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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

How to go video viral without passing on a cold

PHPR on a classic online PR viral video success
Will it blend viral video


Sometimes the best blog posts are kick-started by stumbling over the same topic several times in the course of the day. And today I had two conversations about viral video at this morning's 4networking group in Leith, Edinburgh. Then spotted the inimitable Seth Godin had posted a typically short and to the point piece.
"Make an impact on just one person. Even better, make it so they can't sleep that night unless they choose to make a difference for just one other person by sharing your message with them."

Then came across a great long blog on a membership site that's closed to non members, so no point in posting the link. But the bit that leapt out at me from all the usual stuff about chosing subjects most people can relate to, and avoiding commercials hit me fair and square - Be Fearless! Rightly pointing out that this is where most companies fall down as they don't want to risk looking foolish. But the real risk is wasting time and money being bland and unmemorable, creating no impetus for people to spread the word.

Zero risk = zero reward, but too much risk can be dangerous.

Just think of the traction the famous "Will it blend" videos got for Blendtec. Yes, there was a risk that the company founder and inventor might have  looked foolish. He was good at verging on the edge of potential explosions, not to mention possibly breathing in noxious-looking fumes (remember the be fearless maxim?). But someone who can blend a billiard ball, and a new iPhone with an equally straight face commands respect. Respect for their sense of fun and faith in their appliances.

That campaign took time. Today's viral videos may be faster but are almost certainly given a promotional push and will need a budget that allows for several attempts and the possibility of failure, plus a fair amount of granularly detailed promotional work.

My personal favourite is still Herding cats by UPS. Classic.


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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