Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Branded Viral Videos, What's The Secret Ingredient?

There are many  voices across the internet giving their two cents on what makes branded content go viral, with recurring recommendations to inject humour, capture a moment, use shock factor or sentimentality. Whilst undoubtedly the most popular viral videos do include at least some of these elements, beyond the content itself, what single sentiment unifies the most popular brand videos on the web?

Perhaps the most obvious yet overlooked characteristic which unites viral campaigns is their consistent departure from traditional advertising and promotions. Rarely do we see heavy logo incorporation, branded messages brought over from print advertising or even recurring themes from TV campaigns. The message must be as fresh as the delivery method. With new content being pushed forward at an incomprehensibly fast rate, a rehashing of the old simply does not encourage sharing.

Establishing then that content must be fresh, what is the unifying character behind the most shared media? Examining the most popular videos, it is the brands which ‘peel back the seal’ and expose the reality of the organisation or the product which users find most engaging.

$1 Shave Club the high profile video with over seven million views, demonstrates its authenticity with straight talking language, clear facts and a setting inside the factory.

Red Bull's most popular extreme sports video is not a flashy set in a California skatepark but rather shows the Scottish mountain biker Danny Mcnantyre on an authentic route home across Scotland with multiple real world local landmarks marking his journey.

Bodyform scored a win with their response to a Facebook comment on their page which itself went viral, relating to the  use of dishonest advertising. Their response was humorous, to the point and perhaps most importantly, was upfront and open about why their adverts were styled in a such a manner.

It seems then for a brand to really connect with an online audience the uniting theme is reality. Stay grounded,  ‘lift the veil’ and most of all show real honest integrity.

Sam Wolf , Digital Account Manager, Liveinsights


1 comment:

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