Going viral

Let’s get this straight. Virals are NOT just sticking a video up on YouTube or on the internet in general and then wondering why people aren’t watching them. Chris and Tom will tesitfy to that in their respective lists.

In a buzz-filed world, any brand can chuck out the idea “we need a viral” but very few actually get it right. A standard advert is not likely to be a viral, and neither is just a small bit of arbitrary footage.

There’s no telling what makes a good viral, but a good litmus test is the pub conversation. If it’s something you want to share with your friends down the pub, or during a dull day at work, then chances are its got potential.

Last week’s Voscar awards at Curzon’s Mayfair theatre emphasised just what makes a good viral, insofar as its ever possible to say such a thing.

Nominally set up in support of Virgin Mobile’s rather cute new 30 peas campaign,  it asked several leading bloggers and social media people for their favourite viral of the year.

After sitting and watching all 30 videos, we then voted for our favourites and the results were totted up.

My favourite was, perhaps surprisingly, the TFL look out for cyclists campaign.

It’s an advert that ticks most of the boxes – it surprises you the first time you watch it, it’s clever, it’s entertaining and it’s something you may well send onto a friend.

Of course, viral doesn’t necessarily need to be something that supports a brand. Sometimes these things just take a life of their own. Or are just funny. Much like the overall winner of the night, the wonderfully titled Jizz In My Pants.

Which just goes to prove what I always thought. When in doubt, resort to knob and wanking jokes. Preferably set to dodgy europop.

Here’s the rather cute 30 peas video from Virgin Mobile. It’s quite fun, even if there are no crude knob and sex jokes in it. That’s probably a good thing.

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