"We want to seed virals on your [insert name here] site!"

It seems that no matter how much we point at the send in your reels and the other submit your work pages, few if any read it before contacting us. No worries, we're used to getting all the things we ask you not to send, like wmv files, or the press release text attached in a word document, or your beautiful commercial served up as a youtube link, and we tirelessly ask you kindly to re-submit if we're interested in what you send.

Now, we could mock silly emails we receive and post those sadly uninformed cease and desist orders here on the front page all day long if we didn't have better manners than some other blogs out there - but today I'm afraid, we've met the drop that the cup runneth over by. Don't worry, I won't make it a habit as then we wouldn't have time to post anything else.

Read on to see how not to chat up this particular website to be your "viral seeding" whore. Free advice: for starters, dear Dialog Solutions GmbH, you might want to come off a little less like spam by actually personalizing the personal email.

When I read this email I started laughing out loud half way through it. Where do I begin? At the beginning, of course.

Dear webmaster,
I know that some people have a problem typing out "Dabitch" but it is a frickin' name so if you really want to address me, try to bite the bullet, or come up with better alternatives than the anonymous "webmaster" (emailed to the hostmaster this makes little sense). You could try my first name, "Dear Madam" or anything that shows you actually read the site and know who you are talking to.
I found misc. funny stuff on your webpage. It seems to be a great collection of viral videos and therefore we are interested in a cooperation with your portal.
Misc funny stuff? Could you give me an example? And portal isn't really the word I'd choose to describe Adland the commercial archive, but whatever rocks your boat man. Portals link out. Adland collects on one site. Big difference in the end.
I am Key Account Manager of the Dialog Solutions GmbH from Hamburg / Germany, an agency specialized on Viral Marketing. Take this contact as a result of demands of our customers for international "seedings".
The main idea of Viral Marketing, you may already know, is the circulation of funny, provocative or extreme clips in an unsolicited way during friends or colleagues. The Dialog Solutions is developing, producing and divulging this kind of clips for well-known customers like AOL, Citroen, Nokia, Mazda, 20th Century Fox etc. Examples of clips we escorted online you find will here: https://dialog-solutions.de/viral-clips.php

Well hello there martin from Dialog Solutions GmbH, pleased to meetcha, how is the weather back there in 2003? Over here in 2006 we're in the middle of a heatwave of user generated content and social network revolution. True. Ever hear of Myspace, Youtube and all other sorts of networking sites and seen what people are doing there? Viral Marketing is no longer just about the circulation of "funny" provocative or extreme clips with nude dogs in an unsolicited way via friends, popular blog-type sites or colleagues. Do a blog search for Snakes on Plane and then take some notes.

And wtf does "Take this contact as a result of demands of our customers for international 'seedings'" mean, and why should I give a shit what your customers want from you? Really now.

An important component of our work is the strategically placing of these viral volumes on Funny Websites, Blogs, Communities and so on, what we call "seeding". We want to ask you in this matter, if you are interested in placing these mostly exclusive clips on your own website.

Martin, sweetie dahrlin'... If a clip is viral can you tell me how it is exclusive? Can you tell me what is strategic about a canned email starting with "Dear Webmaster"? And what, pray tell, made you think that I need education on what a viral is? I've been running this website for ten years and revealed senders behind "cloaked" virals back in 2000. Stick around I might be able to teach you a thing or two, all you need to do is pay attention. And stop chewing gum in class please.

If we sparked your interest the procedure will be as following: in relatively steady time lags (depending on clients for international campaigns) we will send you the necessary dates for such a viral seeding (normally a Windows Media Player file with the size of 1,5 " 3,0 MB and a representative screenshot in form of a .jpg) with the request to place it on your site.

Hey, here's an idea, maybe you should ask me what format my site prefers, hmm? Since you clearly haven't read the send in your reels page. Honestly, is Windows Media Format the best one to use when tracking given that Active Scripting is set to Off as default in Security in Windows Media Player these days?

