Last week, we looked at the psychological drivers and emotional triggers that can cause a video to ‘go viral.’ Specifically, we looked at Kony 2012, a video that had been viewed nearly 80 million times, shared 8+ million times and generated 650,000+ comments (at the time of the writing of the article nearly 10 days ago). In addition to being #1 on the video viral chart for the last two weeks, the same video with Spanish subtitles is also ranked #11 on the Video Viral Chart.
What was interesting about the Kony 2012 video was that it wasn’t selling a product or service. The video’s goal was to raise global awareness about Joseph Kony (who has been indicted by the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity… particularly against children) and lead to his capture. In that regard, the Kony video was a call to action. From a purely marketing perspective, the video’s message was successful in generating strong emotional responses from viewers, educating viewers on a little-known topic, and aligning itself with a cause to which most people could easily identify and support. These are considered some of the key psychological drivers that cause a video to be widely shared.
One may wonder, though, if brand-generated videos (such as a webisode or a commercial) could possibly generate such strong emotional responses as the Kony 2012 video did. The simple answer is yes. Even brand-generated videos can and do ‘go viral.’ But it doesn’t happen automatically. There are factors that spur the viral effect. Read more to understand why some videos go viral. Continue reading