Advertising Should Work Like Videos That Go Viral
“We don’t just enjoy now. We participate.” ~ Kevin Allocca
Kevin Allocca, manager of Youtube’s trends, gave a talk on why some Youtube videos become viral sensations.
That’s a good question:
There are hundreds (thousands?! millions?!) of videos uploaded to Youtube every minute.
Each one, potentially, can go viral. So why is it that very few actually do?
Allocca mentioned three factors that help a video go viral:
You post a video of a two-year-old singing an opera. Unexpected! A person who already has an audience tweets, “Check this out!” People check it out and form a culture of participation. Whether it’s celebration or parody, the audience now owns much of the conversation.
And it’s fun.
It’s no surprise that celebrities can promote videos to make them more popular. Top-down “tastemaking” is still part of how it works – but now it’s not the only part.
What I find more interesting is the culture of participation.
Whenever there is a very popular video, people begin to create other versions that showcase their own creativity. It’s not enough to just watch and be entertained. We want to respond.
Advertising should work in the same way.
The industry has tied itself in knots trying to become a participatory, multi-directional, shared means of communication. Because people like to respond and interact by posting videos, many brands have incorporated this thinking into campaigns.
Chevy did this with their Let’s Do This campaign, encouraging people to post photos from their phone of themselves completing Chevy’s challenges using a simple app.
Each month, people would win a car if their photo had the most Likes and retweets, and a car would also be given at random. That’s an example of extrinsic motivation. It’s a reward you might get – if you follow the instructions and do your best.
If successful, it gets people excited about the product and helps spread the word, almost like the way Youtube videos become viral.
A crucial component, though – to the culture of participation in mega-viral content – is that the motivation is intrinsic. That is:
We actually think it’s funny; we actually think it’s interesting.
Nobody needs to tell us what we can win by making a parody of the song Friday because enough people are driven to do so by their own initiative. Priceless.
I guess you truly can learn something new every single day.
I just learned how I can make myself famous. That is:
If I come up with something unexpected with which others will feel driven toward participation.
Maybe advertisers will need fewer prizes if they can develop content that is, in itself, irresistible on its own merits (or hilarious lack thereof).
Oh, by the way, does anyone have a connection to Jimmy Kimmel?
- by AWSC
- posted at 5:45 pm
- June 13, 2012