The Emerging Shift to Viral Videos

The Nielsen Q4 2011 Cross-Platform Report confirmed the emerging trend that consumers are watching less television in favor of online video. The shift is expected because of the freedom and breadth of video content offered online. The continued acceleration of online video consumption has marketers seeking cutting edge methods to reach and engage their consumers.

The most common forms of online video marketing have been interfering with the consumer experience. Example one is a “pre-roll” – the advertisement a consumer is forced to watch before he gets to watch the video he selected. Example two is the automatic video advertisement that starts playing while a consumer is browsing her favorite website. While these forms of marketing are effective, brands are seeking a deeper connection with consumers.

Enter the viral video. For years the achievement of a Viral Video has been considered elusive. The industry conception was that a brand’s video would go viral if the content was remarkable.

Throughout 2012, we have seen several brands take advantage of the viral video as a preferred form of digital marketing: Old Spice, Nike, Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Samsung to name a few. How do these large names continue churning what was first considered to be an elusive feat?

Like with every other enticing consumer medium, it is only a matter of time until tech-savvy marketers learn how to penetrate it. In 2012, the achievement of a Viral Video can be purchased as a media buy.

We have spent years understanding the science of going viral and how the perfect cocktail of placements can yield a high earned media for brands. Our disposition is that Viral Videos are highly effective in correlation to consumer purchasing decisions because peer-to-peer recommendations have been deemed most powerful by the marketing industry’s white ivory tower.

It is clear to see why a brand would be interested in a Viral Video. The format is non-intrusive and is watched by users as they are normally consuming videos. They are choosing to watch it, rather than being forced to watch it. When a consumer chooses freely, he is more susceptible to the marketing message.

As the emerging trend of consumers jumping ship from television to online video continues, it is expected we will see the number of branded Viral Videos increase.

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