1. Don't obsess over producing meaningful metrics for viral campaigns. The tracking numbers can only provide a general estimate of what's going on.
2. Don't try and compare a viral campaign with, for example, banners. A banner view is passive, while a video clip view involves a proactive, involved experience. And there's also the added benefit of third-party endorsement through download site editorials and comments made by people as they pass on the creative.
3. Achieve critical mass as quickly as possible by seeding all the bigger sites. This is particularly important if you're trying to create word-of-mouth buzz before a more formal marketing campaign.
4. The best way to ensure prominent and positive coverage at relevant sites, and a higher pass-on rate, is through quality. Content is king!
5. Get immersed in the scene. The insider view gives you a better understanding of what viral content works and helps you develop relationships which will keep you in good stead when it comes to seeding material.
6. Find advocates, people who run a community or are linked to other communities. People who are online influencers, yet not necessarily regarded as influencers offline.
7. Learn to let go. Once the viral content is out there, you have little control over how it's presented, which can be hard for brand managers to accept. It's another reason for ensuring high quality.
8. Avoid looking like a marketing campaign. Viral does not need to look like TV advertising, as there is resistance to forwarding if perceived as advertising.
9. Ensure the viral effect is not geographically limited if you want to hit a global audience. Go for a universal theme, situation or truth people can relate to.
10. Feature an entertaining concept which the viewer enjoys interacting with.
Henry Cowling, The Viral Factory
The Viral Factory
1. Be original
2. Rip-off something that’s already been successful.
3. Be topical. Latch on to what everybody’s talking about.
4. Don’t insult the audience’s intelligence.
5. Don’t get sued.
6. Do something with fluffy animals. Everyone loves these.
7. Make influential friends in the advertising industry.
8. If you’ve run out of ideas, put tits in it. If you can’t use tits, try violence. If you can’t use violence, use David Hasselhoff.
9. Umm... a song is always nice.
10. That’s it. Nine ideas is already way more than most virals have.
1. Make it funny (You have to piss yourself laughing at it)
2. Make it topical
3. Make it relevant
4. Make it risky
5. Make it fun (games etc.)
6. Don’t send it out if it’s crap
7. Don’t make it some sort of complicated file that people need to install
8. Target initial sites/audience correctly
9. Test it on your friends
10. You could, ahem, pretend it’s been developed by a brand – bound to get lots of coverage.
1. Start by trying to copy someone else’s idea. Often, when you get underway, the result turns out differently and you’ll end up going off at tangents, because it’s being filtered through you.
2. Who or what do you like to make fun of?
3. Is there something that makes you angry?
4. Try altering the state of your mind a little!
5. Use a digital camera or video camera to spontaneously capture things in everyday life – these can be unusual or ordinary things. Ordinary things can always be manipulated digitally later – it just takes imagination.
6. Combine things that don’t normally belong to each other.
7. Try to push the envelope a bit – take risks.
8. Think naughty.
9. Ask yourself: would people want to forward your idea to their friends?
10. Don’t take too long. Great jokes don’t seem so funny after staring at them for four hours.
Big Gracias to: Danny Phantom and Will Jeffery at