Damn, James! Are You Old? What Makes A Video Go Viral

February 12, 2016

 

 

This week has been a particularly strange one for me. I have been receiving countless tags, comments, snaps, and messages about the latest Internet craze. It goes by the name of 'Damn, Daniel!', and has already racked up over 40 million views in just a few days. You can check out the viral hit below:

 

It has been my job (both as someone in Marketing, and as a Millennial), to discover and share content that I believe has the potential to spread around the world. Normally, I would have completely condoned and contributed to short and irreverent content that brings a smile to consumers faces - I'm all for it. In fact, it helps pay my bills. 

 

However, I'll admit that I'm finding it rather hard to understand what is making this such a hit. I'll admit even more, that for someone whose job is to monitor and promote viral content, I probably would have failed as Editor-in-Chief if one of my reporters presented this to me.

 

Herein lies my question: what makes something go viral?

 

It is usually a mistake. Much like these fellows who were surprised by their new found fame, my mind takes me back to the saga of 'The Dress'. Last year, it became a viral phenomenon as people around the world couldn't agree on what colour it was (Blue and Black!). It even caused a divide between my family at the dinner table. Scientists, bloggers, and national newspapers got involved, too! Today, it has its own Wikipedia page - again, this was something totally coincidental.

 

 

 

The truth is, it seems we don't know what content will become viral, or how. Forbes defined it as simple, relatable, snarky content. Well, the answer to The Dress wasn't simple. Snarky? Was Daniel's friend being snarky? Is their friendship relatable? Gangnam Style surely isn't!

 

There are people who make it their career to make, discover, and share content. I thought I was one of them. I, at least, thought I was young enough to recognise or appreciate it?? 

 

I may have missed this craze, and that's ok. Either way, you can be sure there will be something just as crazy to pop up on our screens at work. I am looking forward to embracing the next trend we will surely over-react to. My guess is some form of local dish which people try to make, filming their reactions.

 

The Great Viral Bake Off. I'll see you there.

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