I hear a lot of talk about viral videos, as in â€œWeâ€™re creating a viral video.â€ And my new favourite which I heard last week: â€œWeâ€™re going to viral the campaign.â€
(Proof that you can do amazing things with the English language.)
Much of the talk I see online is about creating a viral video. But thereâ€™s no such thing as â€˜creating a viral videoâ€™!
You can create a video, which is what Rubber Republic have done for the Today programme. If enough people start talking about the video online, and linking to it, it might enjoy a viral effect with talk spreading via a variety of communication channels.
The Wikipedia definition of â€˜viral videoâ€™ makes the point:
A viral video is a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or Instant messaging, blogs and other media sharing websites.
Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s happening today â€“ plenty of online talk about the video generating a lot of buzz. So it seems to be enjoying a viral effect although itâ€™s arguable that such talk isnâ€™t really widespread, but mostly via Twitter and tracked on the hashtag #todayviral.
Letâ€™s get our terminology and understanding right. And maybe help the Today programme, who say they are doing this as an experiment to see how viral ads work.
Hopefully, theyâ€™ll share their learning soon.