Going viral doesn’t happen just because. There isn’t a marketing genie that pops out of a bottle and makes a wish. Marketing campaigns go viral because they have one or more of the following elements:
Emotion drives most behavior. The stronger the feeling, the more likely a person will respond with action, like sharing a video the evoked such emotion that they want to share with others. “The world needs to stop being boring” and “It’s like that dude from Journey said, don’t stop believing” came from the Kid President during his Pep Talk video. The Kid President is an adorable kid who wants other kids to have a voice. He believes that kids and grown ups should work together to go about changing the world. The videos evoke emotion, whether it’s laughter or tears and make people want to be better (1).
There are some things that can just strike a nerve because they hit so close to home. By seeing it, it’s almost like you’re back living it. Campaigns that are relatable easily pull at the heartstrings. The Dove Calls for Dad #realdadmoments definitely pulls at the heartstrings. Who doesn’t remember a time when they called for their dad or daddy? And for those dads now, who can’t wait to have their child need them can relate.
Creating engagement for a viral campaign is impressive. Recently, an impressive campaign that encourages others to share is the “Share a Coke” campaign. The campaign has done so well for Coke that they’ve added 1000 names and hope more will use #shareacoke on social media (2). This campaign has hit home with me as I dig through Diet Cokes trying to find one that means something to me. I get great pleasure in finding Buddy and sharing with my group of friends where we all refer to each other as buddy.
Who doesn’t like to be entertained or laugh at something? Creating campaigns that entertain a wide audience can be quite daunting. The Paper is Necessary campaign by a French toilet paper company shows the downfalls to everything being digital.
Easy to Share
In order for a marketing campaign to go viral, it needs to be easily sharable. All sharing links to social media sites need to be easily available. If it’s too difficult to share, it won’t go anywhere. Loading the video to YouTube, one of the largest search engines in the world, makes the video very easy to share.
Viral marketing campaigns can be similar to TV shows or movies. There has to be a reason for someone to want to watch. Grab their attention and keep it.