Celebrities Selling Health Care Reform

Tips on Creating Viral Videos

A new viral video [produced by Will Ferrell, with Mad Men's John Hamm and other Hollywood celebs] uses satire quite effectively to skewer the health insurance companies. All for the cost of the video! I'm surprised more organizations aren't using viral videos online to support their campaigns. You can see this by googling it and search it on MSN and YouTube, among other sites.

If you're thinking of creating a viral video, here are some tips:
1. Satire and humor are the best ways to ensure the video goes 'viral'. Not too heavy, but people have to laugh.
2. Make sure the target is clear and the message flows naturally. If it's too obscure, it won't work.
3. Give the viewer a website or a clear 'action' to take. Otherwise, it's fun, but no real measurable output.
4. Using a celebrity can enormously increase the initial impact, but it's not essential. If the characters are well-honed and it's well-scripted, it can take off on its own merits.
5. Don't be too heavy-handed. You're evoking a visceral response. This isn't the time for hectoring or lecturing.
6. Limit it to 3 minutes. If you can't make the point in that time, you probably don't have a clear point to make!

Until next time.....

1 comment:

  1. I'm always surprised when people sell themselves as being able to "create viral videos". While there are certain ingredients, as you have identified, viral is more about timing, relevance and audiences being able to relate. Sure, you can fake or even cook some of that stuff, though much of what viral is comes largely from chance.

    A great case study is the United Breaks Guitars video.

    One final thought... if everything is viral, everything becomes marginal.