Want to watch a baby do flips on rollerblades?
How about people playing the piano with their feet? Maybe you’d rather see a biker riding on the tops of stores and jumping off bridges?
Well I’m sure I have your attention now…or maybe you’ve already seen the videos I’m talking about on YouTube or some other place on the web.
Both instances are probably true since those advertisements have gone viral from the time of their debut. Undoubtedly, that’s great news for the brands that produced them but what makes these 10 videos so great that viewership exploded?
Some will make you laugh and others will make you tilt your head in amazement. Whatever your reaction, you’re bound to be impressed by at least one of the videos. I mean, hey, they did receive well over a million views each.
So what’s the formula for viral success? Here are the 3 things the top 10 viral videos of all time have in common:
1. They have an element of surprise.
Watch any of the 10 videos and I’m sure something will happen that you totally weren’t expecting.
It’ll be that moment of awe when perhaps you’ll gasp, cringe, or literally say the word (and yes it’ll probably be to the Evian commercial with the cute babies). The great creative provided in these advertisements is the key to spurring and keeping interest among viewers. I mean they did voluntarily watch some of the ads over 30 million times.
But to have reached such unprecedented heights in viewership on the web, the element of surprise—that unexpected backflip or unbelievable make-over—had to be share-worthy. Viewers had to feel compelled to shell out their find with friends. They had a reaction and knew their friends would too.
But giving laughs is not the only reason viewers passed along the videos. They also wanted to provide social currency among their social circle. Meaning they were using content, in this case novel advertisements, to lubricate the conversation.
If that ad presented enough value to receive a response, a successful exchange was made and social currency was earned (and that person increased authority within his/her social community).
2. Captivates with storytelling.
Remember those awesome bedtime stories when you were younger?—the stories that would dazzle you, some seemingly even putting you into a trance?
Well these videos also intended to amaze its viewers with tales of why the product is awesome, but not always by directly saying it.
The videos illustrate their stories through action. VW, Piano Stairs is the best example of the bunch. VW turns normal stairs beside an escalator into a full functioning piano step by step. This little project increases stair usage by 66%. The moral of this story was if you make stairs fun, people will use them…go figure.
Enchant your viewers with stories. They much rather watch why your product is just right for them rather than hearing a drone explain it.
3. They don’t use the hard sell.
I doubt many people have been happy about a purchase because it was so gently forced upon them. “Buy this blender, or else.”
The Old Spice commercial uses a humorous ploy to make consumers want to purchase its deodorant. They don’t force the product onto you in the ad—they make you laugh, quickly grab your attention, and make you eager to buy all in 33 seconds.
This selling method must be doing something right—their sales in the last month have gone up by 107%.
So if your company wants to create an ad, take a few pointers from the top 10 viral videos of all time. They definitely captured the attention of millions of viewers.
What do you think it takes for a video to go viral?