True viral marketing just happens on its own and takes off from there, but big companies, automakers in particular, will pay agencies millions of dollars for an ad campaign that looks and feels viral, however is anything but. Take Nissan's new "viral" campaign for the GT-R that's scheduled to be unveiled soon at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. The campaign, called The Black Mask Project, is an obvious riff on the black covering that has masked the GT-R's nose in so many spy shots as of late. Of course, there's a website that is equal parts over-produced and confusing. It basically hosts video snippets of "masked" GT-Rs being hauled down busy streets behind large trucks and accompanied by an army of Black Mask agents on foot wearing dark suits and, well, black masks.

Here's an idea that would save Nissan untold millions in marketing money and produce the same effect. Go to GoDaddy.com and buy the domain name "nissangtrvideos.com" (it's available, we checked), then pay a 17-year-old kid who has never heard the term "flash animation" about $500 (or a Playstation 3) to design a website that displays YouTube videos of the Nissan GT-R driving around the Nurburgring with that silly mask on. Seriously, it's traffic gold. Trust us.

One last thing, Nissan. If you think it's necessary to include a disclaimer that says "BLACK-MASK has no relationship whatsoever with terrorism, violence, unlawful activities or religious affiliations," then perhaps you should rethink your viral strategy.

Thanks to all who sent tips.

[Source: black-mask.org]

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