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Fully Flared

Over the few years, my advertising clients increasingly come to me and ask for ideas for "viral videos". It's a tough nut to crack, not only because purposefully manufacturing a viral hit is a bit like catching lightning in a jar, but also because very few clients understand the concept of risk. Except as in "avoid any".

So here's case study in exactly how to create content that has huge potential to go viral. It's extreme, it's mesmerizing, and it just makes you want to share. I believe this is the opening sequence to a longer video. Kudos to Lakai.

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5 Comments

I have to take exception to the idea that this is a clip that should be showcased as an example of how to go viral.

For one, it's a 100% professional deal: Pro skaters being directed by Spike Jonze as part of the intro for the Fully Flared skate video from Lakai. It's hard to qualify this as viral (though an awesome return to his roots for Jonze, who started out making skate vids).

But most importantly: There is no recipe for viral success. It's just a combination of engaging material released at the right moment. I'd suggest smacking anyone who states otherwise, for everyone's sake, including your clients.

The sooner we can force a sea change in thinking about capturing 'viral' moments, the better off we'll all be. Viral is just a fancy way of saying 'good'. Dumb jargon like 'WoM' gets thrown into the mix mostly to sound impressive, but really we're just talking about something cool that's being shared because the medium (ie, the internet) allows for it.

Want a viral clip? Assume that your efforts will have a 9-out-10 fail rate, make sure it's done professionally (meaning that there's a level of quality to it, not just hiring pro crew), and most of all (and this is important): HAVE A GOOD IDEA/STORY/PREMISE. There ya go. That's as close as anyone can get to a sure-fire recipe.

I've had too much Anger Cola today, I think.

said alphamonkey on January 29, 2008 4:35 PM.

Wow.
Wow.
Wow.
That was fantastic.
I couldn't help but think that the music was JUST as powerful as the visuals.
I wish that was on my reel.

said Texan In Hippieland on January 29, 2008 4:35 PM.

I'd have to take exception to your exception. I'd define "viral" as something that's so good, you HAVE to pass it around because it can do nothing but enhance your own coolness quotient. Where does it say Viral has to be low budget or badly shot? I don't care who directed it or how professional it is - "viral" to me is almost a definition of a clips 'personality traits".

No recipe for viral success? i guess we'll see :)

This is not to say that clients shouldn't receive a smack for asking for something viral, like it's media buy.

said Scaramouch on January 29, 2008 4:47 PM.

I really must be getting old because I couldn't even watch the whole thing. Skaters and explosions, ok.

said Jellio on January 29, 2008 5:28 PM.

If a client asks for something "viral" just send them a dirty prostitute.

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week!

said The Muggler on January 29, 2008 9:30 PM.
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