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22 Feb

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The power of viral

February 22, 2012 | By | No Comments

It was giggles galore in our office the other week as we listened to a rather stressed yet well-spoken man repeatedly shouting: “Fenton… oh Jesus Christ!”

If this doesn’t ring any bells for you, you are seriously missing out.

The amateur recording of deers grazing in Richmond Park is interrupted by the man’s shouting, followed by a stampede of deer towards the road, with Fenton (that’s the dog) bringing up the rear. His owner then chases after him, continuing to shout expletives at his naughty dog.

Much to the embarrassment of Fenton’s owner, the video went viral, and the audio has since been edited onto other stampeding clips from well-known films such as Jurassic Park and The Lion King.

Besides being perhaps the funniest viral of the year, the clip also highlights the power of viral, and how millions of hits on YouTube can be as effective as advertising, minus the hefty price tag. Some of the nation’s largest media outlets including The Telegraph, The Sun, the BBC and The Independent have even commented on it – contributing to its impact.

While traditional channels may work for some ideas, for others they may require a more abstract approach. But creating something worthy of going viral is difficult. It requires:

    • A simple idea – nothing overcomplicated, the more realistic and easy to relate to, the better. If the material is compelling, viewers will share it.
    • A personal aspect – it needs to evoke an emotion. Virals that are hilarious, outrageous, or emotional, are often the most successful. Think Fenton and Flash Mobs.
    • A trial and error approach – you can’t guarantee that an idea will work, but you can increase the likelihood by doing it well.

Here’s a brilliant infographic about ‘How content goes viral’.

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