We enjoyed a campaign this week that took its ambition to go viral quite literally. It’s as if the creators looked up a dictionary definition of viral that read ‘to spread by infection’, and then just got on with the task…

The Kaizer’s Orchestra are one of Norway’s biggest bands, and they’re well aware of the challenges artists face with the profligate consumption of illegal music online. So they set about launching their album with a bit of a twist. They created an app that would allow them to drip feed their songs in a more controlled way.

The first fans were ‘infected’ by request. They could tag an Instagram image with a location, which the band would then ‘infect’. A map in the app revealed infected areas nearby. The ‘infection’ spread when a fan passed close by another with an infection – much like a real virus. Once a critical mass of infection was reached, a track from the band’s album was released for purchase on iTunes and Spotify simultaneously. And as a further incentive and reward to fans, some users of the app were able to locate tickets for a secret show.

It was a massive success. The app was in the ‘most downloaded’ charts on both iTunes and Google Play, and helped the album go to Number 1 within a week – and the infections found their way to 50 countries. Pandemic.


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