Viral Videos: Creating Videos People Love & Will Share

Flu season is upon us and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says the number of recorded cases this year has already reached epidemic proportions. The team at our Orlando advertising agency has received office-wide preventative vaccines so shoo flu, don’t bother us!

We hardly take the potential severity of Influenza lightly, but we can’t help but compare the virus’s widespread impact to another virus; a promotional technique for which there is no known prophylactic: viral video marketing. The term stems from the idea that if an ad reaches a “susceptible” user, that user becomes “infected” (i.e. accepts the idea), shares what they’ve seen with others, others do the same and so on and so forth.

Viral Videos—VV’s we’ll call them—are a relatively new phenomenon owing their exponentially increasing presence to YouTube’s 2005 launch. Not all VVs contain a marketing component, but for the purposes of this extremely well written and thought-out blog piece, we’re only interested in those that do.

One of the first VV campaigns was released even before it had broadly reaching social platforms like YouTube and Reddit at its disposal.  Recorded way back in 1995 A.D.—the same year O.J. was on trial and Alicia Silverstone played Cher in Clueless, the greatest cinematic masterpiece of the 20th century— Loronix Information Systems released an innovative ad promoting surveillance computers. THIS CLIP features a distraught, overweight cubicle worker with a case of misplaced rage.

The clip played on one of the most important aspects of VV marketing. Just like the first rule of Fight Club, “You do not talk about Fight Club,” the first rule of VV marketing is making sure not to make transparent an intention to sell a product or service. For a video to even be considered “viral,” the litmus test is 100,000 views within a 24-hour span—anything less than that, and it falls into the much lesser “cough due to cold” category.  In order to reach such lofty numbers without seeking “seeding help” from companies like Pimp My Views or View Tornado, a VV must first and foremost entertain.

A recent Forbes article calls this approach “Candy with the Medicine,” a philosophy that recognizes a message is best received within entertainment. So, focusing first on the entertainment value (the candy) and then following with the message (the medicine) is the only way to ensure maximum results. From an application standpoint, which would you rather watch? THIS or THIS?

The first is part of a series of Old Spice commercials developed by Oregon ad agency, Wieden and Kennedy. Titled “Believe in your Smelf” it’s a follow-up to “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” which received 40 million YouTube views in 12 months, leading to a Twitter following increase of 2700%, a Facebook interaction increase of 800% and an overall sales of Old Spice body wash 107% increase. The second clip is a more traditional, jingle reliant commercial.  It also happens to be one of the most obnoxious, ear gratingly, jaw grindingly, amateur spectacles ever to come out of New York.  It shoves the “message” down the consumer’s throat while casting the “entertainment” portion of the model to the wayside. In summation, the first example makes viewers laugh; the second doubtless forces them question the future prospects of the human race.

Viral Videos: providing hope for humanity.

Interested in ways to create viral video content that has the potential to spread your brand message to the masses? Contact our team of video production experts today!

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