Opinion Editorials

Paying for visual content? Wondering why it’s not going viral?

viral marketing emotional marketing

It’s the internet equivalent of winning the lottery. It’s Bieber, Kardashians, and Purina’s Puppyhood. It’s MAGIC. And here’s why you can’t buy it.

I’d like a viral video please

Yes, and we’d like to make you one.

It’s the internet equivalent of winning the lottery. It’s Bieber, Kardashians, and Purina’s Puppyhood. It’s MAGIC.

As advertisers attempt to reduce their costs in media and become more aware of the power of the internet, they are more frequently telling me and other creatives in our community, “I want you to make me a viral video.” Well, probably not. We can make you a great video that will appeal to your customers and sell your product or idea, but viral? Probably not.


But I want it now!

We all want to be famous or celebrated. We want to stand out in that crowded, noisy, bloviated place that connects us all to one another in ways we revere (when things go right) and fear (when things go wrong and we’re attacked by a comments section that’s more destructive than a nuclear blast and seems to live on in the minds of our investors and customers for, well, EVER).

I work with great writers and creative people, “Surely (clients say), they can sit down and come up with a viral video. There is so much talent in Austin in animation, and games, and graphics, and video, and writing, and production, and events, surely you can get together the right folks and make a viral video”. Not so fast. And, most significantly, not that easy. Why?

Each minute of the day there are 48,000 videos uploaded to YouTube. That’s 2,880,000 homemade, professional, kitty, puppy, cute kid, product, and other videos an hour competing to go viral or 69,100,000 videos a day longing to go viral, seven days a week.

It’s all about your audience

Harvard Business Review says videos go viral depending on how they make the internet community “feel”, and that they make the watchers want to share because it says something about THEM (their beliefs, sense of humor, opinion, lifestyle, etc.) Forbes says focus on what’s happening in popular culture and speak the same language as your target audience with interest in popular culture (like Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Downton Abbey), and your content is more likely to be shared and possibly, just possibly, go viral.

TED talks instruct us that videos go viral with the help of a community and tastemakers within two days of posting ­ best to be done on Thursday or Friday.

The Night Agency, which produced Purina’s Puppyhood viral video, had all those things in addition to a client willing to take a risk with a new idea. It also had puppies. Their commercial is brilliant. So is their visual work for Time, Keds, Lego, and Hanes,­ but none of those videos went viral. They hit the lottery. But, they don’t hit it every day nor on demand.

Viral or not, high quality is high quality

So, if Jimmy Kimmel or Ellen are in your rolodex, and if you know a blogger or if you have 50,000,000 Twitter followers, and if you have a pack of puppies or kittens willing to do a parody of “The Force Awakens”, our chances improve to make you a viral video.

There’s still no guarantee.

A unique, custom video that sells what you make to the customer you target? Guaranteed. Viral? One chance a day in 69,100,000. Still, if you want to represent your company or your brand, getting help from professionals is a good idea because even if you don’t go viral, you’ll still have a quality video.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Paying for visual content? Wondering why it's not going viral? - Fast Social Follower

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get Business and Tech News updates, Breaking Stories and more!