To promote its new 21:9 aspect LED screens, LG Electronics first introduced a viral ad on the IPS ultra-wide monitor back in October 2012 with the “Meteor Prank” vid on YouTube, which has since generated more than 20 million views.

On Tuesday, LG did it again with its latest installment “So Viral It’s Scary,” a satirical ad which parodies the scare prank genre.  In a span of 24 hours, the video generated more than a million views on the popular video-sharing site.

Traditionally, tech giants protected their famous brands by taking a cerebral route when it came to advertising.  Think Microsoft and their approach to promoting Windows 8.

Perhaps the cerebral approach is a remnant of the geeky culture which made personal computers and the web a household staple.  But the conservative approach also began to bore today’s attention-challenged demographic.

Ultra-wide Screens

LG Electronics is starting a trend in the tech industry with its IPS 21:9 ultra-wide monitor, a wide LED display that lets users multi-task on a variety of applications and browsers.  LG’s “IPS 21:9 monitor, through a 4-screen split, lets users multi-task with various applications all up simultaneously on the same screen, such as documents, videos, multiple browsers, and other apps,” writes Angie Atkinson of  “It’s Mac compatible.”

You can work on a Word document on the left side of the screen and have an Excel spreadsheet on the right side of the screen.  Wide displays appear to be the future of computer monitors.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing — replete wiith the strangeness of cat videos and prank fiction — is an out-of-the-box strategy seemingly straight out of Sun Tzu’s playbook.

To capture mind share, LG began to break out of its cerebral mold last year.  In 2012, marketers began to incorporate aspects of viral videos (i.e., originality, oddities, shock value, unexpected themes, pranks, etc.) into the company’s ad campaigns.

What made videos such as “Meteor Prank” and “So Viral It’s Scary” interesting is that they hold a mirror to the audience, reflecting what Internet viewers found to be engaging (i.e., videos with viral qualities).  The unconventional method of attracting eyeballs is worthy of a class session at Harvard Business School.

In the Dec. 10 video, LG experimented again with the scare prank genre, using a scary-turned-humorous situation and incorporating certain viral features to promote its IPS ultra-wide monitor.  Afterall, if the previous installments worked to garner millions of views on YouTube, why not replicate the winning formula?

Is the content weird?  Yes.  Did it attract eyeballs?  Heck yes.

 YouTube Views

Solving the viral puzzle could prove to be the holy grail for advertisers in the age of mobile and social media.  Afterall, video-sharing sites such as YouTube – unlike television and radio – offer a low cost platform for building brand and product awareness.

Secondly, a global audience becomes a company’s army of marketers as they spread the buzz through Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites.

“In a world where over two days of video get uploaded every minute, only that which is truly unique and unexpected can stand out in the way that [viral videos] have,” Kevin Allocca, a trends manager at YouTube, told a TED audience in 2011.

Thus, LG is teaching the advertising industry a valuable lesson: Follow the eyeballs.

Source: Commons/Flickr
Source: Commons/Flickr

Dell Version

This past week, Dell also announced that it will introduce similar technology into the market a high-resolution monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio display towards the end of December. The display will be 34 inches in size and pack a resolution of 3440 x 1440.  Dell’s display will be named the U3415W and contain an IPS LCD panel manufactured by LG.