Viral videos – can you catch the bug twice?
Everyone loves a good viral video and when successfully executed they can deliver a real boost for your brand – spreading a message or just getting you mentioned and noticed. But can you replicate viral success time and again?
The question came to mind when I heard that one of my favourite virals of recent times was getting a sequel.
J’aime la Tour
Commissioned by visitBlackpool to promote tourism, this clip gives a humorous take on the Lancashire town, comparing it to ParisÂ with aÂ cinematic nod to French cinema thrown in.
This video is undoubtedly very clever, but by viral conventions isnâ€™t particularly humorous, is aÂ little slow pacedÂ and doesnâ€™t really wow.
Despite that it still attracted 60,000 viewers on YouTube because what really made it stand outÂ when uploaded earlier this year was its ability to jump vertically between different media channels.Â It had crossover appeal which was capitalised on by an effective PR campaign.
While people sharing your video on facebook, twitter, or even through good old fashioned emails is great, it is never likely to have real penetration unless it migrates to other channels.
Mainstream media remainsÂ the biggest game in town and successful PRÂ increased viewers andÂ the videoâ€™s spread. National TV coverage included BBC News andÂ Sky News, with newspaper coverage including the Daily Mail and a host of regional newspapers and websites.
This was in effectÂ a great PR campaign based around a solid, but not spectacular video.
A lot what we do online is about the ‘new’. People wantÂ a succession of exciting, fun and interesting experiences (as trendwatching.com pointed out, describing it as â€˜nowismâ€™).
The mediaÂ is no different and is constantly looking for fresh content and stories – especially inÂ the 24-hour news cycle we now inhabit.
In that environment can weÂ expect virality to strike twice? It does sometimes as Blendtec’s Will it Blend?Â series and VWâ€™s recentÂ FunÂ TheoryÂ videos have shown -Â but they are the rare exception.
If you can get one of your viral masterpieces off the ground you should consider it a success â€“ thousands have failed in the same quest, lacking the resources to mount a PR campaign that would help it jump between channels and gain mainstream penetration.
In essence though viral videos are an opportunity to look creatively at your brand or products. While they might not lead to overnight YouTube stardom they can give you a fresh perspective on marketing . People like fun, engaging content â€“whether itÂ is a video, news story, tweet, picture, or podcast.
So will the second video share the same success at Jâ€™aime la tour?Â Iâ€™ll let you be the judge of that…