Right! So what is it..???
Simply put its a conscious attempt (sometimes unconscious as well) on the part of company or a person to promote/establish/generate buzz about their brand or product in the market.
Sounds simple right , well it is but getting the result are not. Virals can be costly and rely on the basic assumption that they are “interesting enough” to be passed around by users. Typically an agency which develops a viral will send it to everyone in their office with the anticipation that employees will pass it on to their friends and so on , or they can alternatively shoot off mailers as well.
How they send it across is not important , what is important is that they need to become big.
The reason why a viral is called a viral is because of the behaviour which is displayed i.e. being passed on from one person to another….like a virus! Atleast thats what they hope for.
Audience reaction is always difficult to gauge , what is funny to one might not be to another hence the success depends on a lot of factors which are not in control of the agency / company undertaking the activity. More often than not they will not work out but when they do it’s a good ride.
Once a viral catches on then it just carries on, keeps getting passed from user to user and with each passing moment the company is cashing in on the brand recall it is generating as well as increasing their ROI.
Sometimes it can happen without the company or individual expecting it or wanting or trying for it. People could find something funny and it end up spreading fast and wide. Excellent if it promotes the product but many a times it is also a goof up , or an error , or a slip up which gets promoted.
Some of the best virals i have ever seen are from Webchutney. Some more popular than the others but none have ever failed to catch my attention. You can view them here.
P.s Better have your speakers on!