What makes a video viral and another not? It all does seem random doesn’t it? This post will talk about the aspects of virality and the potential repercussions of a viral marketing video.
According to Kevin Allocca, there are three ingredients for virality namely tastemakers, communities of participation and unexpectedness.
It shows that the double rainbow video did not go viral until Jimmy Kimmel, a ‘tastemaker’ tweeted about it and shared it to all his followers who in turn shared them to their peers. This chain effect resulted in the video gaining millions of views in a few days.
2. Communities of participation
I am sure that virtually everyone knows this song. After the “Friday” music video was shared by tastemakers such as Michael J. Nelson and Tosh.0, the video took off, garnering 1.2 million views in 2 days. Numerous parodies of Friday started to be created by people and within days there was a parody for every other day of the week. This promoted the original video’s shareability with other people, increasing the hits it received.
This video has, to the date of this post, 22 million hits on YouTube. By using an unique and unexpected way of protest, Casey Neistat managed to make his video viral. According to smarp, one of the main reasons people want to share content is to bring enlightening and entertaining content to others.
Is there such a thing as “too viral” though? Some may argue that a marketing video that becomes shared too much might lose the video’s original intended meaning. In this information age where everyone has an opinion about something, marketing videos that are too viral might backfire and cause public relations issues and what not.
An example would be Hyundai’s advertisement depicting their cars having fewer emissions compared to other cars. Hyundai used suicide as the subject of the advertisement in the hopes of making it unique and unexpected. Suicide, however, is a sensitive subject and should not be used in marketing videos. This advertisement was pulled shortly after it was released but imagine the amount of backlash Hyundai would receive if it became viral.
In summary, virality is important to companies. Companies want to be seen and heard among the clutter and may try many different ways to achieve this. In doing so, however, companies should be mindful about the content they put out. In this information age, everyone can see their marketing videos. All it takes is one badly interpreted advertisement to spark the start of a public relations nightmare.