Virurl Analysis

Lessons in going viral from our Top 5 Videos this week!

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The Newsroom: The Tea Party is the American Taliban 

What’s this video got going for it?

  • Politics. There are few things that inspire people to such intense emotion as politics. And what do people want to do when they get inspired? Share it!
  • Relevance. This video was posted at the start of the GOP Convention in an election year. You can bet people have politics and voting on the brain!
  • A loyal audience base. The show has been hugely successful on HBO. —But how frustrating is it when your friends aren’t watching that show that you loove and you just want to TALK about it with them! You must get them to watch it!! — Enter YouTube.
  • Safety in fiction. The nice thing about this is: you can say all that mildly offensive but painfully honest stuff you’ve been suppressing all this time and–get this–no one can say anything because it’s fiction.  The viral success of this video shows: Everybody was thinking it–The Newsroom just said it.

Go ahead–Play with our emotions!

Kobe Bryant V. Michael Jordan 

  • Social Icons.  There are few sports stars that have reached the level of fame that Kobe and Michael have. We love them. Put them in a video together? I WILL WATCH THAT!
  • The drama.  Pitting our two beloved heroes against each other to dual it out via archival video clips? It’s almost too much!
  • The MUSIC! Remember: Human beings are sentimental creatures. Put this to some intense instrumental music–now it’s too much! Aaaand I’m sharing it.

Be iconic!

Terry Crews Old Spice Muscle Music

  • Terry Crews. (Enough said.)
  • Novelty. Like the Bike Hero video from our previous post, this video has a genuinely novel idea! Have you ever seen someone play a musical instrument with their pecs? Me neither. But you’d like to see it!
  • It’s interactive. Any time you can involve your audience, do it. Make it fun!

Don’t be afraid to be trendy!

Be Water My Friend: Bruce Lee Remix 

  • Auto-Tune. From Mister Rogers to Barack Obama, everybody’s getting auto-tuned these days. There’s no shame in jumping on the band wagon-probably just a lot of views instead.
  • Vintage Bruce Lee. Don’t forget what we said about being sentimental. Take advantage of the things and people that viewers love to love!

And if all else fails–just be friggin’ adorable!

11 Month Old Twins Dancing to Daddy’s Guitar

Because after all, who doesn’t love 45 seconds of sheer, unadulterated joy to brighten their day?

Lesson 1 in Viral Marketing: Fake It Til You Make It.

With videos like “David After Dentist” reaching audiences upwards of 100,000,000, it’s understandable that big-name companies like Sony and the makers of Guitar Hero would want to get in on the viral video phenomenon. Manufacturing this kind of craze, however, is no easy task. These companies have to create a seemingly native piece of content that will be embraced and shared throughout the internet community, all while inconspicuously promoting their product or service. Unlike TV commercials or internet banner ads however, these companies loose their home court advantage when they venture into platforms like YouTube; and the reception is not always warm.

The following is a list of our favorite failures and successes in viral marketing…

In 2006, Sony tried to go native for the release of the PSP. Not only did they hire graffiti artists to tag urban areas with images of kids playing with the device, but they also created this gem of a video:

As you can see, the advertisement element of the video overshadows anything else that might redeem it. Sony overdid it and lost their audience. The video, as well as the graffiti, were far too conspicuous to be ‘native’ and were generally rejected by their respective platforms. They receive a failing grade of 4/10.

In 2010, Hi-Tech created this documentary-style video promoting their shoes:

Because the video has a novelty and entertainment value outside of the advertisement itself, the audience doesn’t feel cheated out of a quality view.  The video has over 12 million views. Though the company eventually admitted to making the video and even went as far as to create a “Making of…”, this didn’t seem to bother the users of YouTube as the video has over 32,000 ‘likes’! Hi-Tech gets a passing grade of 8/10.

In 2009, an Australian retail store tried their hand at viral marketing with this ‘missed connection’ video:

Though only a small portion of the video was devoted to promoting the product, viewers weren’t quite convinced. When suspicions were aroused regarding the authenticity of this poor, single girl’s plight; a response video was posted featuring the same girl chastising the YouTube community for being so cynical. This didn’t win any believers back however when it was confirmed that video, was in fact, just an ad. This ‘missed connection’ get a 6/10 for good effort.

In 2008, Guitar Hero collaborated with Droga5 on this well-orchestrated ‘fan’ video:

With almost 3 million views and over 24,000 likes, it’s clear this campaign was a viral success. By building a story around the enthusiasm of a Guitar Hero fan (something that is not only understandable, but also highly relate-able), this video managed to strike a happy balance between entertainment and advertisement. So much so that we don’t even mind it’s essentially a commercial! A 9/10 for this success!

