2015’s Best Viral Marketing Campaigns in German Media

In German Buch News by Ingrid Süßmann

Winners and hosts of Virenschleuderpreis 2015 at Frankfurt Book Fair. (Photo © Peter Hirth / Frankfurter Buchmesse)

Winners and hosts of Virenschleuderpreis 2015 at Frankfurt Book Fair. (Photo © Peter Hirth / Frankfurter Buchmesse)

For the fifth year in a row during the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Virenschleuderpreis, organized by Leander Wattig in cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair, has been awarded to five outstanding viral marketing campaigns within the book and media industry.

By Ingrid Süßmann

To stand out and engage the right target audience, today’s marketing campaigns need to offer more than static advertising; they need to have a truly social component. But then again, what does it take for a campaign to go viral? Sometimes a video lies in a deep slumber for quite a while, and then suddenly goes through the roof in terms of views; other campaigns go viral spot right away. Why? The honest answer: most of the time, we don’t know. And that’s where the Virenschleuderpreis comes in: its aim is to offer a public platform to showcase viral marketing campaigns in book publishing and other media; for every idea to be tried, tested and learned from. Leander Wattig, founder of the Virenschleuderpreis, said: “We’re compiling and publicizing all nominations on our homepage so that ideas can be discussed and people may learn from each other.”

Nominations are not only open to the book industry, but also to campaigns from other creative artists and the media industry in general. Categories are a) best campaign, b) best strategy, c) best idea, d) team of the year and e) personality of the year. The jury is as diverse as possible and includes, among others: Juliane Leopold (chief editor at BuzzFeed Germany), Karla Paul (Edel eBooks, Blogger), Poppy J. Anderson (bestselling self-published author) and Sascha Lobo (founder of Sobooks).

The winners of the Virenschleuderpreis 2015 are:

Best Campaign: “Tweetwalk” by the Bavarian Palace Department

To promote its new app “Take a stroll through the Park of Nymphenburg Castle,” the Bavarian Palace Department invited a group of bloggers, Instagrammers and Twitterers to take a tour through the Park of Nymphenburg Palace with the participants live-tweeting and Instagramming their impressions under the hashtag #Lustwandeln.

The jury says: “The right measure for the right medium — the Bavarian Palace Department knows how to use the possibilities of the different social networks for their content.”

Best Strategy: NeinQuarterly

Does being a social media manager mean always posting happy content, pictures of food and cats? Erin Jarosinski, the man behind the popular NeinQuarterly Twitter account, says no to that. He’s honest to the point of being mean, but his huge online following and growing influence proves him right.

The jury says: “NeinQuarterly is an icon!”

Best Idea: Herzenstage, a Virtual Romance Festival

Carlsen, Piper and Ullstein hosted a virtual romance festival (read more here in our Publishing Perspectives article on this topic) across social media to connect with young adult readers and romance fans.

The jury says: “The virtual literature festival proved not only that working together across several publishing houses can be a big success, but also that the authors had a lot of heart. And: 1,000 tweets can’t be wrong!”

Team of the Year: Digital Media Women

Digital Media Women is a networking platform for women working in social media, web and graphic design, online journalism, programming, etc. The focus of the platform is to point out what it’s like for a woman to work in a male-dominated world and to make a mark in that field of work.

The jury says: “In a short time, the Digital Media Women already achieved a lot. Although it’s a shame that a platform like this is needed, it’s even more important for them to keep doing such a great job.”

Personality of the Year: Johannes Korten and #einBuchfürKai

Johannes lives by the motto “The web is a good place – if we turn it into one.” His hashtag initiative #einbuchfürkai helped author Kai-Eric Fitzner and his family, who were in dire financial distress after Fitzner suffered from a severe stroke. Almost overnight, Fitzner’s self-published book became a bestselling title on Amazon. Many people followed Kai’s story online and become avid fans of his novel.

The jury says: “Johannes Korten has showed us what powers a kind gesture like this can unleash in the internet.”

More information on all winners can be found here (in German):

About the Author

Ingrid Süßmann

Ingrid Süßmann is an IT Project Manager at Droemer Knaur in Munich, Germany. She previously worked as Author Relations Manager for neobooks, and has held various positions at Random House Germany and Carlsen Verlag. In addition to her work in book publishing, Ingrid is also a certified beekeeper and fan of baby donkeys.