Share some emotion: what makes an ad go viral

People don’t share facts, they share emotion.

There's an oft quoted marketing saying that a happy customer may tell 2 or 3 people, but an unhappy customer tells 10.  Now arguably the actual amount is more a feature of the product we've bought (I'll complain more about issues with my expensive new car than a can of Coke - unless there's a finger in it!)

But you'd think that in the new world of social media this ease of sharing bad news would strike fear into the hearts of business people everywhere - after all, now it's as easy to tell half a million people you're unhappy with a company as it is to tell those 10.

But when it comes to what we share online - content created by journalists, bloggers, artists or brands, it appears positive content has an even better chance of going viral than that which is negative - the key is in making us feel something strongly.

These original 2008 findings from the Wharton School of Business have been replicated several times since then in the hopes of defining exactly what will make brand-produced content go viral. This has lead to a ream of copycat type content hoping to replicate the sort of success achieved by a Cadbury's 'Gorilla' or a 'Dumb ways to die'. But in the end, it's the combination of a strong consumer insight and an engaging, authentic brand narrative that leads to great creative that we're proud to share, and here are some of our favourites.


Cadbury makes us wonder (what's a gorilla got to do with chocolate anyway?):

Dollar Shave Club makes us laugh (and made on a tight budget!):

Google puts a lump in our throat:

And Cardstore reminds us that being a parent is the #worldstoughestjob