Skip to main content

Viral Marketing 101: Geraldo Rivera Shirtless or Nude

Geraldo Rivera, that shameless publicity monger, has done it again! And, not in a good way. Last night, he tweeted a picture of himself shirtless. (He can teach us marketers a thing or two about viral marketing).  Now, the tabloids of the Internet (e.g., Huffington Post and the like) are picking up on it like wildfire, and it even shows as top trending search on Google:

If that doesn't work, just Google 'Geraldo Shirtless' to "see" what the fuss is all about: a 70 year old man, shirtless.


What's Going On, Geraldo? Teach us to Viral Market.

See Geraldo Rivera Shirtless
As marketers...  we want to look behind the scenes as to who is creating publicity, why and how. 

#1 - Geraldo is "stupid like a Fox." Here's a guy who's campy self-image is a man-on-the-street yet he seems to hang in there, year after year as someone on the publicity circuit. So he tweets a semi-obscene photo of him (Reminds you of Anthony Weiner, the New York congressman and his issues, no?).

Geraldo's possible goal: stay visible, get buzz going around you. Get 'em talking!

#2 - the public. Everyone loves a scandal.  People love shocking, gross, offensive.  (Just pay attention to what trends on YouTube or what trends on Google searches!). This viral photo is leveraging that hunger for scandal we all share, and the Huffington Post and the other blogloids are picking up on that trend to "sell more ink" and "get more ad views."

#3 - the blogloids. HuffPost and the like are in the business of promoting scandal, so they are the viral video / photo's best friends.  What Seth Godin calls the "sneezers" - the ones who take an idea and spread it to the winds.

So take Geraldo's shameless hunger for publicity, the public's appetite for a little sexy scandal, and the blogloids = viral on the Internet.

What Geraldo Doesn't Teach Us: Brand Image

So Geraldo is "going viral" with his semi-nude photo....  But...  What does this mean for his brand image? He stays campy, a bit gross, off-kilter, and just weird.  So he doesn't make the leap to respectable journalist but rather stays more like weird, sometimes funny, off-kilter Uncle who does inappropriate things.

Learning from Geraldo: Going Viral in a Good Way

So Geraldo's latest escapade teaches us something about "going viral" but in a bad way. Weiner of New York did it worse, but we (as marketers) want to a) go viral, and b) preserve our brand image.

Will it blend anyone? What are your thoughts on the "Geraldo Shirtless Scandal?"


Popular posts from this blog

An Email Sign Up Should Convey the Value Proposition

An email sign up should convey the value proposition. One "easy" thing to do is to show past email newsletters or alerts, so users can see what they "get" by signing up.

Here's REI's email prop:

Facebook Fail

How to Get a Negative Review on Yelp - the Chik-fil-A Way!

This is how companies get bad Yelp reviews. Step one. Offer breakfast (which, to be honest, is very good as "fast food" goes at Chick-fil-A), but only serve it to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Step two. Have an employee literally run out at 10:30 am and flip the signs to lunch. Step three. Be so popular with your breakfast that you have a pile up of cars in the drive thru. Step four. When a car pulls up at 10:32 a.m, having literally been the "next car in line," tell the occupants - Sorry! It's lunch time now (10:30 in the morning for LUNCH?), and that it's too bad. They can't get breakfast. Step five. Let said occupants sit in car for about 5 to 7 minutes while they wait for the other folks ahead of them to get their food, and let them listen to the cars behind them bark into the drive thru - WHAT? NO BREAKFAST? You're kidding me. Step six. Let said occupants, drive hurridly through the drive thru (without getting any food), and be starving while they g…