Viral Vednesday: Brand’s Go Viral

old-spice-matterhorn-print-adWe want our commercials to go viral.

Every minute, that phrase is said over 645 times by a brand manager at an ad agency somewhere around the world. And also, they’re probably a little tipsy.

So, what make a video go viral? The fact is, no one really knows. Sure, we can say there’s a general formula to it (early 90s reference + adorable animal = 25 million views) but often, it’s like searching for gold: you have a very rough idea of where the gold might be, but more often than not, you come up with nothing and then get mugged by another hungry, desperate miner.

At least, we’re pretty sure that’s how gold mining works.

But we digress.

There is no perfect science in making a video popular but there are guidelines. Or, really, one main one. You have to have a sense of humor. And we’re not talking bad, 1960s-era puns about your brand, we’re talking about comedy that’s fit for today’s audiences. Comedy that’s edgier, comedy that walks a delicate line between safe and unsafe, comedy that’s honestly, genuinely funny.

We bring you two examples of two videos — one recent, another one coming from an already popular series — that do this with delicious precision.

The first. Kmart wants you to ship your pants.

Great acting. Bizarre scenario. Wordplay. Delightful.

Up next — from the Old Spice geniuses…

It’s just so very strange in a beautiful, hilarious way, it’s hard to wrap your mind around its perfection.

The other key here — aside from the comedy acting, writing and production — is something that most brands have not caught on to yet. In today’s digital age, where advertisement is a tuned out nuisance, viewers respond to a brand’s ability to not take itself too seriously. To play with its own image. To have a sense of humor.

The thing that ties all of these viral branded campaigns together is risk. It’s a brand saying: the way we’ve done things in the past will no longer work for audiences, we have to recreate ourselves and we have to do so with self-awareness and wit.

So, when someone at your next brand meeting says — how do I make my video go viral?  You should take all of their old 30 second TV spots and burn them in a trashcan fire while screaming, stop taking yourselves so seriously!

Trust us, it’ll work.

And if it doesn’t, make them a video of HeMan going to battle against a laughing baby monkey dressed like Skeletor.

Thanks for reading!