Guerrilla Viral Marketing Tactic of the Week – #SherlockLives

by Stratton Craig

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If you’d taken a walk past the Henry VIII entrance to St. Bart’s hospital on the morning of New Year’s Day, an unusual shape would have been in your path.
This sneakily arranged promotion for Series 3 of BBC show Sherlock was used to build excitement and conversations on social media during the day, before the long-awaited episode finally aired at 9pm. How? With easily shareable images, clever use of Tumblr (the hunting ground for many Sherlock fans) and the strategically placed #SherlockLives hashtag in the photo. Even the BBC’s official Twitter account adopted the hashtag as its name for the day.
It worked spectacularly. The original post on the BBC’s Tumblr account, which contained this photo and several others, has more than 43,000 notes at the time of writing. The short hashtag that appears here alongside the chalk outline has been used by avid Sherlockians on Twitter hundreds of thousands of times.
From headlines to articles and newsletters, copywriting is generally about full sentences completed with perfect grammar. When the length of the content is drastically cut down to just a few words, a copywriter’s ability to be succinct can make all the difference. There’s also a significant advantage to using a shorter hashtag as part of a campaign, as it means users have more precious characters left over to make their tweet personal.
Effective copywriting needn’t be an unsolvable mystery (groan) – contact us.

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