Viral videos: when regular TV advertising is not enough

TV commercials generally work very well; there is even some evidence that TV ads are the most effective form of advertising. But advertisers need all the help they can get, right? Although you can’t rely on it, it’s a massive bonus when you find that someone uploaded your TV commercial on YouTube and it got several million hits.

The most popular viral videos enjoy considerably more exposure than mediocre TV ads, but it remains to be seen whether the extra exposure produces a corresponding increase in sales. An argument could be made that their high entertainment value is as much a liability as anything else, distracting from the call to action and ultimately hurting sales. This argument finds support in the case of some exceedingly popular TV commercials for which many people were unable to identify the product being sold.

Be that as it may, there is something undeniably fascinating about concepts that are so strong that people cannot resist sharing them, effectively giving the brand enormous amounts of free exposure that grows exponentially in its initial phase – just like infectious diseases, hence the name. When this happens, it is because the TV spot offers considerable entertainment value, not because viewers care about the brand — let that be clear. I have discovered several brands by following a link to a TV spot that had gone viral.

The TV commercial for dreamjob.com is an awesome example. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out below. There’s a fair chance that by the end of it you will be overcome with an irresistible urge to share it with someone. Enjoy.

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