Why Do You Even Want A Viral Video?

Why Do You Even Want A Viral Video?
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

Just because a video goes viral doesn’t mean its successful, stresses Luke Weymark (pictured below), creative partner at Men At Work Communications.

When I recently read about a Melbourne production company that pulled the wool over the eyes of the world with eight separate viral videos (The Woolshed Company), it made me wonder: why do we have such an obsession with viral content?

Luke Weymark

Look, I get it. Every agency wants their concept to go ‘viral’ (that being said, I’m not really sure what ‘viral’ even means – I’m assuming for the sake of this piece it’s all about organically reaching a bucketload of people with a shareable idea). But here’s where I get a little lost. The agency may be keen to create viral content because it looks good in the trade rags and in awards submissions, but what benefit does it actually bring the client?

This is what I ask those brands who seem ever so keen on making viral content. “What exactly are you trying to achieve?” More often than not this question is met with a blank stare and a response of “What do you mean? We want to achieve a viral video.”

In other words, you are just looking to create a video that gets a heap of views, right? That is the primary goal of any viral video – not to achieve ROI, and not to generate sales or leads. So tell me, what is the real benefit?

You might retort that getting your brand in front of millions of people has to be a positive thing. This is the best argument that viral videos have going for them – the brand awareness piece. There are few brands that do this well. Take Red Bull, for instance. The brand is famous for associating itself with daredevil, outrageous, cool content that reaches millions of people around the world, and that makes Red Bull seem super cool by association. Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space is a perfect example of a brand aligning itself with amazing content that went viral, and the brand association with Red Bull was undoubtedly positive.

But the fact is that the vast majority of viral video content is unbranded – cats playing the piano and near escapes with dangerous animals. People will usually share a video that is shocking, entertaining or funny. But here’s the kicker – if the video has too much branding, then in my experience people will be less likely to share it. Many brands playing in the viral space opt for subtly introducing their brand, but then that sort of defeats the purpose of brand awareness, doesn’t it?

Then there is the issue of targeting your audience. A viral video may reach millions of people around the world, but the vast majority of those people will be highly irrelevant for most companies. Why should a local Australian business care about millions of views in other countries?

Again, I come back to the question that I always ask a client: “What are you trying to achieve?” More often than not the end game is sales. The client is trying to reach a certain audience to encourage them to take a certain action. Even in today’s world of content marketing where there are proven benefits in associating your brand with engaging content, there are more targeted, business-specific and effective types of content you can create and distribute, and it doesn’t need to be viral to be successful.

When I think of a viral brand campaign, I always think of the ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ video created for Metro Trains in Melbourne. The brief to the agency appeared to be something along the lines of ‘Let’s get less people to play on the train tracks’. Now, the video that was created certainly went viral – it reached hundreds of millions of people around the world. But what do millions of happy viewers in the UK, US or Japan have to do with stopping people from jumping on train tracks in Melbourne. The vast majority of the video’s audience were completely unrelated to the aims of the client.

Here I am bashing viral videos, when in truth I would love nothing more than to create a video that went viral. But that’s the creative in me – and, of course, I work for an agency where viral videos are the best type of bragging rights one can hope for. Everyone in an agency wishes they had a viral campaign under their belt, but for every successful viral campaign, there are thousands of videos that just didn’t cut it. These videos aren’t that easy to create, unless you’re The Woolshed Company who made eight viral videos, just to get under my skin (read: jealous as).

When a client asks to create a viral video, the first question should always be “Why?” A highly relevant piece of content which converts a specific, targeted audience can be far more effective than any viral video could ever be.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies
  • Media

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies

Family travel platform Bound Round has announced the launch of its first e-magazine to Australian consumers. Travel Bound is a family-focused, digital quarterly publication available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in-flight entertainment system, and is also available for consumer download via the Bound Round website. Bound Round founder and CEO Janeece Keller […]

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News
  • Media

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News

Do you like say "I only watch SBS" in an attempt to sound smarter than you are? Well, why not pretend to read this too?

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director
  • Marketing

Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director

Amazon Australia has appointed former Samsung Electronics chief marketing officer (CMO) Arno Lenior to lead its marketing division. Lenior worked as Samsung’s CMO for more than three years before departing in 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also held CEO roles at VR company Virtical and brand consultancy Blue Ocean Brands, and joined […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year
  • Marketing

News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year

News announces its annual Car Of The Year and it's not what you'd expect. Well, we certainly didn't expect it anyway.

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership
  • Marketing

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership

The Australian Open has partnered with iconic Australian clothing and lifestyle brand Country Road to supply the uniforms for next year’s tournament. Confirmed today as the official fashion lifestyle Partner of Australian Open 2018, one of Australia’s most loved brands will be worn by thousands of tournament staff at Melbourne Park in January. On-court officials including the chair and […]

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties
  • Media

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties

After 12 years with Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe has decided to step away from his hosting and reporting duties. O’Keefe will continue his full-time role as host of Seven’s quiz show The Chase Australia, as well as focus on other projects with the Network. “The ideal job is doing work you love with people you love,” O’Keefe […]

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences
  • Marketing

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences

Fast and effective support will be a competitive differentiator for companies looking to win over digitally transformed customers and employees, new research has revealed. According to a study by IDC and LogMeIn titled Support Services as a Competitive Differentiator, nearly 67 per cent of consumers said that customer satisfaction was more important than price when […]

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform
  • Advertising
  • Media

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has announced the appointment of Red Ant Design to build the out-oh-home (OOH) industry’s first automated proposal platform (APP). After an extensive global search and industry consultation, the decision to build the system in-house with a local Australian company was made. The APP will be built in an agile process, […]

Nick Ballard, Managing Director
Australia & New Zealand, BlisMedia
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Consumer Behaviour Analytics Tool For Maketers

Location data technology company Blis has launched an analytics tool that allows marketers to analyse consumer behaviour – from audience profiling, to exposure, to attribution – by capturing and activating mobile movement data. Smart Trends offers robust in-store consumer behavioural insights and in-store comparison of multiple location types and brands, allowing marketers to break down demographic, […]