You Don't Make Viral Videos

I saw a great tweet the other day which unfortunately I can't find but went something to the tune of: "You don't make viral videos. We decide if your video is worth giving a shit about." Now that's my paraphrasing of it but that was essentially it. And I couldn't agree more.

I keep hearing people are trying to make "viral videos" and I just shake my head. You can set out to make an awesome video. You can even make a video that "goes viral." But you can't make a viral video. The ones who set out to make viral videos inevitably are the ones that fail.

Instead, you should be making videos that are to the point. Make videos that are shocking, or fascinating, or emotionally-thrilling, or all of the above. You need to make videos that grab the user's attention and communicate exactly what it is you stand for. Sorry, but a video of your CEO announcing your newest "bleeding-edge, innovative solution that synergizes market inefficiencies" is not going to viral. No one is going to care.

But putting passion and feeling into your video will connect. Taking a risk works. Take this YouTube video from Pantene. At first look, you'd wonder what this has to do with shampoo. But as of this post, it has almost 2.9 million views, 5,164 comments, 23,309 favorites, and 8,297 ratings. And what it really is about is the values that Pantene holds. I mean this is a 4 minute video. I guarantee people will remember this commercial more than any silly 30-second spot they see on tv of some chick in a shower.

But they were willing to take a risk and put something out there that actually connects with people. And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about- people.