The secret of making a video go viral: ego

Among the anecdotes and transitions, a very short version of an article about the secrets to getting videos to go viral: If sharing an ad will somehow benefit the sender as much as it helps the advertiser, then the ad might go viral.

And to be a bit more specific about what is meant by benefit: “The main motivation for viral sharing was egocentricity—the viewer’s desire to derive personal gain from sharing the video. Thus, it behooves advertisers to create videos that not only will make the product look good but, if shared, will make the viewer look good, too.”

Examples of this type of ad:

1. Gather and show: Request user contributions then present them: Old Spice

2. Early access: Provide link to certain customers to an ad video before it is widely released: Virgin Atlantic

3. Value machine: An ad as a vehicle to express someone’s values: Dove

4. Go tribal: Provide a character who represents values/story/challenges of being a type: Fiat

5. Provide the wacky: Give people a chance to find something unusual: Blendtec

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