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The Power of a Viral Video Campaign

By January 17, 2014Video Production

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Today, businesses and corporations are seeing the power that comes from a viral video campaign.  With sometimes minimal financial effort, companies can reach millions without spending millions.  There’s only one problem– a successful viral campaign can’t really be guaranteed.  You can spend the money and inflate the numbers somewhat, but at the end of the day, successful viral videos can be categorized into three styles and have one thing in common– compelling content.

Let’s define “compelling” in today’s computer age.  In a viral video campaign, the word means that a user readily and eagerly clicks the “play” button and more importantly, then clicks the “share” button.  This is what “compelling” means.  The audience is compelled to watch and share.  So for companies that feel it imperative to take a company powerpoint and turn it into a viral campaign often miss the mark.  Some of the best corporate viral videos only mention the company in the last five seconds.  JC Penney’s Beware The Doghouse, Pantene’s Violin story are classic examples of videos that only hit the company at the end.  Others might simply have a mention at the beginning.

So what are the three styles that lead to compelling content?  Comedy, Emotional, or Sensational.

Funny Videos get forwarded.  Dollar Shave Club has an executive who comes across incredibly well on camera as the spokesperson for his own company– and the script they wrote is awesome.

The Violin video mentioned above is an example of Emotional.  These videos tug at your heartstrings and your eyes mist up.  Then you click the Facebook share button so all your friends can be likewise touched.  By the way, puppies usually win the day.

A team blows up a whale on the beach– and blubber lands like fiery hail from heaven.  This Sensational approach garners views like a car wreck– people can’t turn away.  This is the center of the approach of reality shows like Jackass and others.  The problem is that people are having to go bigger and higher and scarier.  I wonder where that ceiling will end?

So for a successful viral video campaign– you will need a compelling video that either is funny, emotional or sensational.  The wonderful thing is that budgets can vary greatly.  Some of the most successful videos where produced for nothing.  And some have very healthy budgets.  And others will spend a lot of production dollars to appear that they had no budget.