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April 4, 2008

Major London venue refuses to admit to viral campaign

In a change from normal practice, EC&O Venues (owners and operators of Earls Court, Olympia and The Brewery) are remaining uncharacteristically tight-lipped about a viral video campaign that surfaced on YouTube, has since been posted on EventCrowd (the exhibition industry’s virtual networking website) and has been the subject of at least some idle chatter.

Allegedly called Watch Out, it is believed that the ad might have been filmed on location in Earls Court One. A spokesman for EC&O Venues, who preferred not to be identified – or quoted for that matter – agreed that the viral ad contained a lot of links to EC&O Venues.

“What the directors seem to have done is to have identified a number of high-profile consumer shows that take place at Earls Court and Olympia, illustrated them with live props and linked them together in a story of surprise, pursuit, challenge, despair and triumph, all cemented with a big blob of humour,” he said.

“Quite clearly what they are aiming to achieve is the creation of a reputation for Earls Court and Olympia as leisure destinations in their own rights – not wholly defined by the content within their halls – but places to be considered as ‘days out’ at any time of the year.

“It’s obviously difficult for whoever produced the film, however – in order for a viral like this to be credible, then people have to discover it for themselves, and not be led to it,” the spokesman continued. “I mean, if we were to issue a press release saying Earls Court and Olympia have produced a viral ad, then by definition, it ceases to be a viral ad, and… oh damn!”

It is believed that this may form the basis for further ads and other forays into the world of that shady sector of marketing that is also known as digital guerrilla.

Joking apart, by producing such a forward-thinking viral campaign, EC&O Venues has embraced the possibilities of the internet and digital marketing – particularly in the way that digital interfaces with experiential – and are actively encouraging organisers to make more of the digital medium.

And who are we at EVENTS:review to disagree with or discourage such an innovative approach to marketing…

Check out the viral video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx8egTjlM1I

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