What’s your poison?

For malicious virus writers it’s virtually anything that’s
breaking news. Most recently it’s been Google search results for the hype-rumoured
death of rapper Kanye West and the managerial status of Harry Redknapp at Spurs, but in
the past we’ve seen everyone from Michael Jackson to Barack Obama succumb to
their wicked ways. Of course, their real tour-de-force was purporting to offer
anti-virus software which was actually a virus in itself!

If nothing else, should us marketers have a sneaking
admiration or perhaps even learn something from their wily ways?

The sheer speed at
which they appropriate and hijack today’s talking points and turn them into
evil deeds? Any self respecting web designer would surely envy their
click-through rates. Obviously they’re going for the lowest common
denominator, but it’s the seemingly instant ‘tapping into’ the zeitgeist that’s
most impressive.

The fact is, by the time many organisations latch onto to a
web trend, it’s already upped and left the building. Take the way that ITV,
YouTube and Simon Cowell missed out on the potential windfall from selling
advertising against clips of Susan Boyle. Act in haste and reap the benefits,
indeed.