We prefer a special accentuation of the clips on your site like "Clip of the week" or something like that. An example for this kind of accentuation you will find on a site of one of our German cooperation partners: https://www.bendecho.de

Wait a second, you're dictating what I should highlight on this website and how now? "Clip of the week?" I might be a cheap date but I'm a very expensive pet - and I still don't know how these films are "exclusive" if you already have "relationsips in place" and so on. Will I be the only one to get them? That's pretty shitty seeding. Or perhaps we'll be the first to get them?

What are your advantages?
1. Exclusive, funny clips nobody has seen before will appreciate your side that it is more interesting and thrilling for others.
2. You can earn money with it. The payment is overriding based upon the quantity of downloads and starts from 50 EUR till 750 EUR / each campaign. But it is definitely not the same like widespreaded affiliate programs! The fees are lump sums! For more details of the payment procedure you can also contact me.

Oh come now, get real. Sites like Kontraband are charging 5K UKP and you think you can get away with 50 Euro?

Also "appreciate your side"? What side? Your spellchecker sucks. This is my helpful side.

By the way, each of our clips will get its own ID, so we can make differences between the several platforms. We measure the success and the circulation of the current campaign by on our own developed "Online Viral Tracking"(OVT).

Big woop, there a loads of companies that can do sprite based tracking like for example the Viral Tracker, the Viral Chart, GoViral in Denmark etcetera and so on - they all use technology based on a technique originally developed by DMC. That don't impress me much.

Last but not least two points which are important for us:
1. The clips must be ready for download not only stream.
2. There are no nudes or dialing programs on your website.

Oh dear! But we have nudes! Nudes that scare prudes like Paypal away! Nudes that sell perfumes named after drugs and male body fluids. True - nude #1 nude #2. I guess you made a mistake in contacting us then. Meh.

If you have further questions do not hesitate to contact me.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Best regards from Hamburg,
Martin Zorawski

Well Martin, I was going to ask where you left your brain this morning but I think I might be wasting my time. Have fun in viral-land, send us a postcard from time to time willya? Cheerio.

Åsk Dabitch.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
Files must be less than 1 MB.
Allowed file types: jpg jpeg gif png wav avi mpeg mpg mov rm flv wmv 3gp mp4 m4v.
viralmeister's picture

BTW - the http://www.bendecho.de site the guy mentions has that ad on the home page from about 2000 years ago where the women rolls a cigar between her breasts. So it's OK to roll cigars with your tits but no nudes thank you very much?

AnonymousCoward's picture

Oh my God. That puts Smack in the Down.

Neo's picture
James Trickery's picture

Visa commercial? Priceless indeed.

Dabitch's picture

I'm sure that Martin is loads of fun, but that old "intern" story is gathering moss as well.
what to do in case of blowback- step #1
Blame it on intern [check], who wasn't supposed to email anyone yet [check]. ps - booze is not the top bribe for nursing mothers, ds.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Dear Dabitch,

This is Markus from Dialog Solutions.
I thought you and your readers might want to know the background story on poor Martin Z.

Since you so eloquently and entertainingly dissected his Email, let me explain what happened. Martin is actually an intern, and he and his colleagues were told to catalogue sites, blogs and expert forums that looked interesting for further development and later contact.

He was not supposed to contact anyone yet.

However, being young and somewhat inexperienced in this shark-filled pond, he thought it best to go one step further and "score a top blog". So he did contact you, despite the briefing saying otherwise. Little did he know that a cheap bottle of booze might have worked better than his poor English skills and his faulty belief in the Google translator :). Many Germans tend to think English is an easy language to master, but as we have seen, it is not.

Thus, between the faulty English and his limited understanding of how our business actually works, Martin's Email was entirely f**ked. It deserved to be mocked. Some of the things he got wrong are:

- We actually don't do anything "unsolicited"
- We never ask potential partners to place our virals in any way they are uncomfortable with
- ... and many more, that I can detail if you are interested.

