Viral Marketing Initiatives

What do you think makes a marketing initiative go viral?

When I think of “gone viral” I think of a video or image that captured many people emotionally.  As humans, there are emotions we feel when we see something that can hit home to us – happy or sad. When this occurs, we want to be the first to share this on social media, or message a friend and family. This is just how life works nowadays right?  Some characteristics of viral marketing need to be easy on the eyes, and the message needs to be easy. When there is too much thought, no one is going to want to share it simply because no one is going to understand it. Maybe to some, but to go viral it should be a message, humor, unique, or something like a beautiful song.



Using widgets for Facebook, Twitter, and all social media platforms, ensure viewers can easily share with their networks and loved ones around them. As this continues throughout networks, people will continue to share and discuss the topic.

When I think of viral videos that were successful, I look at how unique and different they are compared to other videos.  Check out the video below:

This commercial is currently trending because of how weirdly funny/creepy it is.  They also used the hashtag of #puppymonkeybaby as a way to engage and continue interacting with their target audience.  People on the internet find this puppy monkey baby so ungodly creepy that they keep talking about it. Why?! Because it is something no one has ever seen before so they want to discuss this with other people around them. It is funny, weird, and simply not something you see every day.


This also opens the door for other companies, pug lovers, baby lovers, monkey lovers, energy drink lovers, and mountain dew lovers that want to prove points to start using this commercial or hashtag as a way to promote something that affects them. An example is PETA with creating hybrid animals. Although, this puppy monkey baby is a joke, people will pay attention and listen because 1. It is trending, and 2. Who has seen something like this before?


This was not the commercial but the puggymonkeybaby from PETA was liked 81 times and was retweeted 56 times.  Talk about going viral…

Overall, what drives people to share content online and off in my opinion are triggers (like the PETA example above), emotional appeal, the story and meaning, and how the video would make them look to their network – good, bad, compassionate, etc. In general, people want to be liked, so something wrong or socially acceptable going viral will make people want to post it so others can see how they value the situation/story/video.  Don’t you agree?



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