Posts Tagged ‘viral marketing’

Love Heals, Part 2

Quoth I, “The only thing that boggles my mind is this: Why does the web site employ a trademark symbol? LOVE™? Does this site have an additional, acronymical meaning for the word? Will we find out more when the marketing campaign enters its next phase? Will there be a next phase?”

The answer? Yes, there is a phase two, as the campaign’s PR manager let me know quite promptly by email. (Thank you for that!) Phase One, the unbranded phrase, ran from April 16 through April 20. The branded phase was rolled out on April 20. I’m only getting around to posting about it now, because I am a slug. Maybe this is old news to you, I don’t know. On the off-chance it isn’t, this:

The website has sprouted identifying features! There’s a logo and a blurb on the front page now. The logo belongs to Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, and the blurb runs thusly:

Love. It makes hearts grow fonder, blood move faster, and creates that never-want-to-live-without-it feeling for everyone it encounters. Surprisingly, love also has an unmistakable therapeutic power. It has been scientifically proven to aid healing and help improve the lives of people, animals, and plants alike. And with the help of our experienced doctors and caring staff, it’s now making its way into the hearts of every patient at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.

And there’s swag! As I drove down Foothills today, I was passed by a pick-up truck with the LOVE™ HEALS logo on the back. Street teams have been passing out magnets like that one and T-shirts too.

The cynically minded will want to know, “So what are they selling?” And they will look all over the site for a swag shop or similar. In vain! for there is none. All they are “selling” is the message. As Beth Hardy of Weise Communiciations told me in her kind email (which I pray she will forgive my quoting),

Because cancer touches nearly everyone in some form or fashion, RMCC developed this campaign to try and reach out to as many people as possible and help spread the message that compassion, kindness, friendship and love can truly help an individual’s quality of survival.

As they say on LiveJournal and on many blog comment communities, “Quoted for truth.” ‘Cause it is. True, I mean. I should know, being a cancer survivor myself. Clearly, chemotherapy had a lot to do with my survival, but it’s no insult to the skilled oncologists, the caring RNs, and veritable army of blood donors to say that love – expressed via hugs, kisses, hospital visits, prayers, and huge tangles of Mardi Gras beads tossed off the floats of the Krewe of Thoth – was also indispensable.

So, good on RMCC. It’s a message worth spreading, and I’m pleased to know whom to thank for it.

(Also, the trademark thing? Where it looks like someone’s trying to trademark the word LOVE? Holds true on the RMCC logo as well: “ROCKY MOUNTAIN™ CANCER CENTERS”. Apparently, when you’re trademarking a logo, it just looks better to put the TM at the end of the top line where the words are bigger. And I’m just an overly literal-minded English major doing that literal-minded English major thing that I do when I go, “Huh? You’re trademarking the Rocky Mountains? All of them?” So you can just ignore me there.)

So I Hear That Love Heals…

So I haven’t much to say about the current Blizzard Blown Out Of Siberia that the Front Range is currently suffering from, nor about the torrential downpours I hear that Boulder is getting. I’m not actually there at the moment. I boarded a train Monday night for New Orleans via Chicago. At the present moment I’m eating chipotle rubbed ribs at Tomatillo’s on Frenchmen at Esplanade, listening to the feisty crooning of Ingrid Lucia across the street on the Southern Comfort stage by the U.S. Mint.

But y’all are all in my thoughts. Hang in there. Especially y’all working at the Boulder Public Library.

Before I left, I took a picture. Chekkit out.



This is from the sidewalk in the Whole Foods parking lot on Pearl Street across from Target. I’d also seen some on signs pegged into shopfront lawns downtown, which included along with this angular valentine-heart logo a URL:

My first thought: “Ah, what a pleasant meme to spread around.” My second: “I really hope it doesn’t turn out to be a come-on for religious proselytizing.”

See, it hadn’t been that long since a co-worker had handed me a “Get out of hell free” card at Christmas. Er, Christmas before last. And the one before that. And the one before… yeah. It wasn’t the jokey sort of card that Pagans like me sometimes flash at obnoxious street preachers. It appeared genuinely unironic, totally for reals, yo. It urged the reader to Learn The Truth Before It’s Too Late, and suggested a URL which, I admit, I never bothered to visit.

Anyway, I was hoping that the URL attached to the LOVE HEALS signs wasn’t going to reveal a similar intent.

And it didn’t. Hooray! Not all positive messages are attached to demands that you change your faith or pay money or whatever. This one meant exactly what it said… love heals.

Literally. Physically.

At the site, you find a Flash animation that resembles a web search form. Pre-entered search keywords cycle through: Friendship. Pets. Life. Romance. Touch. Clicking the arrow button brings you to a page with small red squares constellating around and between these keywords. Hovering over each brings up a quick summary, and clicking brings up the whole story. Each data point supports the site’s central thesis, that feeling cared for and expressing care for others has positive effects on the physical being. In other words, love heals.

As viral marketing campaigns go, this one seems benign, even beneficial. Surely people who believe in the healing power of love will act in ways that form healthy communities. The only thing that boggles my mind is this: Why does the web site employ a trademark symbol? LOVE™? Does this site have an additional, acronymical meaning for the word? Will we find out more when the marketing campaign enters its next phase? Will there be a next phase?

For possible answers to all these questions and more, keep watching the sidewalks around town. I suppose. Once the rain washes all that snow away, of course.

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