Monday, June 9, 2008

Getting to Viral

It may be the $20 million dollar trivia question right now – how do I make my campaign viral. Viral is the online version of word-of-mouth, compelling content that gets passed from one inbox to the next.

A recent CNN article detailed some of the general attributes that virals share at their root, bearing in mind that people online can tell an ad right away and shut it down quickly. Here are the categories of virals as defined in the article

· Controversial/Edgy – Controversy and advertising have always been linked. It makes sense that in viral it would be no different. Controversy can garner a lot of attention and if it touches the right nerve can be effective. When it doesn’t – you have Cartoon Network and a PR clean up.

Shock and Awe – Our never ending quest for the truth is tapped in this category. Videos that make us think and look for the truth. We will typically enlist help in this quest and that is why it is effective in viral.

Community Activism – Create a program for other like-minded people to share and recruit others and you have a viral winner. Not to mention bloggers like me will likely talk about it and encourage others to check it out.

Online Contests – The public always like to take a chance at something and it doesn’t always have to be a monetary or gift prize. Sometimes competing with fellows across the world at a task is enough. Contests also become more effective when combined with other viral roots.

Humor – How many emails do you get in your inbox each day that say check this out its hilarious. Laughing Out Loud or LOL in IM speak is basic human nature and humans like to share it.

Accidental or Sometimes Purposeful Nudity – No description necessary for this category.

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