Even the Tampa Bay Rays got in on the action last year with this short, but effective clip:

The “That did NOT just happen!” quality to this video combined with Evan Longoria’s nonchalance is what makes this video fun. The viewer is more concerned with the editing of the video than the possibility that it could be an ad. The product (The Tampa Bay Rays ball club) is front and center but it is not what the video is about. A success with 7/10 for the Rays!

Moral of the story: Viral marketing success is possible! The truth is: viewers want to see a great video! How many times have you heard the phrase: “Have you seen that YouTube video about…”? Chances are–a LOT! People love sharing content! Create a video with a relate-able story, a novel idea, or just plain shock value and YouTube users will not only enjoy your ad, but more importanly-they’ll share it.

Tumblr and Virurl go hand in hand

Why share Virurl content on Tumblr? The answer is simple; it’s where all the content lovers hang out.  What’s better than hanging out with all the cool kids? What we mean by cool kids are the people who appreciate your post so much so that they click on it and make you money.  So far this is sounding like a win-win situation, right?

Virurl Users: If you already have a Tumblr blog here are 3 steps on how you post Virurl content stories on it

1. Click the share Button and a Share Option Button will appear.Click Post to Blog.

2. Pop up will appear fill in information.

3. Then check it out on your blog!

Virurl Users: Don’t have a Tumblr Blog?  Here are the reasons why you should create one.

Most Shares on Virurl originate from Tumblr: Out of all Virurl’s share options statistics show that most of our Users share Virurl stories/links on tumblr.

Room for Diversified Creativity: Tumblr is so adamant about promoting its Users that the company sent 20 bloggers to New York Fashion week last year.  Visuals are pertinent.  Tumblr doesn’t have a formal format that requires multiple paragraphs like WordPress blogs often do.

 Join the Party:  Whether the blog is for personal or work use it’s a good idea to join the blog platform that has over 60 million accounts worldwide.  Tumblr is “googled” more than the word blog.  Being apart of this community allows 4 things:

  • More content/brand exposure
  • You are exposed to other’s content
  • Monetizing your blog by posting Virurl content stories for others to click on and share
  • You get to follow

 User-friendly: Figuring out how to change the background among other changes on Tumblr doesn’t require you to possess the skill set of a professional web designer.

Minimum Time Commitment: Since Tumblr is visual based it is perfect for for people who want to blog, but don’t have tons of time to sit down and write an essay.

+Follow Virurl on Tumblr at or make your own at

Viral Lessons from the Olympics-Part 1

 1) Brand storytelling

P&G (Proctor & Gamble) a sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics has decided to tell a story heavily involving mothers.  Conveniently, this company is a multinational manufacturer of products whose major consumer is mothers.  They have decided to literally integrate their target audience into their marketing campaign, instead of indirectly doing it.   To promote engagement P&G also took “Thanking Moms” to the next level by having a link connect to their Facebook  page under their YouTube video promoting “send your mom a message”.  P&G has successfully created a brand story that provokes emotions and engagement while at the same time incorporating their top consumer as the main character. 

 2) Timing

Timing isn’t just important for the Olympic athletes competing in the events.  Timing is also important when capturing and posting content. Usain Bolt the fastest man ever knows just a bit about how much time matters.  If you are lucky enough to capture that phenomenal moment that happens in a blink of an eye you posses the key to going viral in your hands. The other half to going viral is knowing when the most time is to post that precious video or other type of content .  1. Wake Up! – 4 a.m. PST 2. Afternoon Coffee -2 p.m. PST   3. Chill out- 8 p.m. PST

  3) Content (and lots of it)

If you take a look at the NBC Olympic website , the controversy regarding the delayed coverage aside, there is a major lesson to be learned. The creators of this site really spent their time organizing, brainstorming intriguing topics, and developing discussions and engagement.  The content on the site gives visitors a 360 degree experience who the athletes inside and out by providing profiles linked to their personal twitters.  As well as the history of the legendary games.

4) Sex Sells

This is nothing new.  In the Olympics’ case, one side of the events are very historic and serious while the other is sexualized.  Take the ESPN US women’s volleyball team or the Candace Parker bare to minimum photo shoot. These chiseled athlete’s  sexy side are revealed and capitalized on.  In a way the photo shoot is saying don’t just watch the event because of the sport, but watch it because of the bikinis these ladies will be wearing.