Martin Z. has learned his lesson - and then some. It could be one of those "Priceless" Visa commercials.

Thank you for this valuable lesson. I'm sure interns across the globe are wiping their overworked and underpaid brows, thankful they were not the recipient of such loving attention.

- Markus at DSG

PS.: We'll keep Martin Z. with our company, because we like him. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes, but only some of us get roasted for it in the Blogosphere.

caffeinegoddess's picture

W-T-F man. Shame you can't get a list of their clients and send this to them. I'd love to see/hear their reactions. ;)

viralmeister's picture

... as if GOing VIRAL is the only measurement of success of viral MARKETING!!!

Dabitch's picture

hehe, yeah, really. :)

kurtberengeiger's picture

As if seeding is all it takes to make a web-film "go" viral... :/

HaHaSoup's picture

I loved "the circulation of clips during friends and colleagues". A typical example of the beautiful language known as Gerglish :)


AnonymousCoward's picture

I appreciate his effort writing in english. At least he got the language right. Never mind the quality. It only shows that one should never ever forget that one is usually talking to individuals. And those do not like to be treated like machines.

I laughed so hard. Thanks for that.

Holger Wilcks's picture

Darn! There goes my Swedish Telephone Team viral ... oh well, back to Ye Olde Drawing Board.

mackan's picture

Haha you just made my day. Sorry, you and Martin Zorawski ;)

viralmeister's picture

Well, I think your point about not having checked out the sites they want to seed with is the real issue. They can spend their commercial seeding budget with who they want, but they haven't bothered to do any real research about the sites they are planning to seed with or make a relationship with the site owners. This confirms my suspicion that the vast majority of companies in the viral space are utterly clueless when it comes to seeding and that's because they have failed to realise that seeding is more akin to PR than media buying.

Dabitch's picture

yeah I didn't get that "no nudes" thing either - where will they post their stuff then when a) most virals contain cheap nude shots and b) most seeding sites either contain nudes and those tremendously annoying "date me! I'm in [insert your location here]" banners where the girls are mostly naked anyway - or straight up porn banners. Good luck in finding sites without nudity I say - I swear every time I surf around I feel like I'm the only straight female on the internet. Gag.

And "dialling plans" wtf? I mean, fine, you don't want to advertise where the content or other advertisments bugs you. I get that. What I don't get is the commanding 'tude of telling people what they can't be doing rather than checking the site out to see if they have those ads on there first. Do'h! Its like asking to buy air space on NBC and telling them in the same breath that they can't run those HeadOn adverts. WTF? Who died and made you God of the ad dollar? If a site accepts payment for ad placements in form of banners etc, who are you to say whom they may accept said payment from?

viralmeister's picture

HaHaHa ... did they pick the wrong person to SPAM

Bring back Asa Bailey ... all is forgiven and this lot make him look like he knows what he's doing ;-)

adlib's picture


Zingara's picture

"...we are interested in a cooperation with your portal."
Does anyone else think this just sounds like a terrible chat-up line?

Allan1's picture

Oh baby, we're interested in a cooperation with your portal! Oh, Yes!

uh... No Nudes Please - but open that portal!


Dabitch's picture

Tssk! Guys.. Really. (oh, right, it's FRIDAY!)

Dabitch's picture

They did this a lot, it seems. Blogoscope has this post: Spamming Bloggers...

“Dialog Solutions GmbH”, a company from Hamburg, Germany, is spamming “150 bloggers” asking to please “write an article about ”. This quote from the long mail is hilarious (I had to get a confirmation from @dialog-solutions.de that it’s indeed them, which was almost hard to believe):
"One more thing : We’d like you to post your article in the first or second week of June.
Reason: We want to create a “Blogstorm” within a short amount of time."
AnonymousCoward's picture

This is whiny.