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Viral Video Recipe


For the last month or so, I’ve had guerrillas and how they market on my brain. I’m particularlly interested in what an IMA viral video campaign would look like. However, even though there are video campaigns out there that have achieved viral success, setting out to make one seems rather daunting. How do people do it?

For starters, Seth Godin, my go-to marketing guru, recently blogged about what he believes are the key ingredients of web commercials and I’m convinced they apply to viral videos as well. Seth’s recipe is as follows:

1. Assume that the viewer has the attention span of an espresso-crazed fruitfly. That means slapstick, quick cuts and velocity.

2. Find a word or phrase that you can own in Google, that fits in an email, and that comes up in discussion at the cafeteria table or in the playground.

3. Length doesn’t matter. 10 seconds is fine and so is five minutes. Media is free, remember?

4. Challenge the status quo, be provocative, touch a social nerve or create some other sort of interesting conversation. In other words, a commercial worth watching.

What I take from Seth’s observations is that people on the Internet will only respond “virally” to very specific types of content. And like always, content is king.

Now that I have the recipe, does it call for blender?

One of the best examples that demonstrates Seth’s observations is the “Will it Blend?” campaign by industrial blender manufacturer, Blendtec. Their web commercials contain a healthy dash of quirk and velocity, are found by typing the easy to remember phrase “will it blend” into Google, and touch the social nerve by destroying precious iPhones by violent rotating blade. As for the campaigns effectiveness, how many industrial blender manufacturers can you name?

So, what does an IMA viral video look like? Right now, it’s a secret but only because I have no idea. I’m open to suggestions. However, if I do end up trying my hand at viral video creation, I hope you get infected.

Filed under: Marketing, New Media

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