marketing)
M.I.E.T Engineering College

Source: E-mail January 13, 2012




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