What is a viral video?

Advertising campaigns are increasingly broadening their reach into the online realm. More often than not, we’re going to see our favourite adverts online before we get the chance to see them on TV. Actually, there are many that everybody’s heard of, the Christmas Coca-cola or John Lewis advert are, Perhaps, a ket indicator that you’ve forgotten to buy a present for your Mother-in-Law. If you needed reminding that is. It’s those two very specific adverts that have the ability to change the mood of their audience instantly, stirring festiveness in the most miserable of people. “It’s only Christmas when the John Lewis advert has been on” is a phrase I’ve heard on numerous occasion , as though Christmas isn’t a set yearly thing that will happen regardless if we see santa swigging a coke on the TV.

More recently I admired was Three’s Twitter trend #DancePonyDance, which corresponded with their advertisement where a pony dances to Fleetwood Mac, If you’re yet to see this fantastic video, then I suggest you take a look:

The most intelligent and engaging part of the advert was its online interactive features, You not only git to witness a pony dance like Michael Jackson, but you had the option to give the video a Bollywood or a hip-hop theme, along with many others, in the “pony mixer”. The online world of social media went berserk.

But these are all videos from major conglomerates, everybody’s heard of John Lewis! Coca-Cola can’t fart without someone finding out. What’s really impressive is when a random individual or a small business produce a video that’s equally, if not more, huge on the internet. /And there are hundreds of them, a firm favourite is still the ‘End of Ze World’ animation.

How does an amateur video such as this escalate so quickly in the internet ranks? What’s the exact formula to produce a viral video? Of course there has to be certain amount of quality in the video, but the bigger question is how it generates views in the first place. It’s easy to see how Three can generate an internationally successful video quite simply, but their market it already there, they’ve already built themselves an audience, all they need to do is put something online for them to watch. But for someone to come out of nowhere, with no ready-made market, and send the internet berserk is quite the achievement.

What I’d like to know is how much is thanks to the content and how much is just sheer chance? While contemplating and YouTubing how exactly I could formulate my own viral video and, through this, global success, I stumbled across What is a viral video, the short video blog from Lambda Films, who are an Video Production Norwich company.


Alright, so it doesn’t exactly rocket my online fame chances, but it provided me with the means to at least give it a try. It does seem as though viral videos are largely to do with the content. Finding something that has the means to be a good viral video is perhaps the hard bit. If you’re very fortunate, you might catch something remarkably rib-shakingly funny completely accidently, But it’s not everyday you see a sneezing panda. If you’re looking for any other web marketing tips then I really recommend this other business marketing blog I came across.

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9 Responses to What is a viral video?

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