Babita Baruah
Nov 08, 2012

Babita’s blog: Let’s Go Viral

Babita Baruah, executive business director, JWT, writes on tackling the new brief: the search for the ‘ultimate viral’

Babita’s blog: Let’s Go Viral


Of late, a new brief is doing the rounds.

The search for the ultimate viral is on.

"Kolaveri-D, Evian Roller Babies, T-Mobile Flash Mob are great examples".

"A minimum of 1 million hits in a week is an absolute must."

“Let’s do an Old Spice kind of viral”

And of course, Gangnam Style is the latest hit and click generator that has sent marketing and creative minds working overtime.

Agencies have presented reports. Bloggers have shared views on success factors.

Trawled through some Net articles on Viral Campaigns.

Amazed at how consistent everyone was.

Decide the marketing objective to be fulfilled.

Identify the target segment.

Surprise factor.

Hot buttons (Bollywood and Cricket being high on India's list).

Of course, strong branding.

Brand partners share strategies and creative on viral campaigns.

"Peer to peer Transmission" and "Diffusion Speed" are the new viral jargons.

Audience have been categorized as "Transmitters" and "Receivers".

With all due respect to the science and thinking behind this emerging channel, all of which must have been proven and hold true as well, there are some things which we cannot ignore.

Like, how can one "plan a surprise?" The more we plan, the more we resort to learnings and do things that have been done before.

Or, how does one "ensure engagement"? Dread to imagine a Gangnam being tested before it was made. With a "mock" track and an animated drawing doing some steps.

Let's look back at some of the things we have "viralled" in our lives without realising it.

The song housewives hum as they go about their chores.

The steps and moves little kids naturally dance to, from their favourite movie.

The phrases from pop culture that have become part of lingo.

Things we quote endlessly.

Fact is, we have all been Transmitters and Receivers.

Here are some tips I feel can help us on this front.

Don't write a separate “viral” strategy.

Think original. Novelty is the Internet currency.

Inspirations from elsewhere. Movies, Sports, Books, Comics, Gaming characters.

Go with your own first reaction. If you have been hooked, chances are the world will be.

Write or create for yourself. Don't give consumers what you think they want.

Fun and Intrigue always helps.

Let your passion show in your creation. That's what makes it unique.

Use this channel as a constraint-free opportunity. Loosen up the guidelines.

Ask yourself- why should I share this? 

Don’t brush aside what sounds ridiculous on first hearing.

Feel the pulse on popular culture and entertainment.

Read Trend Reports - know what’s going on out there.

And yes, at the heart of something that rages like a fever across the nation, is a very strong insight.

As someone said about my favourite viral  from Tourism Queensland on The Best Job in the World - It wasn’t just an ad about how awesome this place you will never have the money to visit is… it was about how much your job sucks.

The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

Campaign India

Related Articles

Just Published

5 hours ago

Year-ender 2021: 'TV and digital will grow and ...

We ask industry leaders for their learnings from 2021, and an outrageous prediction for the year to come

5 hours ago

Swapan Seth appointed executive director at Rediffusion

Last full-time stint was as co-founder of Equus Advertising

17 hours ago

Srinivasan Swamy elected as AFAA's chairman

Announcement made during the general body meeting on 1 December

20 hours ago

Deloitte India partners with News Broadcasters ...

This alliance will launch an integrated performance and rewards forum for the news media industry