Monday, September 24, 2012

The Make It Viral Spiral

Walking away from a meeting at which the subject of the conversation was creating something for video that would "go viral" reminds me that the desire to be the flavor of the day is strong among this generation of marketers and communicators.

The smart money says you can't "make" anything viral -- the meme rolls or it doesn't.  What separates PSY from PS2?  Aside from good coding, one is catchy.  The other was the 1980s failed attempt to get everyone excited about an operating system that just didn't have it.

It is the magic.  It is doing something slightly out of the ordinary.  Doing it well.  And doing it over and over.

Thus the exact lessons proffered by Deborah Marquardt in a Q&A with Ad Age sent out last week via the PRSA feed.

Here we have another storyteller in Marquardt:

Story is already at the center of marketing, and we need to keep it central to the process when there are so many touchpoints for consumers and people aren't reading your story in a linear way.

 OK, you want the spark approach.  Sure, create a video INTENDED to inflame and you might get the job done.  Or, you might not.  There are literally hundreds, thousands, of pot-shots taken at Islam on-line.  What separated the recent from previous?  What made it viral?

It is the same in the political races.  The ginned up Romey killed by wife commercial isn't having the same viral impact of his own words (the 47%).  And all the Obamacare scares in the world didn't have the traction of the president's misstep (you didn't build that).

Some tips?

Genuine beats designed (again, look to politics)

Take the viewer where they can't go (our POV stuff with the 50-yard line is extremely popular -- both band or sports)

Best possible quality.

Relate it back to your story.

And stop trying so hard.  Make it good -- your people will appreciate and spread it.

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