It seems that today everyone is making a dirty video, and although these types of dirty videos will get you mad publicity, they aren’t normally the kind of publicity you want. That is, unless your name is Justin Diamond. Just ask my home state of North Carolina’s former U.S. Senator/Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards. And with many viral videos, most people who watch them don’t really care after about 60 seconds. And yes, that’s a joke. Think about it.
But there is a solution to the short life of most viral video advertising campaigns: make them dirty.
And no, that doesn’t mean making them dirty by the earlier definition, although if you’re looking to get a lot of bad publicity, be my guest. Make them dirty by transitioning your concept from being a sterile viral video (viruses are not living) to a living, organically interactive bacterial video. And by that, I mean get your consumers actively involved with the concept/video.
Take for example two campaigns that have become epic in my eyes: OfficeMax’s now-annual ElfYourself
campaign and the Bic/Tipp-Ex 2011 Cannes Silver winner, “A Hunter Shoots a Bear.
What makes these videos different from traditional viral videos is that they aren’t really viral videos by the standard definition. Yes, they spread like a viral video through social media and other word-of-mouth pathways, but these campaigns move past just being a viral video and create more long-term, engaged growth from what I like to think is 2011’s concept of the year, consumer participation
And that’s a lesson that all digital strategists, copywriters, and C/Ds need to take to heart. We live in an age where the boundaries of directly engaging consumers and creating conversations
with them are disappearing very quickly. Use that to your advantage and create relationships with your consumers because if you don’t, I will
So next time you’re looking at making a viral video, don’t. Make a dirty bacterial video.