Lessons marketers can learn from "why this kolaveri di"

Some of my thoughts on Why this kolaveri di phenomenon. With over 24 Million views on the original video, (plus an equal number of views on the various versions of it)this have become a true viral/meme case-study from India. No more reference to the Microsoft-Pankaj Udhas 'viral' or any of those 'foreign' case studies. Added to it are dedicated Facebook pages and millions of search results trying to bask in the glory of WTKD (including this blog :D)



If one looks in deep, this song had all the makings for becoming a viral success. Any digital marketer could learn from the success of WTKD song. Here are some of the recipes that went into making this an success:


Simplicity:
A song with least common denominator English words regularly used by the youth with couple of simple vernacular words... the song has the universality of nursery rhymes like, Twinkle, Twinkle Little star.... or a Johnny, Johnny, Yes Papa.. With no music knowledge required, little wonder anybody could hum it completely by listening to it couple of times.

Surprise: Dhanush,is a popular actor in Tamil Nadu... A State known to revere their movie idols. While he is known for his acting and dancing skills... it was a surprise element that made the people check out on his song writing and singing skills. People would have started watching the video curios to see Dhanush in a recording studio, singing the actual song

Similarity: Most of us humans (especially Males) tend to suffer from 'lose-in-love' syndrome. The content (lyrics)is talking about being let down in 'love'. Pain & Healing are wired into any culture. Be it religion, or an individual experience...we all believe that without experiencing the emotions of pain and then the healing we are not complete. The content of the song, strikes the right chord here.

Star-power: While the initial views would have come from people belonging to Tamil Nadu, Dhanush being the son-in-law of a ever more popular Rajnikanth, would have helped in pushing the songs outside the immediate circle of influence. Other than the protagonist, the presence of Rajnikanth's daughter and Shruti Hasan, daughter of Kamal Hasan makes it all the more reason to watch the video


Social power:
The social network (especially Facebook & Twitter), has helped popularize this song. Being a trending topic on Twitter and the peer recommendation by sharing the song on their wall posts made it accessible to more and more people who are not familiar with the actors or the region


Support:
It was infact the traditional media that gave the song the fillip. Getting on the radar of Television (first MTV and then even the News channels) had raised the awareness of the song so much that more and more people got to know about the song and hence a reason to view the same online


Seeding:
Last, if not the least, the spin doctors at Sony Music had made a conscious effort to seed the song. Be it the traditional mediums or online there was a consistent effort made to popularize the song through PR - that seem to look like innocuous trending news item

Now there would be wannabe Managers who would research to understand the reasons for the popularity of the song as part of their business school curriculum... But I say, as Sherlock Holmes puts it - Its elementary, My dear Watson.

Cheers,

Santosh

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