Five components of viral

There are certain things that I just won’t talk about on this platform but that I’ll happily talk about offline. Things like this and people like this have enough oxygen without me adding more fuel to the fire.

But something that is interesting from the Agency.com shit storm was the question “what is viral”? In my view, a successful viral has to:

  • Be unexpected
  • Be funny, or at least entertaining
  • Be easy to find and move on
  • Provide value to the person forwarding it
  • Have a victim

Clearly the infamous video was unexpectedly bad and as a result it was funny. It was on YouTube so it was easy for people to find and recommend and anyone who did forward or recommend was provided value as it gave them the chance to sound off against it and to be funny themselves. Zinger.

And it clearly had a victim, which was the main reason it was a viral “success”. The internet is a cruel place and the really videos that really went viral were the ones by people that we could really feel superior to.

Which is also why corporations find it hard to create a truly viral execution – because all creative has to go through approval from marketing and the corporate lawyers and is subsequently diluted. The real successes all have an edge to them…like the one below.

I hadn’t seen many real virals in the last few months but now they’re all over the shop!

Here’s my favourite viral of all time, from Reebok, and links to some other ones that are doing the rounds.

If you’re using an RSS reader to view this, I’ve embedded a YouTube video in hte blog posting.

As always, if you can add to the list, put your suggestions in the comments.

Do you represent a laptop manufacturer or retailer? Do you want your logo here? If you do, please email me!

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