Open your mouth
What kind of advertising often works best?
Of course, the answer is word-of-mouth. We only use "mouth-to-mouth" to talk about saving somebody's life — through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. We don't normally use word-of-mouth in connection with saving lives.
"Ministry of Food" campaign will actually save some lives. When Jamie heard about the dire health problems of Rotherham, a city in the north of England where over 60 per cent of the population are overweight and one in six children are obese, he decided to start a cooking project. His "Ministry of Food" plan is to teach a small group of the town’s residents to cook a simple meal and for them to pass this skill on to their friends and then their friends pass it on… and so on, until, he argues, some time in the future the entire town will know how to cook. It's word-of-mouth cooking — an excellent new collocation!
The TV series of four programmes that documents his attempts to teach people to cook has just finished in the UK. One episode focused on an unemployed young mother who spends £70 of her £80 income from benefits on feeding her family with takeaways every night of the week because she can't cook. There is of course a website to accompany the programme that allows you to send recipes and video links to friends. Jamie's not just using word-of-mouth advertising to pass on his message, Jamie's hoping to go viral.
He's combining good old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising with modern technology and viral tools. What a great way to put viral advertising to good use — to fight viral infections! Eat the right food — and your immune system will fight the infections. That can't be a bad thing.
Cynics may think that Jamie Oliver is only really interested in this project for the money. After all, the more people know about the project, the more they will hear about his new book. What book? Did I forget to tell you about the book? Along with the TV programme, the website and the videos, Jamie's got a new recipe book, too.
After watching this video, I have to admit that they could be right. He really is going for the hard sell. However, this video isn't enough to go viral, in my opinion. He'll have to come up with something a little more entertaining, funnier, crazier or more controversial for that to happen, don't you think? Would you pass it on?
Wise Words: go viral
When something goes viral, it spreads very quickly. We use the expression to talk about videos that people send via e-mail to their friends, post on social networking sites, such as Facebook, or that are most popular on YouTube.