Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What's a viral and why does everyone want one anyway!

Yes, after about 4 years the word ‘viral’ has finally trickled it’s way down to the middle east’s marketer collective consciousness…It’s cheap, it’s cool and everybody wants one!
Unfortunately, the viral mania is being met with serious disappointment…Both agency’s and clients are getting bitch slapped back to earth. There ECD'S dreams of putting the 'tird' the client wont run on air on the web and it being 'ravaged by startving content consumers with nothing better to do but to click the forward button, have been shattered.

Yup the smarter lot of us have realized that you can’t just go putting your tv ad on youtube and expect it to take off…Nope, there is a little more tact involved than opening a simple youtube account and uploading a low res version of your TV ad…

Well for starters, here’s a little something we might need to consider before actually mustering up the master plan of mayhem chaos and mass digital outbreak.

You do not shoot a viral!You shoot a web film that you get down on your knees and pray becomes viral…Viral is the ends not the means

You don’t see your grandma looking up at you from her glasses and knitting gear saying ‘I’m knitting you a trend’

So get ur facts straight... I was looking at some of the stuff out there that actually became viral and decided to create a stupid axis that might help me when crafting viral content…
These two ends are all a subsets of ‘entertaining’, qualities of entertainment…

Extremity, something extreme is something original in it’s very nature. A logical premise for most online content…but to delve a little further on the word VW suicide bomber is an example of extreme controversy. Saudi road skating is the epitome of what someone would call extreme behaviour…I guess, what I’m trying to get at is if we can’t put the word extreme in front of whatever adjective describes the piece of content…the most likely it ain’t going to pick up much…Extreme humor-Obey the suit (thanking our BBH planner for introducing me to that), Extreme gore- Those ridiculous images of car crash victims on emirates road that you hate to open but just do. Extreme stupidity- Miss Alabama

Relevance…Seeing a guy jumping off Burj el Arab will most likely spread quicker in the UAE, then a jump off some tower in Shanghai…Melody hits ‘All English’ campaign picked up in the middle east due it’s local relevance in juxtaposition with it’s western twist…How many nodes the piece of content assimilates with and how many of the node are held in the collective consciousness of a homogeneous group…Bush visits Dubai, they close the entire city and someone takes a series of snapshots of the empty S Zayed road and voila…Saudi woman driving etc…

So to go back to the word viral and steal from a quote sent in by the hot Miss Y

'A viral is not a viral until it has become a viral'