A New Zealand Blog

Feature Advertising: Scary Washing Machine

Feature Advertising: Scary Washing Machine

Jun 11, 2009

If you were interested in learning about viral marketing, you could not find a better example than this.

This guy could easily have joined the masses and tried to sell his crappy old washing machine on NZ auction site, Trademe (similar to e-bay but New Zealand based) and could probably have got a nice crisp $20 for it.

Instead, he decides to be honest and actually advertise the fact that it is incredibly noisey and joke about it opening portals to alternative dimensions. For a laugh, he also draws a picture of a dinosaur and adds it to the photo section and suggests that dinosaurs came through the portal that was opened by the washing machine.

The original advert for a "Scary Washing Machine"

The original advert for a "Scary Washing Machine"

By the looks of it, he then added it to his Facebook profile. Cue a few more Facebook comments and references and within one day, the advert has had 6,000 views. Next follows a few comments on Twitter with links to the advert. Four hours later and the advert has ad 15,000 views.

I got home that night and was just about to tell my wife about it when she says “Hey come and look at this washing machine that my friend sent me a link to in an e-mail!” I go to look and the advert is now at 56,000 views. This morning I get to work and bring up the advert to show my boss – 183,000 views! Plus the poor guy now has 314 unanswered questions plus mentions that he and the advert will be appearing on a national news talk show tomorrow night.

And what does he do with this new fame? He uses it to start up five more auctions to auction off his drawings to charity to support child in need. Currently they total around $1,000 but I’m sure this will grow by the auction’s end.

Auctions for Charity

Auctions for Charity

Trademe account user mikew4 – good on ya.

Oh and incidentally, I managed to get in there with a question back in the early hours when he was still answering questions. My own small piece of the action:

trademe - scary washing machine - questions

15/3/9 UPDATE: With three days to go, this auction is now at 500,000 views and a bidding price of $2,600.