What Qualities Make a Video Go Viral?
Recently we were invited to begin working with a company that designs and markets protective cases for consumer electronic devices. They showed us a homemade video series that their partner manufacturer was doing to promote the incredible protective nature of their iPad and Laptop cases. In one video they drop a 12lb bowling ball on the iPad in its case. In another they drop an iPad in its case out of a plane from 500 feet. In both instances the devices emerge unscathed. A truly high-impact use of video and one we suspect has a good chance of going viral. You can view them both below.
iPad dropped from Airplane http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKNdknJI53Q&w=560&h=349
Bowling Ball Dropped On iPad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjacWefOnbk&w=560&h=349
This got us asking a lot of questions about what qualities make a video go viral? So I hit up the Visible Measures list of each weeks top 10 viral videos which is a great resource for keeping tabs on what videos really take off virally each week. My take away is this: In order for a video to go viral in needs to exhibit one or more of the following qualities:
- Humor - Probably the number one factor - if it's funny people will forward it
- Shock Factor - something that people can't take their eyes off - which is where the above iPad videos could get some traction.
- Sex - Not literally, but something suggestive like this SmartWater video starring Jennifer Aniston that had the the joke title "Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape"
- Organic - something that is staged is less likely to go viral I think that something catching people in real life.
- Timeliness - A video that captures a relevant topic in the news will obviously get a bump from that news coverage - this T-Mobile video spoofing the recent royal wedding is currently number one on Visible Measure and it's no surprise why.
- Luck - let's not forget the biggest factor of all - remember you can't MAKE any video go viral - only the public can.
One thing remains true however...there's is probably no faster or cost effective way to achieve awareness for your product than a video that achieves that special status.