Viral Videos

Mallory Scudder | @MalloryScudder For businesses, creating a video that goes viral is like winning the lottery. Today’s social media platforms have made viral videos an important marketing tool. With social media, people can post videos that they like with their friends, which are then shared, rereshared…and so on. A viral video has the potential to reach thousands, if not millions, of people. In order to achieve viral video status, a company must be in touch with its audience and give them something worth sharing. Most of the time viewers share videos that shock, awe, and entertain.

So what’s going viral right now? Currently, Kmart has revamped their image and has obviously hired a new marketing team. Its new commercials feature funny uses of words that sound like cuss words. For example “Ship my Pants” uses funny innuendos to advertise for its free shipping on pants policy. This commercial quickly went viral and has amounted more than 18,000,000 views on YouTube alone.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I03UmJbK0lA[/youtube]

Kmart’s newest addition to its mouthy commercial line is the “Big Gas Savings.” (Say that three times fast!)  This commercial gets a little closer than the insinuated word than the first, but quickly amounted to 4,722,126 views in one week nonetheless.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1yir-p68xM&list=SPrWxranvEPp7pTp-DcwE3ulKNgQVh91gM&index=1[/youtube]

These commercials worked because they shocked and entertained at the same time. Additionally, people enjoy being part of an inside joke.

The Dollar Shave Club, an online shaver subscription service, has recently been noted for becoming a full-blown company, thanks to its viral video. This video became popular so quickly, that it crashed the company’s server within an hour of its release, according to the New York Times. The video features the company’s CEO walking through awarehouse, performing silly activities, such as a baby shaving a bald man’s head. The video’s tagline: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great,” along with its straightforward content, is obviously targeting a young audience.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI[/youtube]

 

It’s no surprise that Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most powerful brands, has mastered the skill of creating viral videos. Coca Cola’s “Spreading Happiness” video is a great example of creating a video exclusively for online. In this video, Coca-Cola uses a hidden camera, which gives the video a feeling of reality and a point of view for online viewers.

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U[/youtube]

Coca-Cola takes viral to a whole different level by creating a social media following for the “Happiness Machine” as they move it around college campuses throughout the world. The “Happiness Machine" features a person inside of it, handing out free soda, flowers, and even pizza to college students on the pursuit of happiness. Coca-Cola's success with this video stemmed from connecting to its audience on a personal level.

The key to having a video go viral is making sure it sticks out from the rest, and grabs attention. Connecting on a personal level with the audience, making them laugh, or doing something that shocks them are all common features of viral videos.  Any company can make a video, but the important part is giving the audience something worth sharing so it spreads from one social media platform to the next.