5) Gossip 

I mean who doesn’t want to know who Michael Phelps is dating or where Ryan Lochte is partying?  Most everyone wants the dirt on the athletes who are in the spot light for the next few weeks. The press is always looking for something to tarnish their immaculate images.  If there are pictures to back it up even better.

Best Practices for Virurl Advertisers

So you have applied via to be an advertiser on Virurl.  You have received an email confirming that your content has been approved to promote.  You login in to and click on “Advertise” on your Navigation bar.  You click “Create Ad” and you are presented with some options on how to design your ad.  You start playing around with the sliding bars, but then you start second guessing your decision to make the Cost-Per-Click (CPC)  $.02 instead of $.04.Then for the Duration of the Ad you aren’t sure whether 5 days or 7 days is better……???????

To remove some of this “ad creation” anxiety we are offering some tips that will help your ad reach its’ highest potential.

1. Design Ad to reach highest potential   

  • Be sure to Select Category & Coverage (ad will appear both on VIRURL homepage News Feed, as well as corresponding sub tab).
  • Select US, UK, Canada Visitors Only or Worldwide Visitors for geo targeting. This will depend on what type of content you have.  If you are talking about something that is only offered in the US, UK, Canada then it would be best not to open it up to Worldwide because it’s probably not relevant to them any way. Depending on what is selected all other clicks coming from elsewhere will be free.
  • CPC drives distribution speed.  If campaign is time sensitive, higher CPC will deliver best results.
  • Be sure to allow a long enough Duration of the Ad to correspond with budget (link will never die, even after ad budget is exhausted, but ad will no longer be displayed on  Which means if a user tweeted your link and your funds run out the link will still appear in his tweet allowing you more traffic for FREE.

2. The thumbnail is a Deal Breaker

Recommended size: 610 x 406 Png, Jpeg

The better quality and and more interesting the picture is the more apt users will click.





3. Creative Captions

For fun try editing a caption on to your thumbnail like “Exclusive”.  This is an extra touch that many people find intriguing and will prompt them to click .

3. Thoughtful Description

Don’t be afraid to get creative with the description of your ad that will appear on the side of the thumbnail.  Using a question or unique adjectives often  provoke the user to read on and be moved enough to share it with their friend.

4. Test Content Without Walls

If you usually have a content wall try not using one.

5Ads with Geographic Elements

In your description try not to mention a specific place, which would make the users not in that location feel left out and not interested in clicking.

6. Keeping an eye on your Ad Dashboard

Virurl provides detailed performance statistics that allow you to see how well your ad is doing.  This allows you to edit and try something new if you feel the need.

  • Edit ad mid-flight if it is under-performing.
  • CPC cannot be reduced but can be increased.  Be sure to start with low CPC and increase if quicker distribution is needed.

7. Timing

  • Sharing spikes at 11am & 8pm EDT
  • Post at 10am and 7pm

What is going Viral at the 2012 Summer Olympics?

Even if you aren’t a die-hard Olympic fan I am sure you have caught at least a few moments from the historic athletic event.   The web is swarming with Olympic viral videos and photos.  Since the events are filmed live mistakes, injuries, and just plain funny bloopers are captured.  The athletes’ pressure to perform their best, accompanied by millions of people watching them, and a rush of adrenaline proves to be the perfect ingredient for viral content.

1. Diver Stephen Fleck back flops

It is a bit difficult to find a video of this flop (literally and figuratively) on the web due to the IOC (International Olympic Community) forbidding it from being uploaded and forcing the already existent ones to be taken down.

2. “NBC family Bob”

Not everyone is stoked about the Olympics.

A reporter from a NBC affiliated station bashes Bob Costa, the Olympic reporter for running 7 minutes over into his newscast.  It doesn’t look like his colleagues were as offended as he was.

3. Foul Play

U.S. and Spain girls water polo got a bit vicious when one U.S team member  yanked at the top of a Spain opponent exposing her boob to the millions of viewers.  By the way that type of rough play is legal in Water polo as long as it is underwater.

4. Celebratory outing with his Medals

Michael Phelps went clubbing with his gold medals thinking they would be good company.  Not sure if he wacked everyone in the face while dancing in the club, but he does seem very content to be back to his old partying self

5. “It was not erect.”

