Andrew Stephen - Assistant Professor of MarketingI teach a course called ASMS: Advertising & Social Media Strategy. I’ve been teaching this now since early 2010 and have gone through the 10J, 10D, 11J, and now 11D promotions at INSEAD. A new “experiment” in the course for the current 11D group here in Fontainebleau has been to challenge them in their project teams to design, create, and distribute a “viral video” that is meant to help promote INSEAD around the theme of this blog — the “INSEAD MBA Experience.” I gave the students about 3-4 weeks to work on creating the content, and now they are all getting to the point where they are launching their content on YouTube. Then they have another 3-4 weeks to get their videos viewed as much as possible (and get comments and “likes”). Being MBAs, there’s of course a competitive element to this and on June 30 I will announce the winning team (or teams) who have achieved the most views, comments, and likes for their videos.

I think this is really cool. At INSEAD we have plenty of hands-on learning experiences for our MBAs, including a healthy number of courses with business simulations (e.g., my marketing colleagues use a simulation called MarkStrat in their course “Market Driving Strategies” to simulate marketing strategy decision making). In my social media course this video exercise is going beyond simulation and into real content creation and, importantly, dissemination. The students are developing viral marketing strategies that put the concepts from the course into practice in a real-time learning environment.

So, what kinds of videos have been created? You can take a look at the playlist of videos I’ve created on YouTube (and as new videos are launched I add them here): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=PLE371D8F243D603E2

We have all kinds of videos, from the more emotionally stirring depictions of what a day in the life of an INSEAD student looks like, to funny INSEAD takes on things like Old Spice Man and Trainspotting, to some truly unique stories about how the MBA experience at INSEAD changes peoples’ lives. You’ll have to take a look yourself.

How well are the videos doing? The view counts on YouTube keep on rising, that’s for sure! Right now it is early days — only 4 days since the first couple of videos were launched and more are still to come. So far the videos combined have about 15,000 views on YouTube, which is no small feat (INSEAD’s latest official MBA video, by comparison, has a couple of thousand views). Impressively, the views are coming in from all over the globe, which is expected given the students are so internationally diverse (true to the “Business School for the World”). Looks like the videos are generating lots of buzz and, because the students have been studying viral marketing and social media, they also know ways to keep the buzz alive and keep things going.

[Disclaimer: None of the videos are “official” INSEAD videos and were not produced by the school. Students submitted videos and their viral strategies for my review and approval prior to launching them and were asked to keep within appropriate content guidelines and to not reflect their school in a bad light.]

Let’s see what happens next! Please go to the YouTube playlist and watch some videos and then like them, comment on them, and share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else you share online content! I’ll blog again later on this month with an update on how the videos are going and, in early July I will announce the “best” videos as selected by viewers all over the world.