Good Luck Going Viral

Is “going viral” intentional or just a beautiful accident? There are plenty of agencies out there that claim to know the secret formula to “going viral,” but in reality, if there was a formula to it then every bit of content thrown into the Internet would be viral, which then really would completely negate the viral factor.

It’s not to say that riveting content that’s produced with the intention of going viral, can’t do so, but it is to say that it’s highly unlikely. What goes viral can be anything— fundraising efforts like we saw last summer in the ALS bucket challenge, flash mobs in Grand Central Station, the Most Interesting Man in the World from Dos Equis, heck, the Old Spice commercials, they all went viral, seemingly for no reason at all.



Viral content can be anything, from a dancing baby in a water commercial to a YouTube video of a kid coming out of anesthesia after a trip to the dentist. It seems as if the stars are aligned, the weather is preferable and the right people are sharing the content at the right time. Suddenly, boom, culture speaks and says, “We like this!” Now everyone and their great grandmother saw and shared your spot.

It’s really hard to measure the “viralability” of content and to prescribe some sort of viral forecast. What’s trending today is old news tomorrow, and yesterday’s trends are buried with the dinosaurs by now. We might not have a virability meter, but some well-thought-out unique content and some good old-fashioned luck might be a starting off point. Here are some quick tips to boost your chances:


Everyone likes to share a good joke around the water cooler at the office. Give people something to laugh about!

Think Outside the Box

The stranger, more awkward and bizarre, the better. If your content is slightly confusing and presented in an abstract way, your virability score will increase.


Whether it’s a spontaneous good deed, or planned, getting the masses to care or at least say they care about your content’s subject is key. If a celebrity cares, even better!

Demonstrate Value

Your content can provide entertainment or education— anything, as long as it provides something. Worthless content won’t gain traction online. All viral content matters to someone— and generally has mass appeal. Make sure your content is valuable.


What are some of your favorite viral advertisements? Subscribe and leave your comments below!