Internet users are already claiming Budweiser “has won the Super Bowl” with its super cute, emotional spot featuring its famous Clydesdales and an adorable puppy. Uploaded this morning, the commercial has racked up over 2.5 million views and 50,000 social shares. People will watch the ad (see below), like the ad and share the ad—all of which are necessary for viral marketing.
The question is why? Sure people like puppies, horses, friendship and beer, but the key to viral success goes much deeper than that. Any advertiser could throw these things together in a commercial and see unremarkable results. Budweiser, on the other hand, created a perfect mix of storytelling and pristine production that will entice internet users to watch and share across any and all social networks. In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the reasons Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” spot has the maximum potential for virality.
Storytelling is one of the most important elements when it comes to video marketing. Brands want people to want to watch and share their content—this is possible with a powerful story. Additionally, if the commercial evokes any kind of emotion, people are more likely to remember the ad and share it with friends and family.
A sequel to last year’s spot, “Brotherhood,” “Puppy Love” will no doubt generate similar results in terms of viewership and engagement. “Brotherhood” told a touching story of the friendship between a Clydesdale and its owner. It received over 15 million YouTube views and 2.4 million social shares—according to Unruly, this advert accounted for 59% of total alcohol ad shares in Q1 2013.
The way the story is told and edited plays a large role in affecting viral potential. We’ve mentioned Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira a couple times in the past regarding his findings on what makes a video go viral.
He notes that alternating high points of joy and low neutral points keeps viewers hooked throughout the entire ad. In this case, the puppy interacting and reuniting with the Clydesdale act as the high points and the clips in between as neutral points. The audience gets wrapped up in the story and excitedly awaits these high points in the plotline. Viewers don’t think twice about watching the ad all the way through—they are engaged and invested in the outcome.
Shareability lies at the core of viral marketing. By sharing these kinds of videos, viewers hope to earn social currency with peers. Simply put, people want to share ads that will make them look good.
Brands need to strive for advertising symbiosis, which is what occurs when the advertiser and consumer mutually benefit from the act of viewing and sharing an ad. Because of the storytelling, editing and emotional appeal, people will be inclined to share the ad with others.
Budweiser should see incredible interaction and social engagement with its Super Bowl commercial—it’s made up of a perfect blend of viral elements that will ensure its popularity online and during the big game.