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One Weird Trick for Viral Success

Challenge:, a cloud-based workflow system for making, sharing, and securing creative assets, asked for my take on a study by the University of Southern California that purported to reveal just what makes a video go viral. Did it do that? Yeah, it did. But did it raise other questions along the way? Yeah, it did that, too.


Solution: I addressed the study finding by finding. First of all, there was a lot of valuable information in there; one great example was how the client tendency to put as much branding as possible everywhere actually discouraged sharing. Second, however, were the questions that came about. For instance, if we hold back on branding for the sake of sharing, do we damage brand recall when it's time to make a purchase?


Result: My latest essay for SHIFT. I write about the salient points the study makes, as well as point out some of the pratfalls of virality itself. Is it worth it? What actually precipitates it? Is it even advertising? It's with my next essay that I hope to answer some of those questions.

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