The Internet Loves Cats and Bacon. Start From There and See How It Goes

Ahhhh…viral ads. They’re fun, right?  Don’t you love it when you sit down to your computer to find that some lovely person has shared a gem with you?

In fact, if it’s really good, you might even share it with a bunch of people and then they do it too, and before you know it, everyone has seen the viral ad du jour.

Do you find yourself wondering how you yourself might come up with viral content? If only you knew a 20-something year old hipster with a flair for avant-garde filmmaking or had a kick butt ad agency to help you, your content would be contagious in no time!

Well, lucky for you, you DO know a kick butt ad agency! 


While there’s no exact formula for making a viral ad, there are some tips and tricks that help increase the chances. It’s important to remember though that even if your ad follows the formula and does all the things it should, it still may not go viral because there’s some luck involved in this endeavor as well. Let’s say for example that the Internet loves cats and bacon (because it totally does!). You could make a hilarious ad featuring both of those things and there’s a chance nobody will care. The Internet is a fickle lover, GLAD WORKS friends.

Keeping that in mind and being realistic in your expectations is important. Maybe the goal should be to simply create a great ad and hope it goes viral for you. After all, if you try too hard to go viral, it will look like you’re trying too hard to go viral! The ad could flop and perhaps even negatively impact your brand. It’s sort of like telling a really, really, silly joke and having nobody laugh. People walk away thinking you’re a complete jackwagon.

But the good news is that viral stuff and just plain exceptional stuff share the same characteristics, the rest is just good luck. Millward Brown, a leading global research agency specializing in advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research, created a great list of top 10 tips for creating viral advertising, but we think it’s also a great list of things that everyone should think about when coming up with honest, relatable and entertaining ad content.

  1. Be realistic, only a few ads make the big time.
  2. Creativity rule: a distinctive and engaging ad is necessary.
  3. Don’t forget, an ad must leave some impression related to the brand in order to be effective.
  4. Consider whether a celebrity will fit your brand and enhance an ad’s viewing potential.
  5. Consider an idea’s campaign potential; is it more than just a one off?
  6. Seed widely: The more broadly seeded a campaign is, the more people it will reach, irrespective of the pass-along rate.
  7. Seed well: Different media placement strategies may well be required based on the nature of the target audience.
  8. Make the ad easy to find—use simple naming, and consider paid video search.
  9. Integrate with other media efforts.

So that’s about it, GLAD WORKS friends. Aim to make something really amazing that people will want to share like crazy and then fill your heart with hope!

Leave a Comment