Attention Brands: Stop Censoring Yourselves from Opportunity

By Keith Murray

Chatroulette: Have you heard of it? Here's a refresher: Chatroulette is as an online chat website that pairs strangers from around the world for conversations. Visitors to the website begin an online chat (text, audio, and video) with another visitor who is chosen at random (you can skip any visitor that you don’t want to interact with). You would think that it’s sort of like a virtual pen pal...until people begin using it to show off and display themselves in inappropriate ways.

Why wouldn't a brand try and leverage this to their advantage? Well, the list goes like this: Off brand, too racy, high risk, etc.There are a few examples that brands can learn a thing or two from even from a site that, at times, warrants censorship. It's time for your brand to think outside the box--or better yet, to think outside of your comfort zone.

Call Me Maybe Chatroulette version:

This video went viral for jumping on the "Call Me Maybe" craze that swept the nation.  "Call Me Maybe" is certified Platinum by the RIAA and as of May 2013, it has sold 7 million copies in the U.S.  It's no suprise that this Chatroulette video garnered 5 million views (if you read the description, the original video had 32 million). Take advantage of real time trends, especially if they align with your brand.

Piano Concert Chatroulette version:

This video has over 6 million views and went viral because the video used Chatroulette to hold a private concert for strangers. The catch here was that the pianist interacted with concertgoers and leveraged what they were doing into his songs. This provided real-time content for the users and gave them the incentive to stick around.

Yes, this site is a risk. Brands don’t want to come across someone or something that normally would be censored in marketing efforts. But remember: Opportunity exists in the unknown and should be leveraged.

What brands do you know that continue to censor themselves from opportunity? Is Chatroulette too risky for a brand to leverage? Comment below with your thoughts!