Just found a good article on Newsweek via Adland, talking about viral marketing and the continuing rise of online advertising formats vs other media.

Firstly, it lists some results about something I blogged about before. The trailer crashers website is a huge success. over 200,000 trailers have been created, and while the official trailer was only watched 1 million times, the crashed trailers were watched 3.3m times – because people sent them on to their friends.

So the conclusion for a successful ad format is most likely: A little bit of DIY and the possibility to spread it amongst friends.

But they also say, that online sweepstakes are a growing success:

With online advertising so ubiquitous, it takes more than a clever idea to get consumers‘ attention. Increasingly, they want to get something in return for their time. Hence, the boom in online and mobile media contests and sweepstakes which are incorporated into various ad categories from streaming video to Web site banners. It’s hard to find a product that doesn’t offer a chance to win something on the Web—a car, a trip to the Superbowl or an electronic gadget. […] „In advertising now there has to be a value exchange—if you want the consumer to sit through a product demo or take a test drive, there has to be something in it for them.“

As users tend to spend up to 5 minutes in front of an online promotion, often even returning several times to that site, the budget allocation will most likely shift, according to this article. Some 40bln will be shifted from TV to new media formats:

„A 30-second (TV) spot used to be enough to sell your product,“ explains Linkner. „Now, your 30-second spot drives a five-minute Web experience.“

Now, in Germany, we’re not quite there yet. But there are examples coming along. As a very much Internet minded brand, Mini is now asking users to send in their own video clips in order to win a Mini. Sortof like Converse and Coors did (see here).
DIY clips (plus telling your friends about it). Should be a success, at least I hope so. Because then more companies might try that in Germany.