What do all these successful viral videos have in common?

There are some fabulous viral videos which are gaining traction at the moment.  Samsung’s extreme shepherding creating unusual light displays; Honda’s Let It Shine campaign where they use multiple car headlights as a canvas to create wonderful moving imagery; and last but not least, there’s the Cadbury’s viral campaign which has raised more than a few eyebrows!

So what do all these have in common?  By and large, we know that viral video only gets disseminated on a mass scale if it’s entertaining. If it’s merely informative rather than entertaining, consumers may view the content but are less inclined to share.

So what makes something entertaining and therefore more viral?

Humour and originality obviously play a key part but those are not the only ingredients. What the above campaigns all have in common is integrity and authenticity.

The LED sheep and the Honda lights would have been a lot easier to produce in CGI but it’s the passion of the creatives to retain the integrity of the original idea in spite of the obvious challenges which makes these so entertaining.  Even the Cadbury’s eyebrows campaign has a simple realism to it. They could have easily diluted the idea by casting young professional actors and placed them in an overstylised environment but the fact that this is just a couple of kids in a make-shift studio almost certainly adds to the charm and has sparked a whole flux of imitation videos on YouTube to add to the overall buzz.

This approach is nothing new. The Honda Cogs campaign and Bravia’s ‘bouncing balls’ campaigns all adhere to the same principles of authenticity.  Whilst this kind of approach is not the only recipe for viral success it does seem to be a dominant factor behind an increasing number of successful viral videos.  Long may it continue.


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