Sharing some of my thoughts on viral marketing – The Viral Triangle

Just say the word – Viral – and brand owners go bananas. It’s what you want. Communication spread all over the world without a penny in media spend. It sounds so easy but in fact, not that many videos circles the globe every year.
Let me share one of my ways of increase the probability of succeeding.
I call it “The Viral Triangle”
I’ve created The Viral Triangle in order to get a better understanding from clients that viral marketing is all about buzz and creating hooks that pull people into the loop. The components of The Viral Triangle is something that comes naturally for many creatives but still loads of so called virals doesn’t even make it beyond the first viewer, only because the lacks a broad variety of hooks.
The Viral Triangle that will dramatically increase your strike rate when it comes to creating viral content. The model is applicable on both creative ideas, movies, content and product development. It’s all about injecting more ways for the consumer to find and spread your ideas.
If you use it right it serves as a simple checkbox model that you can use in order to ensure a wider spread of your ideas. Of course you still have to seed them but using the viral triangle multiplies the relevance for your potential target group.
The Viral Triangle consist of (you guessed it) 3 possible entry points (hooks) for your target group and one core component – the idea.
1. Brand / Product
Every piece of communication that comes out of a company should have the Brand or Product as an important, if not leading, part of the execution.
2. Celebrity / Partner
Associate your solution with some sort of an Ambassador that is widely known among your targets. This way you’ll ensure new possible entries to your communication.
3. Culture / Lifestyle
Finally, the strongest way to establish an idea in a community is to play it, to some part, by their rules.
Core component – The idea.
This is where you have to innovate. Provide your target group with something they have never seen before. Entertainment should be a core component of your communication but you need to do it in a new way. Without that innovative idea it doesn’t really matter what context you put it in – it’s never going to work. People don’t spread boring news.

Let’s have a look at one of the most spread virals this year – The Bike Hero by Droga 5.

There’s really no missing that this is about Guitar Hero is it? First hook!
Music. The video kicks off with a sign saying Prisoner of Society – The living end 1999. Here’s another hook (A quick search for Prisoner of Society places the video nr 2). Tons of people might not like Guitar Hero, but the can associate to the music. It makes them stay a little bit longer.
Very early into the video we see that it’s about BMX a popular urban sport among the target group. Hook nr 3.
The solution – the innovative idea.
See for yourselves. It’s a great execution and it’s viral.

Start your creative work by forcing the viral triangle on it. By doing that you have a bigger chance than ever to strike luck. If you do it in another way you might still succeed but the viral potential is limited since you’re relevant to a much smaller audience.