People love to see other people get into troubling fail situations. It can be hard for a brand to take advantage of this for a video, mainly because fake fails are easy to spot and people don’t spread those as much.
Here’s a good example, a recent Fail Compilation, with nearly 8 million views views.
But there’s the other side of the spectrum too – Win! There are plenty of “win” videos and win compilations, but in this one, band Hadouken used it to their advantage with “People Are Awesome“, 44 Million views.
Pranking your friends by sending them a video that scares them can be very effective because, by its nature, for it to work you have to obviously send it in the first place!
Here’s an example for German beverage brand K-fee, in which you have to “spot the ghost”:
8. Real or Not / Trick Shots
These two can be grouped because many times they go hand in had: some trick shot videos are so amazing that they make you think if they are real or not.
And it works great as a viral mechanism because 1) many times people see it several times to try to figure out if it is indeed real or not, getting the video more and more views, and 2) they’ll want to show it to their friends, so they can too give their opinion.
Gillette really used this very well in this video last year.
It got 9 million views. And Microsoft too, with Megawoosh, which got over 6 million views:
And finally in this section, this one is very silly but works great as a trick shot video:
7. Attention diversion
In this type of video, the mechanism used is fool them while they are watching. Like a magic trick, which people are always fascinated by.
The most famous and well done of these is “Test Your Awareness” (with 15 million views):
6. Cats, Dogs, Babies
Is there anything people love more to watch videos of than these? When you add one of these elements to your video, its chances of spreading around are already higher!
Skittles used the cats element very well, and with a brilliant indirect interactivity twist:
More cats done in a smart way – 1.7 million views and listed in many of 2011′s most creative videos list:
When it comes to Babies, they are incredible popular too in online video, and brands have taken advantage of this element. Like Evian, in a video with 57 million views:
And finally dogs too, and in this particular case, combined with another viral element Super Slow-motion, in an ad for brand Pedigree:
Oh and we musn’t forget talking ones too, in this video with 112 milion views!!
5. Flash mobs
Although most of them are pretty lame and they’re so 2009 (!), there are still a few -not that many- that are actually good. And when they are, they’re one of the most powerful viral mechanisms.
Improv Everywhere are on top of this game, and their “Frozen Grand Central” got nearly 30 Million views:
4. Interactive video
Another one that is many times not used properly, but when it is, it’s masterful and spreads around quickly ammounting to a large number of views – also because by nature of it, you have to have several videos for the several options, so all summed up gets your video campaign a nice sum of video views!
Here’s a good example by Hell Pizza from New Zealand, with 7 million views on the starting video alone:
3. Super slow-motion
There are plenty of examples of super slow-motion videos going viral (and the higher the frame count the better), because that shows us movement that we see everyday due to the high frame rate, totally different.
Like this one, with total destruction at 2500 frames per second (with 2,3 million views):
2. Music video
Not a viral mechanism per se, but more of a element or category. You see, pretty much every viral video chart at any given day will show you that music videos are always the top categories. In fact, most likely every 18 videos of the the top 20 will be music videos.
So why not take advantage of that? Some brands have, like Toyota, in a very smart way (currently with 10 Million views):
1. Personalized video
A bit anti-climatic, I know, but when you can personalize a video, either with your name, photo, or a whole Facebook integration campaing, that can be extremely powerful – and thus very viral.
Even moreso than every type of viral video here.
That is the case with the hilarious ecards from JibJab…
This type of viral mechanism is, of course, more difficult to achieve, as coding will be needed to make it, not just uploading the finalized video to Youtube. The payoffs are worth it though!
Honourable mentions: Animation, Celebrities, making the “World’s best/biggest/shortest” etc type of video…
Like Nokia has in “The world’s largest stop-motion animation set”
That one combines Animation and “World’s largest”!
Or even a video that combines many of the mechanisms in both posts: