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Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Newport’s own viral videos – marketing or not?

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In the past fortnight or so Newport has gained a place on many people’s maps, and not just in the UK, due to a video parodying a Jay Z/Alicia Keys song in the style of Newport’s own Goldie Lookin’ Chain.

There is some speculation whether this was a clever ploy as part of the marketing campaign for the Ryder Cup which is to be held at the Celtic Manor near Newport in October this year. If so, it is a great example of a viral marketing campaign; not many are this effective.

The first pastiche of the song ‘Empire State of Mind’, entitled ‘Newport (Ymerodraeth State Of Mind)‘ was directed by Morgan-Jane “MJ” Delaney, from London, and stars rapper Alex Warren and singer Terema Wainwright.

Delaney said: “We came up with the idea when we were singing along with Jay-Z and trying different words in place of New York – Newport was by far the funniest.

“My mother is Welsh so she put me in touch with my uncle’s, wife’s, sister, who lives in Newport, and she came up with some great ideas for the lyrics.”

Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s Rhys and his friend Jon Lawrance recorded their version in one day on Eggsy’s camera phone. Their ‘Newport State of Mind (You’re Not From Newport)‘ pokes fun at Delaney suggesting she might have never even been to the city. It also mentions some of Delaney’s lyrics which aren’t strictly true about Newport.

Rhys told BBC Wales: “Well it seemed to me like they were parodying the GLC,” he said. “We were writing songs about Newport 10 years ago. Of course it’s quite flattering to us and the people of Newport that people from Swindon or wherever are showing us affection.”

Viral marketing campaigns are a brilliant way to generate a huge amount of interest in a subject or product online, reaching a wide range of consumers perhaps without them even realising. But they are the hardest form of online marketing to get right. They can mean a large investment for your business or organisation, with statistically a very small chance of a return on investment.

So was ‘Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)’ an extremely intelligent shot at a marketing campaign, chosen also to provoke characters from Newport already well-known to the British public, who then go on to promote the city further? Or was it just a humorous parody on a city chosen at random which just happens to be hosting the Ryder Cup later this year? The speculation alone will promote Newport even further.

BBC Wales Music

*Edited 11th August.
The original Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind) has been taken down by YouTube due to a copyright claim by EMI music. They claim that the original Jay Z track was sampled to create Delaney’s video.
The GLC video remains live and in less than three days has had over 170,000 viewings.

The Wales Co-operative Centre could help your social enterprise – for more information visit Social Enterprise and Co-operative Support or help with digital technologies.


Written by C Kenzie

August 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

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