Online 'viral marketing' buzz creates party fever

Apurva Umashankar, a party-goer said: “I love partying. People take down your details everywhere you go, and when there’s a party, you hear about it online. News about a party like Mango Showers spreads like wildfire on Facebook.”

This phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by those who can profit from it.  According to Ravi Shrivas, co-founder of marketing firm Evening Flavours, sites like Facebook and Orkut are a publicist’s dream because of how easily interest in an event spreads.

He said, ‘viral marketing’ is the new way of doing things. You just need to invite the people in your friends’ list, and they’ll invite all of their friends. Your community expands from a few hundred to a few thousand in no time,” he said.

“Moreover, you’re not attracting randoms, but people who have sought out what you’re selling. It’s incredibly time and cost effective compared to traditional forms of marketing like radio and television.” And once it’s in motion, the craze reinforces itself. “There used to be lots of restrictions when it came to partying,” continued Shrivas.

“Now, because, more and more people are getting into it, the scene is getting bigger and more permissive every year.” The more relaxed culture in Bangalore also attracts foreigners, adding to Bangalore’s cosmopolitan culture, said Nirmala from the Solitaire Hotel. “We have many Westerners staying at the hotel, and Indians like western artistes as well, so we employ western DJs and performers,” Nirmala said.

The international clientele and local demand is reflected in the prices. The Solitaire, for instance, had charged between Rs 2,500 and 4,000 per couple for entry into their New Year’s party.

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