Youth marketing: Could your credit union buy viral?

Exhibit A: Zipit Wireless. Zipit offers an all-in-one wireless messenging device—kind of a like an inexpensive Blackberry for kids. Billed as the ultimate texting device, the Zipit Z2 is sold through major retailers like Target and Best Buy for under $50.

Exhibit B: Fred. Fred is a bonifide YouTube viral video sensation. His extremely silly videos get viewed millions and millions of times. This video, for example, was uploaded just two weeks ago and has been viewed more than 3 million times. Fred's collection of videos have been viewed more than 25 million times. Some of his videos have more than 35,000 text comments.

What's interesting is that Fred is now sporting a Zipit Z2 device in his videos. Zipit and its LA-based ad agency, WOO, have brokered an endorsement deal with Fred. Fred even has his own Zipit microsite.

Marketers world-wide are seaking viral. The problem is, viral is nearly impossible to create. Viral just happens. What makes one video go viral doesn't necessarily make another video go viral.

Zipit and WOO have recognized that viral marketing can't necessarily be manufactured from within an ad agency and have, instead, attached the Zipit brand to a proven viral entity.

A few questions for credit unions seeking younger members to consider:

  1. Is viral marketing a goal for your credit union? If so, why?
  2. Would sponsoring a proven YouTube star work for a credit union?
  3. Could this type of approach increase membership?

I can totally see the brand connection between Zipit and Fred. The device is cool and it is specifically designed for young people.

Could a credit union pull this off? Considering that most YouTube 'stars' are slightly offbeat characters, it would take a credit union with a slightly offbeat brand to have any type of alignment.

Most credit unions are conservative organizations that are very concerned with portraying a stable, trustworthy image to their membership. Someone like Fred might be a stretch, but it sure would be fun to watch!

What do you think?

Tim