The hottest viral campaign: walking on water

The biggest human breakthrough this century and the hottest new sport in the country is a massive viral phenomenon. The video is hot and everyone is trying it at home, despite the advisory warnings. So what’s the catch to the advertising success of liquid mountaineering? It  isn’t a real past time at all. But it sure is brilliant marketing.

Well, according to its creators, a quirky group of sports shoe marketing creatives, liquid mountaineering, or literally walking on water, may not by possible by the law of physics, but  “you just have to believe.”

The marketing team for Hi-Tec, a shoe company specializing in outdoor footwear, believed that it was time to get creative with their marketing approach for creating awareness for the company’s waterproof sneakers. They wanted to entertain, but also get people to think about their brand differently.

“The idea was to take a traditional form of marketing and totally turn it around on its head, in the process capturing the fun spirited side of our brand,” said Simon Bonham, Hi-Tec Group head of marketing, in a press release.

The reaction to the viral has surpassed all expectations; with people all over the world debating whether this could indeed be possible or not and even trying to do their own Liquid Mountaineering. We’ve even seen a number of entertaining attempts appear on YouTube and other places on the Web.

That’s the kind of consumer interaction and response that every company dreams of. Hi-Tec took the path less traveled – the wetter path, I guess you could say. And boy did it pay off.

No standard micro site  campaign here. So, when thousands of companies are out there trying to skim water and get noticed in the deep sea of brands, what did Hi-Tec do that was so unprecedented and gained so much attention? They invented their own fake sport. Sure, it’s a fake, but they really made you want to believe in it.

They entertained you with something catchy, something that gets your attention and makes you want to share it with other people. Because they didn’t just speak to selling shoes, or even thier ridiculous, phony sport, for that matter. They spoke to the human spirit and faith in oneself. And that’s what a good marketing campaign is about. Not the product, not the brand, not even what it does or how it does it. But a good campaign captivates the core beliefs within the consumer. It’s just a shoe, yes, and one that can’t even really walk on water, although that would be quite the marketing hook. But the likeable characters in Hi-Tec’s viral video make you want to believe that anything, even walking on water, is possible.

When our creative director found the video online, he had to share it with us. We all crowded around one monitor and laughed as the full-hearted athletes, arms swinging and knees triumphantly hinged, ran in slow motion towards the mouth of a cold lake. It was something that we wanted to share with other people. And that’s the sign of a good viral campaign; that’s what it means to go viral.

We tell our clients everyday about the amazing potential of viral marketing. But nothing is as convincing as seeing the proof in the pudding.

Do you think your brand has the potential for a fabulous viral campaign like liquid mountaineering? Leave us your name and email and let’s start getting creative. Remember, “you just have to believe!”

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