What Makes a Viral Video?

Every client asks for it, but few can actually achieve it: a viral video. So, what exactly is the secret?

At the recent Digital Summit Conference in Detroit, video was a hot topic. The underlying message among all presenters was that videos that demonstrate the human side of a brand, through fun or heartfelt emotion, are the videos that overwhelmingly become most successful. Successful videos raise brand awareness and increase sales—two key objectives of business.

Marx Layne recently had an experience of our own, creating a viral video for one of our long time clients. While attending a function at one of a local McDonald’s restaurants, our social media team captured some exceptionally candid moments.

Ronald McDonald had come to town from McDonaldLand to visit a local restaurant, and was playing and dancing with the neighborhood children. The kids then proceeded to “teach” Ronald how to “Whip” and do the “Nae Nae,” a popular hip-hop dance. A team member uploaded 15 seconds of this upbeat video using the hashtag #Detroit to her personal Instagram account.

It took the video five days before it saw any movement, then it happened quickly. Detroit Daily called the video “InstaCandy” for the week, WXYZ Detroit shared the video on its social media channels, and ABC national shared the video with all of its affiliates throughout their media channels. The video picked up steam and within a few days it garnered more than a half million views.

What made this video successful was that it was a real, candid moment that showcased a brand having fun with their customers. Fun will always win the internet. But showcasing your brands human side will win customers.


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