Viral Marketing at it's Best: The Orca Water Fight


A while back I attended the Genesis conference at the Baltic, a event created for students and staff of all five north was based Universities with an emphasis on encouraging entrepreneurial activity not only among student cohorts but also across the North East (which has one of the lowest rates of small business activity than anywhere else in the K! Which is crazy to me as I always notice many small businesses springing up in the city centre and The Inspire Network is so far spanning and active in this area).

I came across a stand run by Orca, a social media app that placed an emphasis on real-life social interaction as they were giving away free sweets (always a good call where there are hungry, broke students) and took a business card. As with all other business cards, it rotted at the bottom of my handbag for a few weeks and then eventually into my 'networking drawer of shame'. The drawer of shame holds all the paper promotional material that I never follow up on after business events. 

I forgot all about Orca, despite really liking the concept, until yesterday.

So why did I suddenly remember this business card, amongst the many many others I get hold of?

I saw a Facebook event. With 2,500+ people down as 'interested' in attending. 'GIANT WATER FIGHT' screamed the title. Well, that's awesome.

It was held by Orca. Now, will the event actually happen? Who knows; sometimes these things fizzle out by themselves and nothing comes of them, but what it has done is get the name Orca out there in the most viral way possible.

And why is this on message? You might ask. Why would a giant water-fight benefit an app? 

Here's my thinking: a 'real life' event to promote an app that encourages real life interaction couldn't get any more ON brand message. 

I also want to point out that Orca is capitalising on one of the biggest trend of the 2010s so far: reliving our childhoods. 

I'm not sure if it's just that since 2008, everything seems to have taken a turn for the worse (even though things are back on their way up now), but millennials of higher education age seem desperate to go back to the simpler things in life: silly addictive games (Candy Crush), ball pits and, apparently, water-fights (That's right, the ones where you squirt each other with ice cold water from plastic guns).

Whether this is just mindless escapism or an enduring lifestyle trend that goes hand in hand with longer, more gruelling working hours I don't know: but Orca is sure to make a lasting impression with this event and garner far more attention than they will if they stayed handing out business cards from a stall at a conference where everyone strides around looking officious and not at all like they want to 'Attend Danny's Beer-Pong Tournament' right after.

You can find out more about the Orca App here. This post was written of my own accord and was not sponsored or affiliated to Orca in any way.

  • Do you use any social apps?
  • What do you think of Orca's viral marketing efforts?
  • How would you incorporate the desire to regress back to a more fun, carefree childlike state into your marketing activities?

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