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A quick glance at your facebook, instagram or twitter feed and chances are you’ll come across at least one viral video. There’s no official definitions when it comes to identifying a viral video, but the general consensus is that it is an online clip that’s garnered a huge amount of views and attention in a relatively short time. A few short years ago, any video with over a million views would usually make the cut, but with the audience for online videos skyrocketing it usually takes several million views in under a week’s time to be considered a successful viral video.

When creating a video that you hope to go viral, one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome is a very cynical audience. The majority of clips that we see being shared over and over again are short but funny videos, of actual real life. However, for a brand to create a viral video there are two ways to go. Either to create a fake ‘real’ video, remember the David Beckham clip kicking a ball into a trash can? Or to create a crafted creative advert.

In 2010 Old Spice released “The man your man could smell like”, a 30 second commercial which gained online notoriety for it fast paced humour and clever camera tricks. The video went on to receive over 50 million views, and the Old Spice youtube channel that it was hosted on gained over half a million subscribers. A key point to note about this video is that the product itself doesn’t feature prominently. In fact, the video could be used to advertise practically any product, but because it was able to capture the attention of a large audience it’s been a huge asset to the Old Spice brand. Very funny.

Other companies focus on creating videos that inspire and impress. And rely on the association with their brand to grow their company. An excellent example of this is Red Bull. For years they’ve sponsored extreme sports events and released clips and videos of their events. In 2012 they organised the world’s highest freefall with Felix Baumgartner, flying him to the edge of the atmosphere and allowing him to plummet back down to earth. His successful fall ending with him releasing a parachute with the Red Bull logo for all the audience to see. The video was streamed live and heavily advertised during the weeks prior. The campaign was hugely successful, garnering national news coverage and receiving over 35 million views.

Heart warming, funny, inspiring, just pure ‘feel good factor’ the commonality is that they all insight a big emotional reaction from the audience.  By the way it does NOT have to be short either, take a look at these:

– Puppyhood 14,002,454 views for Purina, dog food!

The Story of Sarah and Juan 19,948,456 views for Wrigley’s Extra chewing gum.

Three Sing It Kitty 7,046,980 views for Three.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like 53,395,605 views for Old Spice.

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