US Rower, Henrik Rummel may have gotten a wee bit too excited for the type of bottom apparel was wearing.  While accepting his bronze medal among his team mates it seems the world got a glimpse of his….Well I am sure you get it (middle guy)

6.Women’s Volleyball gets their sexy on for ESPN

Its not all fun and games for the U.S. Women’s Water polo players.  They make time to release their sexy side for a ESPN photoshoot.

7. Not the easiest person to interview.

Out of all the athletes Ryan Lochte, 400 IM gold winner is probably one the least excited to be interviewed by the press.   His lack of information he provides and monotone voice proves to be a hit among viewers.

8. USA Olympics Swim Team-Call Me Maybe Parody

Yet another “Call Me Maybe” parody.  The US Swim Team thought it would be cute to lip sync to the song while on the plane and swimming.  How many more of these parodies before viewers stop viewing?

9. In yo face.

With the press on all parameters of the Olympics don’t fail to capture even the most embarrassing facial expression.

10. Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang-hurts Achilles

This is actually a sad video because it involves one of the most painful injuries.  Liu Xiang didn’t tripped on one of the hurdles and hurt his achilles.  What makes this video significant is while Liu Xiang  hobbles to go sit down he has a second thought and finishes the race hobbling to the finish line and kisses the last hurdle.  To top it off, he is walked back by his fellow Olympic Competitors.  Talk about perseverance.

Did we miss any? Leave a URL of a video or picture in the comment section.  We would love to hear from you.

What does going Viral mean to you?

In the “The Worlds of Viral Video” created by PBS, an array of viral videos are highlighted accompanied by commentary from various industry folk like Jonah Perettis from Buzzfeed and Kevin Allocca from Youtube.  This video discusses how the word “viral” is becoming more of a buzzword, than a word with a solidified definition.  Some define viral as something that takes off, others define it as something that inspires a person to share it, either one is true.  That is the beauty of it….there are no set rules stating what should or should not go viral.    Of course there are guidelines, but for the most part all videos have some kind of chance of going viral.   Even though there are no set rules to guarantee viral content, it is smart to analyze why these mentioned videos worked so well.   This leads to the main points discussed in “The Worlds of Viral Video”.

You have 10 seconds GO!

The first step in boosting a video’s likelihood  of going viral is to make sure in the first 10 seconds the video successfully convinces the viewer to stay tuned.

The Force: Volkswagen Commercial

In the first 5 seconds we hear the Star Wars theme song and see Darth Vader. A shorter Darth Vader with faulty powers that is. This opening works for 2 reasons.

-It involves pop culture, Star Wars.

-It incorporates the common child fantasy of possessing super powers that many can admit to having at one time.

It’s not surprising that this video received 1 million views over night and has since then acquired roughly 54 million views.  Volkswagen chose not to heavily highlight the product itself (the car), but instead focus on building a story around it.  In this story the car is the game changer.  Everyone remembers the car because it’s the only object that the beloved little Darth Vader, can manipulate with his force.


Brands caught onto the brilliance of YouTube video creation fast. They had no choice because that’s where a majority of their consumer’s focus was.   Brands observed how regular people could upload a video and watch it go viral and decided to give it a try themselves.

Evian Baby Dance

The company Evian launched one of the first major viral campaigns that has obtained over a billion YouTube views. Consumers grew obsessed with the randomness of a bottled water company creating a video in which digitized babies rap and dance around Evian water bottles.  Evian opened the door to brands like Old Spice, less established brands like the Dollar Shave Club and various others.  This parlays into how the YouTube landscape has evolved and will continue too.  Right now it seems YouTube is in a transition from a platform that some people utilized to a gold mine for content creators big and small. Instantaneously, their work has the ability to go viral. It no longer takes months, or days, it may just happen overnight.

 That reminds me of … 

No one will  stop what he or she is doing to watch something that they don’t feel connected to.  Often times a video that touches on the little things in life like the toilet paper running out at the most inconvenient of times or a person falling off a table are things that people watch and share over and over again.

The creators of the What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction parody understand that people love watching something that relates to their life.  Parodies of songs go viral because they integrate pop culture and display how everyday people can make their own interpretation of famous singers.  The parody’s creators do admit that they are always surprised by what becomes popular.  This gives a reassurance that the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.

Experiencing the World through Videos

People are no longer only fed what ever the news channel decides to capture.  Now civilians engaged in the situation can take out their mobile device and begin capturing the pure situation without a subjective stance.


Videos aren’t just entertainment anymore.  People are beginning to remember significant events in history through viral videos.

After reading this, think about what viral video recently impacted you and if so do you agree with these points?