Does Virality Equal Big Bucks?

Kmart is now more successful than Walmart!

Well, if we were talking about viral ads this year, this statement would be true. But would it surprise you that Kmart’s sales are not exceeding last year’s numbers, even with three viral ads this year? That’s what is so misleading about the word ‘viral’ these days; people associate it with success.

Having a funny ad does not always translate into sales. A lot of times you will find that you can quote the commercial but forget what brand it was for. Do you remember what company the ‘Hump Day’ camel promotes, or what movie this video was hyping? Without a call-to-action your viewer won’t know what to do besides laugh at your commercial, share it and forget the brand.

Right now, everyone is trying to create the next viral ad, so it is becoming more difficult to separate your ad from everyone else’s. There is no exact science to making an ad go viral, but it seems as though people are quick to think it has to be funny for it to be shareable. Humor in your ad is high-risk and high-reward, but everyone does not have the same sense of humor and it can quickly backfire on you. The most viral ad in 2013 was revolved around an emotion – not humor.

There is no secret equation to making a viral video, and not every funny video goes viral. Like what you saw with Dove’s short video, not every viral video is funny. For every “Gangnam Style” and “Dollar Shave Club” (warning NSFW for language), there are thousands that fall flat. If you’re a fan of my blogs (thank you!), you know how big of a fan I am of video. Video is already a great way to showcase your business and experts are predicting it to keep growing in 2014. But be very cautious if your main goal is to make a video in hopes that it will go viral. Instead, try to produce a video that gives great content and let humor take the backseat. If you are one of the lucky ones that does get a video to go viral, give yourself a pat on the back and just be happy with the exposure.

What are some of your favorite viral videos? And more importantly, did they turn you into a customer? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter.